Your Trademark Could be Used as an Adult Website

Adult website

Your Trademark Could be Used as an Adult Website

Let’s say you own a trademark; we’ll call it “BRAND.” You own the domain “brand.com.” One day, you receive an email from your colleague with a link to the website “brand.xxx”. Your colleague says, “Someone is using our brand as a porn site! How did this happen? What should we do? Could we have prevented this from happening?” Yes, this can be avoided. There is a simple solution to prevent this exact scenario from happening to you. This solution is also one of Saw’s many services – AdultBlock service.

Backstory

Back in 2011, ICANN approved .xxx for use by the adult industry. The thought was to create a unique, adult-themed extension. This would keep adult content in a particular corner of the internet, away from unsuspecting users. The problem was that this opened the door to the infringement upon well-known brand names under the .xxx extension. In other words, someone could potentially register and operate a porn website under a major brand name. For example, Target.xxx or Nuts.xxx. In 2011, the solution was to allow registered trademark owners to block others from registering trademark infringing domains under the .xxx extension. This was the Sunrise B blocking service.

How Did Sunrise B Work?

Sunrise B participants’ trademarks were blocked from being used in connection with the .xxx extension for ten years. Only domains that matched the registered trademarks exactly were eligible for protection. To protect lookalikes, trademark owners had to defensively register the domains.

Out With Sunrise B, In With AdultBlock

Sunrise B’s 10 year period is set to expire in 2021. AdultBlock will take its place. It is a new, more robust service. In addition to .xxx, AdultBlock also blocks .sex, .adult, and .porn. There is also a premium service, AdultBlock+, which blocks an unlimited number of variations and lookalikes. This means you won’t have to defensively register any adult-themed domain names.

What Should I Do?

If your marks and domains are important to your business, you should consider AdultBlock service. After all, we know how important brand recognition and reputation are in today’s digital world. If you are a current Sunrise B participant, you can easily transfer to AdultBlock service. On the other hand, if you are not a current Sunrise B participant, you will need a registered trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse to be eligible. Go a step further to protect your business by choosing the services of AdultBlock or AdultBlock+. Block premium domain names, labels across all 4 TLDs, domain names as they become available, and variant blocking. Saw will even provide a free audit of how many trademark variants you have, as well as how many matches your label has with your SMD file.  To learn more about AdultBlock and AdultBlock+ and for assistance in choosing the best coverage for your business, please visit https://saw.com/adult-block or contact Paul Thomson at paul@saw.com

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