By Marcus Leach

From Wednesday the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has pressed the button on the first stage for roll out of .xxx domains.

This first stage from today to 28th October 2011 is a sunrise period giving priority for trade mark owners in the adult industry to apply to register their word marks as XXX domains.

Alternatively trade mark owners not in the adult industry can assert their word marks and apply to block a third party registering a XXX domain name which includes their own word mark with any “negative” results that may follow on.

Thereafter the second stage is a landrush period from 8th November to 25th November followed by a final stage of general availability from 6th December.

If you are in the adult entertainment industry or another adult industry then clearly it’s in your interests to apply for registration but if not then what’s the issue? Well you don’t need to apply to register a XXX domain yourself as that may have “negative” results for you but the viable alternative of applying to block third party registration means the XXX domain is not available or “reserved for use” for life of the domain.

The commercial advantage of the application to block is that for a relatively small one off fee you do not then have the time and cost of having to bring litigation or invoking the domain dispute resolution procedure post third party registration.