Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policies

Photo Robert Kloosterhuis
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence
Source Wikipedia

Jane Lambert

15 July 2017

Nearly every domain name registry has a policy for resolving disputes between trade mark owners and domain name holders through alternative dispute resolution. The best known is ICANN's UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) which I discussed in Domain Name Disputes.

Most of those policies have the following hallmarks:-
  • These procedures can be used only for cybersquatting cases.
  • Abuse of process can often result in censure and even sanctions. 
  • Proceedings are conducted over the internet on written evidence and argument only.
  • The costs are very modest compared to the costs of litigation but they are borne mainly by the complainant and are irrecoverable.
  • Decisions are made within a few weeks of the lodging of a complaint.
  • Most cases result in a finding in favour of the complainant and an order for the transfer or cancellation of the disputed domain name.
  • Registrars are contractually bound to implement such orders unless a court intervenes.
  • There are very few circumstances in which a court will intervene in these procedures.
The UDRP is used for all gTLD and has been followed by most ccTLD registries though with local variations in some cases. EURid has its own ADR Rules for the ".eu" top level domain space but its effect is substantially the same as the UDRP. Nominet has a substantially different policy for the ".uk" ccTLD in that it provides for mediation, a summary procedure and an appeal. Several countries with close links to the UK such as the Isle of Man and New Zealand have adopted the British model.

The following table summarizes the various policies that are in force around the world.

Top Level Domain
.aero, .asia, .biz, .cat, .com, .coop, .info, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .name, .net, .org, .pro, .tel and travel and all new .gTLD
Countries with dispute resolution policies similar to the UDRP
.ac, ,ae, .ag, .ao, .as. .au, ,bn, bo, br, .bs, .bz, .cc, .cd, .ch, .co, .cr, .cy, ,dj, .do, .ec, .es, .fj, .fm, .fr, .gd, .gq, ,gt, .hk, .hn, .ie, .io, .ir, .ki, .la, .lc, .li, .ma, .md, .me, .mp, .,mw, .nl, .nr, .nu, .pa, .pe, ,ph, ,pk, .pl, .pm, .pn, .pr, .pw, .qa, .re, .ro, .sc, .se. .sh, .si. .so, .tf, .tj,.tk, ,t,. .tt, .tv, .tz, .ug, .us, .ve, .vg, .wf, .ws, .yt
Modified UDRP
United Kingdom ccTLD
Isle of Man ccTLF
New Zealand
European Union
Further Reading


Jane Lambert


Jane Lambert   +44 (0)20 7404 5252