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Over Half Of Top UK Companies Have Not Registered .XXX Domain

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Many companies have not protected their trademarks from exploitation by adult-domain squatters

Over half of the UK’s largest companies have not registered their possible .xxx domain to protect their brands’ image from damage, despite registration opening in September last year.

The research, carried out by Web hosting services provider Daily.co.uk, also found that half of the UK’s fastest growing companies had not taken any action.

Safeguarding Trademarks

Companies inside and outside the adult industry had until 28 October last year to register their .xxx domain or pay a one-off exemption fee which would prevent anyone else from using the address. Many companies used this period to safeguard their trademark, but 58 percent of the companies surveyed had yet to do so.

General registration for the domain has been open since December last year, meaning that, in theory, anyone could register a trademark as a domain.

The .xxx domain was approved by the board of directors of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) in June 2010, and is aimed at flagging sexually-explicit material, and keeping children away from online pornography.

The domain has proved popular with 900,000 registrations of interests made during the pre-reservation process. However, there has also been criticism of the venture, with opponents arguing it would create a ‘red light district of the Internet’ and make it easier to censor content.

Others feared that their trademarks would be registered, causing damage to their brand’s reputation. In one high profile case, entrepreuneur Richard Branson took legal action against an individual who was unconnected with his company who registered ‘richardbranson.xxx’.