According to industry and mainstream media sources, ICM Registry spokesperson Greg Dumas released information indicating that mega-adult media company Manwin will file an anti-trust suit in federal court over .XXX domains. According to blog TheDomains.com, both ICM (founder of .XXX) and Internet regulatory agency ICANN will be named in the complaint.

Perhaps in an attempt to convey ICM’s confusion around the filing, Dumas claimed to trade publication XBIZ.com that Manwin had approached ICM previously to “negotiate” on domain names and additional unnamed requests.

“It’s also important to know that we had been previously engaged in negotiations with Manwin on domain names and other things that they had requested,” said Dumas. “I’d think a phone call would have worked just as well because litigation is never good for anyone.”

Additionally, Dumas revealed to trade publication AVN.com that ICM’s public relations company had alerted them to the pending complaint.

I thought it was important to proactively send you an email about how our public relations company alerted us to the probable filing today of an anti-trust lawsuit by Manwin against both ICM Registry and ICANN in conjunction with the .XXX domain name,” Dumas told AVN in an email. “Perhaps Manwin filed this lawsuit because they are worried that ICM Registry is creating opportunities for others in the adult industry to have a fair chance to build great brands and businesses in the new .XXX space.”

Reports noted that ICM had not yet received the complaint.

In July, Manwin issued a letter to ICM, demanding that any attempts to register 57 domain names be blocked, in order to protect Manwin brands including Brazzers, Twistys, YouPorn and others. A week after Manwin issued its demands, iconic adult brand Hustler also sent a letter to ICM, demanding that any domain names infringing on Hustler brands be blocked from registration by third parties.

After demand letters had been issued in July, FSC Executive Director Diane Duke commented, “”It is absurd that ICM expects adult businesses to pay ICM not to violate their trademarks,” she said. “ICM has been put on notice.”

Manwin is represented by international law firm Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp.

FSC will update industry members as the story develops.

UPDATE: According to XBIZ.com editors, adult production company Digital Playground has been named as a co-plaintiff in the anti-trust complaint against ICM Registry, ICANN and an additional ten “John Doe” defendants.

A portion of the complaint reads, “[Manwin] and Digital Playground seek redress for monopolistic conduct, price gouging and anticompetitive and unfair practices, broadly harming competition, businesses and consumers, and arising out of the establishment of .XXX …”

FSC’s Duke commented on today’s activity, and stated, “In their lawsuit, Manwin and Digital Playground bring home the points that FSC has stressed all along.  Through .XXX, ICM is engaging in unfair, monopolistic business practices that not only harms adult businesses but also end users and the internet as a whole.  I applaud Manwin and Digital Playground for their insight and leadership.”

(Graphic: Courtesy of rg1024)