Internet Domain Name Disputes

On October 24, 1999, the ICANN Board adopted a set of Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the UDRP Rules) setting out the procedures and other requirements for each stage of the dispute resolution administrative procedure. The procedure is administered by dispute resolution service providers accredited by ICANN.


According to Paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP Policy, the UDRP Administrative Procedure is only available for disputes concerning an alleged abusive registration of a domain name; that is, which meet the following criteria:


(i) the domain name registered by the domain name registrant is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant (the person or entity bringing the complaint) has rights; and

(ii) the domain name registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name in question; and

(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.


The main advantage of the UDRP Administrative Procedure is that it typically provides a faster and cheaper way to resolve a dispute regarding the registration and use of an Internet domain name than going to court. In addition, the procedures are considerably more informal than litigation and the decision-makers are experts in such areas as international trademark law, domain name issues, electronic commerce, the Internet and dispute resolution. It is also international in scope: it provides a single mechanism for resolving a domain name dispute regardless of where the registrar or the domain name holder or the complainant are located.