Understanding the UDRP Process
In the last few years, disputes and conflicts surrounding domain names have become a common occurrence and are often required to be resolved legally. This article takes a detailed look at the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy aimed at resolving dispute.
Read to find out more.
What Is the UDRP
The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a legal framework established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The UDRP regulates the domain name industry and tends to the resolution of conflicts encountered in the acquisition and use of internet domain names.
The Need for the UDRP
Domain names are identity markers in the virtual world, an internet representation of a personal or business brand’s unique identity. Disputes are bound to occur in the process of acquiring, registering, or transferring domain names; legal rights to a particular domain name might be claimed by two opposing parties.
There have also been cases of inadvertent purchase of stolen domain names or fraudulent registration. A stolen domain name is tantamount and equally important as a stolen physical identity.
A domain name is significant intellectual property, and thus disputes regarding it are required to be resolved through appropriate legal channels, hence the need for the UDRP.
The UDRP caterers for the generic top-level domains, which include the .com, .info, .biz, .net, .org, and the country code top-level domains that have adopted the UDRP Policy.
Understanding the UDRP Process
If you have had your domain stolen, been defrauded in the course of registering a domain name or have been a victim of domain name squatting, or any other form of domain name dispute, you have the right to lay a complaint against the registrant (the one charged with an abusive registration).
The complainant would first hire an accredited UDRP service provider, which could cost between 1000 and 2000 USD. It is important to know that In line with the dispute resolution policy, every complainant, through his resolution service provider, must establish the following:
- The domain name in question is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
- The registrant does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
- The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith [as determined by several factors]
The UDRP proceedings follow in an administrative panel with a thorough consideration of the factors and view the case at hand through the lens of established laws and policies as regards domain name registration and protection.
The final verdict dictates who maintains the legal rights to the domain name in question. The advantage of tendering domain disputes to the UDRP over the customary law is that it is faster and costs less. If the complainant doesn’t get a satisfactory verdict, he or she might go-ahead to challenge the verdict and file a lawsuit against the registrant in a standard court of law.
UDRP is vital in preventing identity theft or in business situations, a theft of clients. It enables the protection of a personal or business domain name. As mentioned above it also caterers for generic top-level domains which include the .com, .info, .biz, .net, .org, and the country code top-level domains that have adopted the UDRP Policy.