Major UK companies still not blocking porn namesakes

The XXX suffix was launched in a staged manner to help companies protect their brand names. Its ‘sunrise’ phase of 28 days, designed to allow companies to register domains containing their trademarks, ended last October. The ‘landrush’ phase, during which a closed group of companies can register generic terms  that aren’t trademarks, ran from 8 November to 25 November. On 6 December 2011 dotXXX entered General Availability.

By mid-January 2012 Richard Branson was forced to take action against the owners of the new domain richardbranson.xxx. It is not him; but it shows how quickly ‘enterprising’ merchants will take advantage of the process known as cybersquatting. This involves registering a famous name as part (or in this case, all) of a new domain in order to gain credence from that name.

The negative effect of having either your personal name, company name, or brand name associated with a porn site is obvious. It happened to Richard Branson, who is currently trying to regain his name via the process known as ICANN’s Dispute Resolution. It is not certain that he will succeed. Fox is also trying to annul foxstudios.xxx.

But despite this lengthy launch process, and despite the publicity over Richard Branson, UK web hosting company daily.co.uk has shown that 58% of the UK’s 100 largest privately owned companies and 90% of the UK’s 100 fastest growing companies have failed to protect their bands against cybersquatting dotXXX registrations. ‘Virgin’, unsurprisingly, has now been protected.

 

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