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InterNIC FAQs on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

The following is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). It is expected that this list will be updated frequently, so please check back often.

What is the UDRP?

ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) defines how disputes over domain-name registrations are resolved in the global top-level domains (.biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org as well as .aero, .coop, and .museum). The UDRP includes a mandatory, non-binding, low-cost administrative procedure to resolve a certain set of claims — namely, claims of abusive, bad faith registration. This means a bad faith violation of someone else's trademark. In situations other than these, the UDRP provides that disputes must be resolved by traditional means such as voluntary negotiation and lawsuits. The UDRP is part of the Registration Agreement that Internet users sign to register domain names in the global top-level domains. A copy of the policy is available at <http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-policy-24oct99.htm>.

When was the UDRP established?

The UDRP was adopted by ICANN on 26 August 1999. Implementation began when the final policy documents were approved on 24 October 1999.

What top-level domains are covered by the UDRP?

The UDRP applies to the global top-level domains: .aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .net, and .org. The UDRP does not apply to country-code top-level domains, except in a few cases where the local administrator has decided to adopt it. For a useful index of the dispute-resolution policies of the country-code top-level domains, see <http://ecommerce.wipo.int/databases/cctld>.

What are the provisions of the policy?

Under the UDRP, domain-name disputes must generally be resolved in the same way as any other conventional dispute: by mutual agreement, court action, or voluntary arbitration. Without a court order or consent of the registrant, a registrar will not cancel, suspend, or transfer a domain name.
The UDRP also established an administrative procedure for speedy, low-cost resolution of a specific category of disputes: those arising from abusive, bad faith registrations of domain names. In such cases, – commonly called "cybersquatting" – a holder of trademark rights initiates the administrative procedure by filing a complaint with an approved dispute-resolution service provider. In order to have the domain name transferred or cancelled, the trademark holder must establish (1) that he has a legally recognized trademark in a name that is identical or confusingly similar to the domain name; (2) that the current registrant of the domain name has no legitimate rights in the name; and (3) that there has been some evidence of bad faith or abuse. (Please note that this is just a summary of the applicable provisions; please refer to the full text of the policy for details.)

Who are the approved dispute resolution service providers?

For an up-to-date list of approved dispute resolution service providers, please visit <http://www.icann.org/udrp/approved-providers.htm>. Currently, the following providers are accepting new cases: CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution (CPR), National Arbitration Forum (NAF), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). At the end of February 2002, the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) will also begin operations.

How do I file a complaint?

To initiate a UDRP proceeding, a trademark owner should select an approved dispute-resolution provider from the list, and then follow the instructions on the provider's website to submit a complaint.

Does the UDRP apply to personal names?

No, except to the extent such names are protected by trademark law.

Are decisions from the UDRP 's administrative procedeedings published on the web?

Yes, UDRP decisions are available at <http://www.icann.org/udrp/proceedings-list.htm>.

Are historical statistics on past decisions available online?

Yes, UDRP statistics are online at <http://www.icann.org/udrp/proceedings-stat.htm>.

What procedural rules govern the conduct of administrative proceedings under the UDRP?

The "Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy" are available at <http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-rules-29sept99.htm>. Also, each provider has its own supplemental rules, which are available on their respective websites.

How much does it cost to file a complaint with one of the approved providers?

The providers set their own fees, which generally start in the range of US$1,000 to US$2,000 for a single panelist proceeding, but are higher for cases involving multiple domain names, or where one or both parties opt to use a three-member panel to decide the case.

How long does it take to decide a case?

Administrative proceedings under the UDRP generally progress faster than a regular court lawsuit. A decision is typically rendered in about two months.

Where can I find more information about the UDRP?

ICANN's website contains a compilation of links and information relating to the UDRP at <http://www.icann.org/udrp/>.


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This page last updated 15-Jan-2002