Getting back your .com domain name through UDRP

Getting back your .com domain name through UDRP

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In the present ever-evolving internet age, domain names have become an indispensable part of any business entity. Just as trademarks symbolize the brand name of a business or a product, domain names identifies or locates a business or a brand through the virtual world.

With domains like iCloud.com and Fb.com selling for around 6-9 million US dollars, the importance accredited to domain names is quite evident. Domain name system and disputes are administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy

The provisions, fee structure and entire procedure with respect to domain name dispute under INDRP differ from that of UDRP. The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a process established by ICANN for the resolution of disputes regarding the registration of internet domain names. Where INDRP deals only with .in domain names, UDRP applies to all generic top level domains, a few country code top-level domains (ccTLD), and some legacy top level domains (.com, .net).

A UDRP complaint can be filed under one of the many dispute-resolution service providers approved by ICANN, which includes WIPO Arbitration and Mediation (Center). WIPO provides with two extremely user-friendly options for filing a UDRP complaint:

  • Send the complaint as an email attachment to disputes@wipo.int (WIPO also provides a model compliant in the word document for this purpose) or,
  • Fill in and directly submit an online generated complaint form.

The procedure:

  • The complaint along with the annexes must be submitted electronically through email.
  • File size limitation: each email communication- not more than 10 MB; each individual file/attachment- not more than 10MB, the entire complaint along with annexes not more than 50 MB. (If attachments are larger than 10 MB, they can be sent via separate emails.)
  • A complainant need not provide a copy of the complaint to the Respondent. The Complainant should however provide a copy of the complaint to the concerned registrar at the same time as he submits his complaint to the Center.
  • On receipt of the complaint, the Center shall forward the complaint electronically to the Respondent. The Center shall also forward Written Notice of the complaint to the Respondent.
  • Locking of the disputed domain– Once a complaint is filed, the Center requests the concerned registrar to “lock” the disputed domain name so that the domain name will not be transferred to another registrant during the UDRP proceeding.
  • Within two business days of receiving the Center’s request, the registrar must confirm to the Center that a lock has been applied and that the disputed domain name will remain locked during the pendency of the UDRP proceeding.

Payment:

Single Panellist:

  • USD 1500 (1-5 domains)
  • USD 2000 (6-10 domains)
  • More than 10 domains, the fee will be decided in consultation with the WIPO Center

Three Panellist:

  • USD 4000 (1-5 domains)
  • USD 5000 (6-10 domains)
  • More than 10 domains, the fee will be decided in consultation with the WIPO Center

Payments can be made by means of Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Bank draft/check.

Grounds for the complaint:

  • The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights.
  • The registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
  • The registrant registered and is using the domain name in bad faith.

Remedies available:

The remedies available to a complainant will be limited to the cancellation of the disputed domain name or the transfer/ change of the disputed domain name registration to the complainant.

Time Duration

  • Within 24 working hours, the Center shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint.
  • Formalities compliances review is done by the Center and deficiencies in the complaint if any is notified. The complainant ought to rectify the deficiencies within 5 working days.
  • Given the circumstances that there are no deficiencies in the complaint, the administrative proceedings shall commence within 3 days from the date of filing.
  • The respondent shall file his response to the complaint within 20 calendar days from the date of commencement of administrative proceedings.
  • On receipt of the response, Center shall appoint the administrative panel or either 1 or 3 members.
  • The Panel is required to forward its decision to the Center within 14 days from its appointment.
  • Within 3 days of receipt, the Center shall forward Panel’s decision to the parties, ICANN and concerned Registrars.
  • On receipt of the Panel’s decision in favour of the complainant, the Registrar is required to implement the same within 10 business days, unless the Respondent notifies that he has commenced a lawsuit against the same matter.

The Administrative Procedure normally should be completed within 60 days of the date the WIPO Center receives the Complaint.

Conclusion

The importance of domain names has increased tremendously with the businesses taking their brand to the virtual world. Internet is by far the fastest and most popular medium for any business to accelerate their global presence, and hence it is highly imperative that domain names are protected as trademarks and other intellectual property rights.

“Domains have and will continue to go up in value faster than any other commodity ever known to man” – Bill Gates

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