Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

General

Years ago, ICANN, the international caretaker of the DNS, developed an alternative dispute resolution policy (UDRP) for the resolution domain name disputes in the so called gTLDs. These are TLD zones of a generic nature, such as .com, .org and .net.

The introduction of new gTLDs (including .vlaanderen and .brussels) means that the UDRP procedure also extends to these new domain names.

The UDRP procedure is nearly identical to the existing ADR procedure for .be domain names. The latter was originally developed based on the UDRP rules.

ICANN itself doesn't manage any disputes under the UDRP, but trusts the management to a number of UDRP providers. Much like how Cepina acts for the .be dispute resolution, these UDRP providers will follow up on the whole dispute and take care of the administrative and judicial settlement. The most relevant UDRP providers for Belgian litigants are: WIPO, National Arbitration Forum and Czech Arbitration Court. The full list of approved URDP providers can be found here: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/providers-6d-2012-02-25-en

Registrants of .vlaanderen or .brussels domain names agreed to participate in good order to the UDRP procedures raised against them and the possible results when they accepted the terms and conditions.

Every stakeholder can start the UDRP procedure at one of the approved UDRP providers to resolve a dispute concerning a .vlaanderen or .brussels domain name. The dispute will be judged by an independent juridical expert in the matter (Panelist) or a group of 3 experts (Panel). The expert or the group can decide to delete the domain name, of to transfer it to the plaintiff.

An overview of the URDP policy can be found here:

https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/udrp-2012-02-25-en

https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/policy-2012-02-25-en

https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/rules-be-2012-02-25-en

Receptivity and well-foundedness of domain name disputes

A complaint from a third party against the .vlaanderen or .brussels registrant will only be taken into care by the UDRP provider if the complaint was filed according to the conditions and after payment of the costs for the procedure.

To obtain the transfer of a domain name, three cumulative conditions must be proven:

  • The domain name is identical to, or similar to the point of confusing with, a brand name to which the plaintiff owns the rights; and
  • the registrant does not have any rights or legitimate interests regarding the domain name; and
  • the domain name was registered and used by the registrant in bad faith.

 

Costs of the procedure

The costs of the procedure are for the account of the plaintiff who starts the procedure. The costs depend on the number of domain names that are the subject of the complaint, the choice for one single expert of a group of expert and the specific UDRP provider of the plaintiff's choice.

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

ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit organisation that is responsible worldwide for managing domain names.

registrant

Domain owner, person who holds a domain name.

TLD

Top level Domain, refers to the highest level of domain names. In www.dnsbelgium.be is .be the TLD or domain extension. There are two types of domain extensions: country extensions and generic extensions.

DNS

Domain Name System or Domain Name Server. The global DNS is the system and protocol used on the internet to translate domain names into IP addresses and vice versa. 

CEPINA

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation. Working in conjunction with CEPINA, DNS Belgium has developed an Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure (ADR) to deal with disputes relating to .be domain names.

ADR

Alternative Dispute Resolution. Any party with an interest can lodge an application for the alternative dispute resolution with CEPINA to settle a dispute about a .be domain name. The dispute is assessed by an independent Third-Party Decision-Maker, who is a legal expert in the matter. The Third-Party Decider may decide to delete the domain name or to transfer the name to the complainant. Under normal circumstances, the registrant is able to reply once in writing to the complainant's arguments.

UDRP

Uniform domain name dispute resolution policy. Years ago, ICANN, the international caretaker of the DNS, developed an alternative dispute resolution policy (UDRP) for the resolution domain name disputes in the so called gTLDs. These are TLD zones of a generic nature, such as .com, .org and .net.