In June 2010, ICANN OK’d the creation of an Internet domain for adult websites. As of September 7, 2011, registration is open for existing adult entertainment industry companies and for those companies hoping to block the .xxx domain which uses their .com (or other type of) domain root (i.e. Disney probably does not want Disney.xxx). These companies have until October 28th to register an .xxx domain name or request exemption for registered trademark names from becoming available for registration.
Florida-based ICM Registry is the domain operator handling worldwide .xxx domain registrations in collaboration with companies like GoDaddy.com and 101domain.com (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/4/as-porns-pre-eminent-domain-xxx-to-mark-spot/).
What does this mean for your company? Even if you’re not in the adult entertainment industry it still means quite a bit. First of all, it means you’ll need to assess whether or not you would like to block your company’s name from becoming available in the .xxx domain registry. The projected one-time fee to block domain name registrations ranges from $200 to $300. The option to block a domain name is only available to owners of domains that use their registered trademarks. You may wish to consult your attorney to discuss your options.
Secondly, you may want to confirm that your company name, and subsequently, your URL root is a registered trademark. Enterprise companies may hold hundreds, even thousands of registered trademarks for brand entities.
Why do you want a registered trademark? Here is a little snippet from Wikipedia that explains it pretty well, at least, in the legal sense.
“A trademark may be designated by the following symbols:
- ™ (for an unregistered trade mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand goods)
- ℠ (for an unregistered service mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand services)
- ® (for a registered trademark)
A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories, such as those based on color, smell, or sound.
The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark. However, registration is not required. The owner of a common law trademark may also file suit, but an unregistered mark may be protectable only within the geographical area within which it has been used or in geographical areas into which it may be reasonably expected to expand.”
NOTE: The information contained herein is not legal advice.
The content of this posting is intended for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. Legal advice depends on the specific facts and circumstances of each individual’s situation. Those seeking specific legal advice or assistance should contact an attorney.