We previously provided an alert, “Keeping Your Trademarks From Becoming XXX-Rated” on July 5, 2011, regarding the new top-level domain name “.XXX” and described the process by which trademark owners or their authorized licensees or assignees may apply to block the registration of their registered trademarks as domain names. The registry has now published a launch plan which extends the “sunrise” period available to trademark owners and provides further information regarding the .XXX top level domain along with several policy changes. The launch plan is available here.
Extension of Sunrise Period Until October 28, 2011
The “sunrise” period during which trademark owners or their authorized licensees or assignees may apply to block the registration of their trademarks as .XXX domain names has now been extended to run from September 7, 2011 until October 28, 2011 (rather than the 30 day period previously announced).
Preemptive Blocking Requires Trademark Registration Prior to September 1, 2011
The registry launch plan now indicates that a trademark submitted for blocking during the sunrise period must be the subject of a trademark registration issued before September 1, 2011. Previously the registry indicated that the registration need only have been issued before submitting the application for domain-name blocking.
Clarification Regarding Minimum and Maximum Number of Characters Allowed in the .XXX Domain Name Registration
The registry has indicated that the minimum number of characters allowed for a .XXX domain is currently set at three, while the maximum number of characters is 63.
Registry Fees for Blocking a Trademark
Currently there are six accredited registrars in the U.S. for the new .XXX top level domain name: Network Solutions, eNom, Godaddy.com, Name.com, 101domain, and Encirca. The first registrars to set prices have indicated that they will charge $245 (Encirca) and $299 (101domain) for preemptive blocking during the sunrise period.
If you would like to discuss a strategy to protect your trademark portfolio from becoming XXX rated, or if you would like assistance with completing an application for domain name blocking in the .XXX registry, please contact your Michael Best attorney.