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FSC Distributes .XXX 'Letter of Notice' for Trademark Holders

FSC Distributes .XXX 'Letter of Notice' for Trademark Holders
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Aug 15, 2011 12:45 PM PDT    Text size: 

CANOGA PARK, Calif. — The Free Speech Coalition is distributing a letter template for online adult operators to send ICM Registry in their attempts to demand trademarks be protected from third parties attempting to acquire .XXX domains.

The FSC advocates that the letters be sent directly to ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley, so that .XXX operators are put "on notice concerning any infringement of trademarks."

“This template provides adult businesses which do not want the risk of participating in the precarious .XXX experiment with a path to protect their intellectual property and valuable brands,” said Jeffrey Douglas, the FSC's board chair and an industry attorney. “This template should be discussed with their lawyers and adapted to their needs, but it can be a valuable tool to prevent the damage to their long developed good will and valuable web names.”

The three-page template letter, called a “letter of notice,” informs ICM Registry – that the sender will consider any infringement on their trademark as "potentially actionable."

It goes on to state concerns about potential antitrust issues and unfair businesses practices on the part of ICM, as well as the certainty of cyber-squatting and other exploitation of established trademarks in the .XXX domain.

FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said that only 20 percent of businesses registered for .XXX domains are adult-related and that there is a problem with blocking practices in the "sunrise" period.

Duke calls the blocking practices “inadequate” and that ICM Registry is not relieved of liability in the event of trademark infringement or other intellectual property violations.

“FSC is inviting adult businesses to put ICM Registry on notice that they do not have permission to sell the .XXX version of their trademarked names and brands,”  FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said. “It is critical that ICM Registry understand that the adult community will not tolerate ICM’s business model, which is built on frightening existing adult companies into paying ICM in order to protect their brand and trademark.”

Duke noted that Hustler, Manwin, Pink Visual and AEBN already have put ICM Registry on notice that they won't tolerate trademark infringement from third parties.

The letter template is available for download below, as well as the FSC website and blog.

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