UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy)
The UDRP is an alternative dispute resolution process for the registration and use of top level domain names (.com, .biz, .info, .mobi, .net, .org…) as well as those corresponding to country codes that have voluntarily adopted the UDRP.
Provided that the domain name extension in question allows it, any person or company may file a UDRP complaint and request the transfer or cancellation of a registered domain name.
The complaint may be filed with any approved dispute resolution institution, in particular depending on the extension of the domain name, and in particular, if necessary, before the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), CIIDRC (Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre), ADNDRC (Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre), ACDR (Arab Center for Dispute Resolution) or the CAC (Czech Arbitration Court).
The procedure is less formal than a legal action, faster and less expensive. In any event, recourse to a UDRP procedure does not preclude either the defendant or the claimant from bringing the dispute before a competent court.
More specifically, the UDRP is only applicable to a dispute concerning an accusation of abusive registration of a domain name based on the following criteria:
- The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the applicant has rights;
- The domain name holder has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name;
- The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
“You must submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a “complainant”) asserts to the applicable provider, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure,
(i) that your domain name is identical to, or confusingly similar to, a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
(iii) that your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
During the administrative proceedings, the complainant must prove the truth of each of these assertions.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
Case law focus
As an example, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was able to refuse to respond favorably to a UDRP complaint by stating that
“There are several indications that the Petitioner acted in bad faith. On the face of the record, it is hardly credible that the Complainant did not know or should not have known that it could not establish the Respondents’ lack of legitimate interests or the Respondents’ bad faith registration and use of at least one of the Domain Names. ”
WIPO, February 14, 2013, No. D2012-2455