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What is a UDRP (or Domain Dispute) Proceeding?

By Eric Misterovich

A Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or domain dispute proceeding is an administrative proceeding regarding the use of domain names.

How Does One File a UDRP Complaint?

UDRP proceedings start when someone files a complaint in with either the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) or the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The filing fees vary by the organization, the number of domains being disputed, and the number of panelists to hear the case. Each organization has specific rules that must be followed to properly file and serve the complaint.

How Does One Respond to a UDRP Complaint?

Within the time provided, usually 20 days, the responding party (typically referred to as the “Respondent”) must file an Answer within the appropriate governing body. The Answer should rebut the arguments set forth in the Complaint and provide a factual basis and legal reasoning as to why the Complainant has failed to meet its burden.

What is the Complainant’s Burden in a UDRP Proceeding?

To prevail in an UDRP proceeding, the Complainant must establish the following three elements:

  1. The respondent’s domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
  2. The respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name;
  3. The respondent registered and is using the domain in bad faith.

What is the Remedy in a UDRP Proceeding?

This administrative proceeding is limited to a transfer of the domain(s) in question only. In other words, no money damages are at stake in this proceeding. However, this type of proceeding could prompt a lawsuit based on the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), which carries the ability to obtain $100,000 in statutory damages per infringed domain.

How Do I Defend a UDRP Proceeding?

For more information about defending a UDRP proceeding, please click here.

Should I Defend a UDRP Proceeding?

Attorney fees to defend UDRP proceeding typically range between $2,500 and $3,500. As a result, the question should be whether your domain is worth that investment. If so, you should defend the complaint as many UDRP actions are filed with the hope that the respondent will simply not respond. Many times your defenses could protect your domain.

If you are facing a domain name dispute, please contact Revision Legal’s Internet attorneys through the forms on this page or call 855-473-8474.

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