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Adult-Themed Domain Blocks - Discount Expires December 31, 2019

A new adult-themed domain name blocking mechanism has announced a promotional price incentive that expires on December 31, 2019. We recommend considering this option for your most valuable marks.

Our firm is a Trademark Clearing House Agent 
In 2011 we assisted many clients in purchasing 10-year .XXX domain blocks. The .XXX block kept the exact .XXX domain out of third party hands at a lower price than defensively registering the domain. The current block will expire in 2021.

ICM, the registry that offered the original defensive block, has now developed two new blocks that will replace the original .XXX block. The new blocks are called Adult Block and Adult Block+. The new blocks will cover four TLDs, .XXX, .PORN, .ADULT, and .SEX, and will be available in 1, 3, 5 or 10 year terms.

The benefits and differences of each block are shown below:

ADULT BLOCK (this is most similar to the current .XXX block):

    •   Blocks the label (i.e. the exact mark) across all 4 TLDs
Includes premium domain name blocking.  Premium domains are those domains deemed more valuable and thus more costly by the domain name registry
Automatically blocks domains as they become available (for example, if a third party does not renew the domain)
    • Price per trademark: 1 year $349; 3 years $999; 5 years $1599; 10 years $3199


Blocks the label (i.e. the exact mark) across all 4 TLDs, and also blocks the Signed Mark Data (“SMD “) variations (this means it would block the hyphenated versions of most multi-word trademarks already recorded with the TMCH)
    • Includes premium domain name blocking
    • Automatically blocks domains when they become available

Includes Unicode variant blocking (use of similar characters from a different alphabet) and homographic protection (e.g. visually similar characters, for example, I & l & ĺ (the uppercase i , lowercase letter L and lowercase L with acute) or zero and zer0)
Price per trademark: 1 year $799; 3 years $2299; 5 years $3799, 10 years $7499 (Promo price through end of 2019 for 10 years is $3999)

Neither block impacts domains already in third party hands, unless the third party allows the domain to lapse.

The registry is offering a price incentive to roll marks covered by the current .XXX block over to the new blocks. Specifically, before December 31, 2019 the cost of a 10 year Adult Block+ is just over half the posted price. Also, prior to December 31, 2019, there is no requirement to obtain a recordal with the TMCH and subsequent issuance of a “Signed Mark Data” (“SMD”) file, if one already holds an .XXX block.

Holders of a current .XXX block who do nothing prior to the block’s December 31, 2021 expiration will be automatically converted to a 1-Year AdultBlock product (plus a $150 validation fee). .XXX block holders can opt-out of this automatic conversion prior to December 31, 2021. Opting out will leave formerly blocked .XXX domains available for registration on a first come, first served basis.

Our Recommendation
We recommend our clients consider signing up for Adult Block+ because it offers broader protection than the current .XXX block, both in terms of the TLDs covered (including .PORN, .SEX and .ADULT) as well as the variant coverage.

Of course, acting now in essence forfeits the last two years of .XXX protection for which .XXX block holders have already paid (the cost of the .XXX block was roughly $200 for 10 years). We believe this forfeiture is justified in many cases by the additional protection provided and cost savings as compared to defensive registration. Specifically, purchasing the AdultBlock+ costs less than if a trademark owner defensively registered just the run-together versions of a multi-word trademark. Defensively registering OURTRADEMARK.PORN, OURTRADEMARK.SEX, OURTRADEMARK.ADULT and OURTRADEMARK.XXX costs $520 per year through a leading registrar or $5200 for 10 years. This cost is more than the $3999 for the Adult Block+ and it does not cover variants such as OUR-TRADEMARK.ADULT or 0URTRADEMARK.ADULT (with a zero in place of the O).

Please contact us if you would like advice regarding your company’s trademarks and the new adult domain name blocking mechanisms.

Tags: Intellectual Property, Trademark

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