XXX Domains and How They Affect Your Dental, Medical, and Legal Practice

For Lawyers, Doctors, and Dentists

Page 1 Solutions -
October 6, 2011

Domain names are becoming more and more important to your Internet marketing efforts.  Not only are they part of your brand, but they are also a key factor in the search engine algorithms for Google and Bing.  Most of our clients have domains ending in “.com”.  A few have “.net” or “.org” domain extensions. 

As you may know, the adult entertainment industry will soon have its own domain extension. The extension will be: ".xxx"

The reason that this is important for you to know, is that while your practice and website are not related to the adult industry, nor would you ever use a site with a .xxx extension, there is a chance that someone in the adult industry could use your domain name or business trademark in connection with the .xxx extension.  For example, if someone registered www.yourdentalpracticename.xxx or www.yourlawfirmname.xxx, it would be a legitimate domain name, and they, not you, would own it.

This could greatly affect your practice’s marketing efforts. Imagine if a potential patient or client does a search for your practice and sees www.yourpracticename.xxx as one of the top results? Even though your business is not affiliated with that adult website, it could still reflect poorly on your company and potentially deter business.

There are some fail safes that have been set in place to help with situations like this. There are ways to block the misuse of your business trademark and/or domain name with the .xxx extension and ensure others do not register the name and possibly host a live website with your business trademark or domain name and the .xxx extension.  In order to do this, you must submit an application to the ICM Registry as follows:

If you have a federally registered trademark:

  • To protect your business trademark from being used with the .XXX domain extension, the application period (called Sunrise B) runs from September 7 to October 28.
  • If your trademark is not federally registered, or if you have a current internet site with a domain name:
    • You can apply during the General Availability period or pre-apply now.  This period is available to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis.  The General Availability period opens on December 6, 2011. Note that this period falls after the application period for adult entertainment industry applicants wanting to register and host a live website with an .XXX domain extension.  However, it is the soonest available time that owners of common law trademarks and/or domain name holders can register.  By applying now, your application will not be reviewed until after the General Availability period opens on December 6, however, you will have secured a review at that time.

Do not miss the deadlines for blocking the use of your name by someone in the adult entertainment industry. If you have any questions about how this change can and will affect your practice, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-916-3886.

This information was brought to the attention of Page 1 Solutions by Fairfield and Woods, PC and we felt it was important enough to share with you.

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