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Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy

The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution (UDRP) Policy is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of disputes involving the registration of Internet domain names. The UDRP applies to general top-level domains (gTLDs) and some country code top-level domains (ccTLD). The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recommended the UDRP to ICANN. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, which administers domain name dispute resolution, is an internationally recognized resolution service for challenges related to cybersquatting.

In both ICANN and WIPO, independent panels appointed by the organization decide disputes under the UDRP. Those Panels decide on the basis of the submitted complaint and response, without an oral hearing. The panel decides whether disputed domain name registration should be cancelled or transferred to the complainant. If the complaint is denied, the appropriate registrar (the entity with which the respondent registered the domain name) will unlock the domain name for the benefit of the respondent.

The UDRP sets forth the type of disputes for which a person is required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding. A third party (complainant) asserts to an administrative-dispute-resolution service provider (Provider) that:

1) a person’s domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights,

2) a person has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and

3) a person’s domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The complainant must prove each of the three elements.

In regards to a domain name being registered and used in bad faith, the following is evidence of such:

1) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name;

2) you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct;

3) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

4) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.

The following findings by the Administrative Panel presiding over the proceeding shall demonstrate a person’s rights or legitimate interest to a domain name:

1) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services;

2) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

3) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

The remedies available to a complainant pursuant to any proceeding before an Administrative Panel shall be limited to requiring the cancellation of the domain name or the transfer of the domain name registration to the complainant.

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