Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

General information  

ICANN , the international administrator of the DNS, developed a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) years ago for the resolution of domain name disputes in what are known as gTLDs. These are generic top-level domains such as .com, .org and .net. 

The introduction of new gTLDs (including .vlaanderen and .brussels) means that the UDRP applies to these new domain names as well.  

The UDRP procedure is nearly identical to the existing ADR procedure for .be domain names. The latter is in fact based on the UDRP rules.  

Where to go for a UDRP procedure 

ICANN does not manage any disputes under the UDRP but entrusts the management to a number of UDRP providers. As in the case of CEPANI for the .be dispute resolution procedure, the UDRP providers will follow the entire dispute and see to the administrative and legal settlement.

The most relevant UDRP providers for Belgian litigants are:  

The full list of designated UDRP providers is available on the ICANNN website.

By agreeing to the general terms and conditions, registrants of .vlaanderen or .brussels domain names agree to participate in UDRP procedures initiated against them and to accept the possible outcome thereof.  

Every stakeholder can initiate a UDRP procedure with one of the designated UDRP providers. An independent legal expert on the matter or a panel of three experts will rule on the dispute.

The expert of the panel may decide to delete the domain name or to transfer it to the complainant.  

An overview of the UDRP is available here:  

When can a UDRP provider help?

A UDRP provider will deal with complaints against .vlaanderen or .brussels registrants, on condition that you lodge the complaint in accordance with the formal requirements and have paid the procedure fees. To obtain the transfer of the domain name, you must meet three cumulative requirements:  

  • The domain name is identical or corresponds in such a way as to cause confusion with details such as a trade name to which the complainant has the rights.  
  • The registrant has no entitlement to or legitimate in interest in that domain name.  
  • The registrant acted with the intention of causing harm to a third party or of obtaining unwarranted benefit.  

Cost of the procedure  

The costs of the procedure are to be borne by the complainant who initiated the procedure. The costs depend on:

  • the number of domain names that are the subject of the complaint  
  • the choice for one expert or a panel of experts, and 
  • the specific UDRP provider that is to be appointed.   

For a dispute case concerning one domain name that is decided by a single expert, the cost will vary between USD 1,300 and USD 1,500.