Don’t Miss The Sunrise — Blocking Requests for New Adult Content Top-Level Domain Names

Earlier this year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved ".xxx" as a new top-level domain name space for websites intended for adult content. A so-called "Sunrise B" period has been established for the new .xxx domain which ends on October 28, 2011. Until then, registered trademark owners may apply to have their trademark blocked from being purchased and used by others in the new adult content .xxx domain name space, for an initial period of 10 years. All brand owners are well advised to consider the appropriateness of making a blocking request for their registered trademarks before the expiry of this Sunrise B period. After October 28, these new .xxx domain names become available for registration by the general public: that is, your trademark could become attached to a .xxx domain name. The costs associated with making these blocking requests are low. Our search of several major domain name registrars identified application fees ranging from US$200 to US$400 for filing these requests. If you are interested in reviewing what trademarks in your portfolio you should consider trying to block, or would like further information on this process, please contact Beth Macdonald in Vancouver, Alfred MacchioneIan Bies or Dan Glover in Toronto, or Véronique Wattiez Larose in Montréal.