Disputes involving the top-level domains (TLD) are managed under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). This is a process that was established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a body that is responsible for overseeing a number of Internet related tasks, e.g. overseeing Internet Protocol (IP) address allocation and management of the top-level domain name system.
A complainant who wishes to use the UDRP process must establish:
The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the complainant’s Trade Mark or Service Mark.
The person applying for the domain name (registrant) does not have any legitimate rights to the name.
The registrant is using the domain name in bad faith.
Factors that may lead to a finding of bad faith would be:
The registrant registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting or transferring the domain name to the complainant.
The registrant registered the domain name to prevent the complainant from using their trade mark in a corresponding domain name.
The registrant registered the domain name to disrupt the complainant’s business.
By using the offending domain name, the registrant has attempted to attract Internet users to its site.
In Europe, the management and responsibility of the .eu domain is carried out by European Registry for Internet Domains (EURid).
Disputes involving the .eu domain name can be challenged in a court of any EU Member State, but most disputes are settled using the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. Disputes are heard by the Czech Arbitration Court. Rulings are legally binding.
The Internet registry for United Kingdom Domain Names is Nominet.
The Internet registry for Irish domain names is IEDR.
Niall Tierney has successfully acted on behalf of complainants in UDRP disputes. If you would like to challenge the registration of a conflicting domain name or are subject to a UDRP complaint, please contact us for advice and assistance.