Sex.com - The Value of A Domain Name
FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.
Sex sells, right? And that is true when it comes to domain names, and in particular the domain name sex.com, which reportedly just sold for $13 million.
Adult content always has been at the monetary forefront of technological advances. Still photography long ago, video recordings later, and online images/action more recently all began with people willing to pay for sexually oriented material.
Domain names obviously are important, in that they draw Internet traffic from search engines to particular Web sites. Domain names that include trademarks are valuable to the trademark holders who hope to benefit from their brand and the goodwill associated with their trademarks. And the Anti-Cyber Squatting Consumer Protection Act allows trademark holders to seek relief from others who improperly include the trademarks of the trademark holders in specific domain names.
And domain names that contain generic terms like "bank" or "loan" also
can have tremendous value, if those common terms are frequently used in
search engines and bring Internet traffic to domain names that
incorporate those terms.
Thus, not surprisingly, the generic and valuable domain name sex.com has
had a very interesting history, which has included various legal and
financial proceedings. And now the most recent owner of sex.com, Escom
LLC, has sold the domain name to Clover Holdings Ltd. for the
aforementioned tidy sum of $13 million, according to The Register.
It remains to be seen (if you want to see) what becomes of sex.com and
the content that will be posted on the site. The term "sex" reportedly
is the most searched term on the Internet, so undoubtedly the domain
name will generate tremendous Internet traffic going forward.
Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP (http://www.duanemorris.com) where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line.
This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.