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The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy

The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a streamlined dispute process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of legal claims by trademark holders against domain owners.  It is administered by either a one or three person panel made up of members of the World Intellectual Property Association (WIPO)  The UDRP currently applies to all .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org top-level domains, and some country code top-level domains through ICANN’s Registry Agreements with each registry which then gets handed down to each domain over through their registration agreement with each respective registry. Domain owners should be aware that refusing to participate in the proceeding could result in the cancellation or transfer of their domain name.  Upon bringing a UDRP claim against a domain owner, a complainant 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 factors to assess whether the domain owner acted in bad faith.  Factors include:

  • 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;
  • Whether the registrant registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; and/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.

View the entire UDRP

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