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The National Arbitration Forum

The National Arbitration Forum is a national and international administrator of alternative dispute resolution services including domain name dispute resolution. They provide parties with an opportunity to resolve disputes with the assistance of a legally trained expert or panel of experts. Their staff coordinates the dispute resolution process, answer parties’ questions, schedule hearings, and manage the flow of information between the parties and their Panelist(s) until a case is decided or dismissed. The National Arbitration Forum provides dispute resolution under many different policies including UDRP, usDRP, and usNRP, among many others.

The domain name dispute process is largely very similar to the WIPO process described above. The National Arbitration Forum outlines the process into eight steps: (I) the complaint is filed,
(II) a deficiency check is performed,
(III) commencement,
(IV) a response is filed,
(V) Additional Submissions Accepted,
(VI) Panel assignment,
(VII) Panel Review, and
(VIII) a decision is issued.

In the first step, a party files a domain name complaint with the National Arbitration Forum in accordance with the appropriate policy (UDRP, usDRP, etc) and Supplemental Rule Set. Once the case is filed, the National Arbitration Forum reviews the complaint for administrative deficiencies. The complainant has five days to bring the complaint into compliance with the rules or it will be dismissed. When the complaint has been processed and accepted, the case commences. Then the respondent has 20 days to file a response with the National Arbitration Forum in accordance with the appropriate policy and supplemental rules. If the respondent does not provide a response, the deciding panel will only consider the complaint. After the response, each party may submit one additional submission. Then, the National Arbitration Forum assigns a panel or arbitrator(s) to hear the case. The panel/arbitrator(s) then reviews the complaint and the response and has discretion to review any additional submissions. Finally, a decision is issued, published, and communicated to the parties, the domain name registrar, and ICANN (or another appropriate internet control body).

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