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Domain name disputes


A domain name dispute is a conflict that arises when more than one individual or group believes it has the right to register a specific domain name. Most commonly a domain name dispute would occur when a domain name similar to a registered trademark is registered by an individual or organization who is not the trademark owner.

A trademark holder that considers a domain name registration to infringe on its trademark rights may initiate a proceeding under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP"). Some countries also have specific laws against cybersquatting beyond the normal rules of trademark law. The United States, for example, has the U.S. Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) of 1999.

ICANN adopted its UDRP in August 1999 and implemented the "Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Policy" (the "Rules") approved in October 1999. In general terms, the policy requires a domain name registrar to cancel, transfer, or otherwise make changes to a domain name registration only when it receives instructions from the registrant, an order from a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction, or a decision of and administrative panel.

Under the standard dispute clause of the Terms and Conditions for the registration of a generic top-level domain, or "gTLD," name, the registrant must submit to such proceedings.The UDRP permits complainants to file a case with a resolution service provider (typically WIPO, or the National Arbitration Foundation, NAF), specifying, mainly, the domain name in question, the respondent or holder of the domain name, the registrar with whom the domain name was registered and the grounds for the complaint. Such grounds include, as their central criteria, the way in which the domain name is identical or similar to a trademark to which the complainant has rights; why the respondent should be considered as having no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name that is the subject of the complaint; and why the domain name should be considered as having been registered and used in bad faith. The respondent is offered the opportunity to defend itself against the allegations. The provider (eg: WIPO or NAF) then appoints one or more panelists who decide whether or not the domain(s) should be transferred.

Contact our office via email at, phone (201) 645-5616 or live chat for a free consultation with the Intellectual Property Attorney regarding your domain name issue.


FAQ's about domain names

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Phone: 1 (201) 645-5616



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