The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of disputes regarding the registration of internet domain names. The UDRP currently applies to all .aero, .asia, .biz, .cat, .com, .coop, .info, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .name, .net, .org, .post, .pro, .tel and .travel top-level domains, and some country code top-level domains. The full list of the processes for the top level domains can be accessed here.
A complainant in a UDRP proceeding must establish three elements to succeed:
- The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
- The registrant does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
- The registrant registered the domain name and is using it in “bad faith”.
In a UDRP proceeding, a panel will consider several non-exclusive factors to assess bad faith, such as:
- Whether the registrant registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark;
- Whether the registrant registered the domain name to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, if the domain name owner has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; and
- Whether the registrant registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
- Whether by using the domain name, the registrant has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to the registrant’s website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark.
There are several providers of UDRP dispute resolution processes; namely: The Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC), National Arbitration Forum (NAF), World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Czech Arbitration Court, Arbitration Center for Internet Disputes and The Arab Center for Dispute Resolution (ACDR).
Although the panels in UDRP decisions are not bound by decisions of previous panels a body of case work has developed. WIPO provides the “WIPO Overview 2.0” as a guide for how previous panels have handled certain aspects of the UDRP.