The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, also known as the UDRP is a policy every Registrant agrees to when purchasing a domain name and defines how domain name disputes are managed and decided. The UDRP process applies to top-level domains such as .biz, .com, .info, and .org.  The full UDRP policy can be found here.

By signing the mandatory Domain Name Purchase Agreement when purchasing a domain, registrants “represent and warrant” that the registration “will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party,” and agree to an arbitration-like proceeding if such a claim should arise.

The Key Elements to UDRP Success?

UDRP is designed to protect brands and trademark holders from domain name abuse and bad faith registrations. In order to win a UDRP, you would need to submit a complaint to a DRP Provider and prove the following:

  • That the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
  • The respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
  • The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith by the respondent.

Key Steps in the UDRP process?

  1. Develop your complaint.   To be successful a complainant must prove bad faith and it is essential to construct your complaint around the elements mentioned above.  The UDRP is a very finicky policy with lots of trap doors.  Inexperienced lawyers will often mistakenly assume the same rules that apply to trademark law apply to the UDRP, which in some cases is incorrect.  Using an experienced UDRP professional to assess and draft your complaint can save you a lot of time and ensure that you avoid the UDRP trap doors.
  2. Submit your complaint (Day 0).  Your complaint is then submitted through the NAF or WIPO. The provider will review the complaint for compliance with the UDRP rules.
  3. Complaint forwarded to current domain holder (Day 3). If the complaint is compliant, it will be sent to the current domain holder (Respondent) via the contact details on the Whois Database.  They have 20 days to respond to your complaint.
  4. Registrar notified (Day 3).  The Registrar in question is also notified of the complaint.
  5. Response expiration (Day 23).  If the Respondent doesn’t respond within 20 days of receiving your complaint, they will be deemed to have defaulted.
  6. Panel Appointed (Day 28).  Five days later the DRP Provider will appoint a panel to review the complaint.
  7. Decision (Day 42).  The Panel have 14 days to consider the complaint and make a decision.
  8. Notification (Day 45).  The Panel has three days to notify the Complainant, the Respondent and the Registrar in question.
  9. Domain Transfer.  If successful, The Registrar then has 10 days to transfer the domain name to the Complainant.

Is UDRP the best option for you?

The UDRP process should be used  when all other options have been exhausted.  Each domain name issue is different.  Some scenarios may warrant a domain name abuse report when the existing Registrar or ISP will delete the domain name on the grounds of domain name abuse.  Other scenarios may require some direct communication with the existing domain name holder and often domain names can be amicably transferred or cancelled.  However, where there is a clear IP infringement, bad faith can be proven and the existing Registrant is not cooperative then UDRP is an inexpensive method to recover the domain name compared to going through the courts.

brandsec’s domain name dispute services cover common domain names spaces from .com to .com.au to obscure domain name spaces in Europe, Asia, Africa and America including documentation, end to end communication and dispute management.

With a track record of hundreds of successful domain name disputes, our global team are leaders in domain name disputes and you can rest assured that your interests will be well represented.

Contact us to learn how we can help.