As it approaches the one million mark for .XXX domain name expressions of interest, ICM Registry has announced it will be extending its Sunrise period, running for 50 days from 7 September, due to the volume of prelaunch interest in the domain.
ICM Registry has received nearly 900,000 expressions of interest for .XXX domain names during its pre-reservation process.
The âSunriseâ period, due to commence in fifty days time, has been designed to both permit domain registration from members in the adult entertainment business, and to assist brand managers from other industries who want to protect their trademarks ahead of wider availability.
The new Sunrise period will now run for 50 days commencing 7 September 2011 and finishing on 28 October 2011. The extended period will enable ICM Registry to receive and process all applications from existing domain name and trademark owners who have applied to either opt their brand in or out of the .XXX registry.
While ICM Registry holds responsibility for administering the .XXX domain name, it is working closely with individual domain registrars – the vendors handling the registration and exemption process for .XXX. The one-off fee to exempt, set by individual registrars, provides businesses with a cost-effective solution which to permanently safeguard their Intellectual Property (IP) within the .XXX registry. This service, which ensures web addresses are not registered by others at a later date, is without annual fees, and will only be available to rights owners during the restricted Sunrise period.
âWe believe the Sunrise period offers businesses a comprehensive rights protection mechanism where they can protect their brands and trademarks,â said Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry. âWe are advising businesses to either opt-in or opt-out and want to give them the best opportunity to do so at the launch of our new TLD. Given the high level of interest in the domain, we see that many businesses wish to be proactive in avoiding any brand conflicts.â
After the close of Sunrise, a Landrush period will run for 18 days where businesses from the adult entertainment industry will have premium access to remaining .XXX domains, following which general availability will ensue. Sunrise applicants using registered marks to qualify will be required to own a subsisting trade or service mark registration of national effect.
âAlthough the .XXX extension is targeted at the adult entertainment industry, brand owners from any industry will need to be aware of its launch,â said Jonathan Robinson, Director, IPRota. âThe Sunrise period offers brand managers a unique opportunity to secure relevant trademarked terms ahead of wider availability, effectively safeguarding them.â
âWe wanted to take an innovative approach to the launch of .XXX and show best practice at all stages including investing in a global awareness campaign,â said Lawley. âICM Registry believes in consumer choice, and while we believe the .XXX will satisfy the needs of the sponsored community, we recognise there is also an audience who would like to opt-out and safeguard their IP prior to the domain going liveâ.
The pre-reservation for .XXX is now closed, with on-going enquiries being handled by ICANN-accredited registrars.