Richard Branson wins rights to .xxx domain name

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Branson wins battle for .xxx domain name

Richard Branson has succeeded in his battle to control the domain name following months of dispute.

Australian Sean Truman registered soon after .xxx domains were made available for purchase on 6 December 2011. His ownership prevented Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin business empire, from possessing the name when Virgin went to register the .xxx suffix four days after general release.

As a result of Truman's purchase, Virgin filed an application to the National Arbitration Forum (NAF), the company that deals with disputes regarding domain names. Truman argued that he registered the .xxx domain name as a souvenir due to his admiration for the tycoon.

As a result of the tribunal, it was ordered that the rights to the domain name should be handed to Virgin. The NAF ruled that: "The selection of a Domain Name by the Respondent that is so obviously connected with such a well-known name and service by someone with no connection suggests opportunistic bad faith."

The online presence of brands

Following the launch of .xxx, businesses and public figures have been buying the rights to the domain names related to their brand. Claiming ownership of the .xxx suffixes enables companies to protect their reputation as they can prevent others from posting potentially harmful content which could inevitably damage their brand.

Kleon West, business development manager at theEword, said that: "Purchasing relevant .xxx domain names and redirecting searchers to the brand's site is essential for businesses and public figures looking to protect themselves from cybersquatters."