By: Mark R. Malek
The .XXX registry is about to be launched and you have until this Friday, October 28, 2011, to take advantage of the “sunrise” period. The sunrise period is a time frame when trademark owners can reserve their trademark, or block registration of their trademark, prior to the .XXX registry being launched. Essentially, the doors to the .XXX registration store are being opened early.
To take advantage of the sunrise period, go to your domain name registrar and see if they are offering online forms for your use. I, personally, am a fan of GoDaddy.com (not because of the Danica Patrick commercials – but I have to admit that they are not so tough to watch). A list of the accredited registrars can be found here. A good bit of information on the process for protecting your trademark prior to the .XXX landrush can be found here.
Remember – you only have until this Friday to ensure that this is taken care of. What happens after Friday you ask? Simple – there is an initial .XXX offering for those who satisfy the criteria for the “Adult Sponsored Community” that begins on November 8. During that time, those who qualify for the “Adult Sponsored Community” can register the .XXX domains that may be left. Everyone else has to wait until December. You can pretty much guarantee that if you have a somewhat famous or otherwise recognizable trademark, it will likely be registered during the initial .XXX offering.
All is not lost if you do not reserve or block your trademark in time. Many people associate the adult entertainment industry negatively. Others, such as myself, would not really appreciate it if someone put anything up on any website that can be identified with my own trademark. In other words, if someone went to TacticalIP.anything, and did not get directed to a blog that has to do with intellectual property law, and was written by the attorneys at Zies Widerman & Malek (or occasionally by our guest authors), I’d be somewhat upset. Sure, it would upset me if someone went to a website that was associated with the TacticalIP trademark and was, instead, directed to adult oriented content, but worse than my feelings would be the damage that could be done to our trademark.
Therefore, trademark owners need to be aware of this period and be sure to protect their trademarks from unauthorized use by anyone. Although the filing fees, and legal fees, can be between about $300 and $500 to take advantage of the sunrise period, those fees pale in comparison to the fees that would be associated with trying to wrestle your trademark away from a person who has registered it on the .XXX registry and associated it with adult entertainment without your authorization.