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WIPO and domain names

Written by Michael Coyle on 25 April 2014

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For whatever reason, if you have a domain name dispute you need to file a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Centre.


A structured skeleton complaint can be found online and the complaint begins with the parties to the procedure being identified at the top of the complaint form.

Details of the domain name(s) and registrar(s) are then provided.

Then the factual and legal grounds for the complaint should be listed which include a history of the company making the complaint, a history of use - any unregistered trade mark rights acquired through use, proof of any registered trade marks etc.  This information should all be backed up by relevant case law, appropriate references to the Trade Marks Act 1994 (‘the Act’), appropriate references to the relevant WIPO/ICANN policies and annexed where necessary.

Once all rights have been claimed the complainant should provide for why the respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name(s), again all backed up by relevant case law, appropriate references to the Act, appropriate references to the relevant WIPO/ICANN policies and annexed where necessary.

The remedies requested should be identified and the number of members required for the administrative panel should be provided (see different cost prices below).

The complaint is submitted for a decision in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDNP), approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on October 24, 1999, the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, approved by ICANN on October 30, 2009, and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
Once the complaint is submitted to WIPO the domain name 'lockdown' procedure is as follows:
(1) The relevant domain name Registrar will be notified within 48 hours of the Complaint.
(2) The Registrar will usually act on the complaint within 24 hours preventing any further actions on the account.
(3) WIPO will conduct the necessary admin formalities within 5 days.
(4) The respondents will be notified by the Registrar who will be given 20 working days to respond.
(5) A panel of 1 or 3 members will be appointed by WIPO who will decide the case within 14 days from appointment. This is decided by the Complainant.  1 panellist costs 1,500.00 Euro, 3 panellists cost 4,000.00 Euro.
(6) WIPO will notify the Complainant, Respondent and Registrar of its decision.
(7) Decision will be implemented by the Registrar.

As above, a complaint will should contain details of each party and their representatives, the domain name and registrar, language, jurisdiction and legal grounds of proceedings, remedies requested, evidence and payment.

In order to fill out a WIPO complaint it will be helpful to refer to the following:
UDNP Policy
<http://www.icann.org/en/dndr/udrp/policy.htm>
Rules for UDNP
<http://www.icann.org/en/dndr/udrp/uniform-rules.htm>
WIPO supplemental rules
http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/supplemental/eudrp/#4 <http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/supplemental/eudrp/>

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Michael Coyle quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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