Protect your brand from the .XXX domain trolls

Out of the hundreds of businesses that have rushed to pre-register with web hosting company Easyspace, it turns out only 20% are from the adult industry.

Sarah Haran, managing director of Easyspace, says: "As we expected, the early indications are that non-adult industry businesses have realised the need to protect trademarks and brands in dot XXX."

The introduction of .XXX domains could result in a troll paradise as opportunists pick up the .XXX versions of existing brand and attempt to charge vast sums to sell it to the brand owner. However, internet overseer Icann is attempting to ensure that the .XXX extensions are not abused.

What small businesses need to know

Registration of the new .XXX domain will take place in a series of controlled phases.

•     Sunrise AT and Sunrise AD (7 Sept - 28 Oct, 2011): This phase is for dedicated members of the adult industry with verifiable trademarks or owners of exact matching domains in other IANA TLDs.

•     Sunrise B (7 Sept - 28 Oct, 2011): This period is specifically for non-adult industry trademark and other IP holders who don't want to register the domain but would like to block in .XXX.

•     Landrush (8 Nov - 25 Nov 2011): Landrush is for members of the adult sponsored community. Applications will not be dealt with on a first come, first served basis. There are no qualification requirements for this phase. Applications for competing names will go to auction.

•     General Availability (from 6 Dec, 2011): This Go live phase is specifically designated for members of the adult Sponsored Community to get regular, resolving names on a first come, first served basis.   Non-members can also get 'non-resolving' names.

Sarah Haran adds: "To increase your chance of securing .XXX it's important to pre-order your preferred domain before General Availability begins."

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