Domain Name Claims and Defenses (UDRP)

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When a registrant chooses a domain name, the registrant must “represent and warrant” that registering the name “will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party”, and agree to participate in an arbitration-like proceeding in the case that any third party assert such a claim.  This process is known as the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).

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 first case determined under UDRP was World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc v. Michael Bosman, involving the domain name

A complainant in a UDRP proceeding must establish three elements to succeed:

  • The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark of another;
  • The registrant of the domain does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
  • The domain name has been registered and the domain name is being used in “bad faith”.

In a UDRP proceeding, a panel will consider several non-exclusive factors to assess bad faith, such as:

  •  Was the domain name registered primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the true owner of the trademark;
  • Was the domain registered to prevent the owner of the trademark from acquiring the mark in a corresponding domain name, if the domain name owner has engaged in a pattern of such conduct;
  • Whether the domain was registered for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
  • By using the domain name has the registrant intentionally attempted to attract internet users to the registrant’s website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion to consumers?

The goal of the UDRP is to create a streamlined process for resolving domain name disputes.

If a party loses a UDRP proceeding it may still bring a lawsuit against the domain name registrant under local law. For example, the administrative panel’s UDRP decision can be challenged and overturned in a U.S. court of law by means of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).

If a domain name registrant loses a UDRP proceeding, it must file a lawsuit against the trademark holder within ten days to prevent ICANN from transferring the domain name.

When your domain name is held hostage or used to damage your business our Florida domain name attorneys act quickly and aggressively to enforce your rights, arrest the domain name violation, collect damages to your brands, and prevent further damage in the future.

We can take the worry out of domain name lawsuits including domain name claims and domain name defense claims.

Our Broward County, Miami Dade County, and Palm Beach County internet law attorneys handle all domain name claims and defenses.

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