Opinion

Act now to block .XXX domain threat, say lawyers

Last month Network Noise reported a rush of interest among business owners in buying up their trademarks in the .XXX domain, a new extension designed for the use of the adult services industry.

However, with the 'sunrise' phase of domain registration for .XXX sites now open, IP specialists Marks & Clerk say there is another, little publicised, way for brands to protect their trademarks from "the embarrassing and damaging consequences" of unwanted association with pornographic sites.

Instead of buying up their trademarks, businesses are also able to block their IP from registration under the .XXX domain.

In all other domains this is not an option; you must actively buy your trademark to protect it, a costly and time-consuming process that will ultimately leave you with a website you don't want, according to Douglas Thomson, trademark attorney at Marks & Clerk.

"There is a danger that trademark owners could miss this opportunity. The only sure way to protect their brands cheaply is by blocking them from the .XXX domain. A block can be put on domain names as soon as the sunrise period opens on 7 September," says Thomson.

This was first published in September 2011

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