With the rapid growth of the Internet in the past few decades, the concept of communication has changed entirely. We have entered an era where the Internet is the most common way of reaching out to people. In such an Internet age, domain names not only provide users a simpler way of remembering websites as compared to IP addresses, but can also play a huge role in generating business. Domain names have been given the status of a Trademark through various precedents, as these domain names serve the same purpose as that of Trademarks in terms of differentiating goods and services of an organization.
With an increasing importance of domain names, comes an increase in disputes associated with these domain names.
UDRP relates to Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, which was adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on August 26, 1999.
For domain name dispute resolution in India “.IN Dispute Resolution Policy” (INDRP) was formulated by the “.IN” Registry, which is an autonomous body under the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). INDRP is available for any domain name dispute within “.IN ccTLD”. It has been formulated in line with internationally accepted guidelines, and with the relevant provisions of the Indian IT Act 2000.
A party can even turn to a court of competent jurisdiction for domain name dispute resolution. There are generally two types of legal remedies in such disputes:
Time taken for complaint drafting depends largely on complexities in subject matter covered. However, on an average, we conclude the process within 7 to 10 working days.
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is an internationally recognized non-profit corporation that helps keeping the Internet secure, stable and inter operable and promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN is not responsible for controlling content on the Internet, stopping spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. Under UDRP, a complainant has to demonstrate three elements to obtain relief. These elements are:
No, the Registry and the Registrars do not participate in the domain name dispute resolution proceedings in any capacity other than providing the information relevant to the registration and use of the domain name upon the request of the Arbitrator.
No, monetary damages are not applied in UDRP domain name disputes.
No, injunctive relief is not available through UDRP domain name disputes.
It depends on two criterions:
Any person or company in the world can file a domain name complaint concerning a gTLD using the UDRP Administrative Procedure.
In case of a dispute involving a domain name registered in a ccTLD, the UDRP Administrative Procedure can also be used, provided that the concerned ccTLD registration authority adopted the UDRP Policy on a voluntary basis.
According to Paragraph 4(a) oof the UDRP Policy, specifies the following kinds of disputes that is considered by the UDRP Administrative Procedure:
Yes, Paragraph 4(k) of the UDRP Policy provides that the mandatory administrative proceeding requirement shall not prevent either the domain name registrant (Respondent) or the third party (Complainant) from submitting the dispute to a court of competent jurisdiction for independent resolution. It is possible for a party to start a lawsuit in court before an administrative proceeding is commenced. A party can also commence a lawsuit after the administrative proceeding is concluded if it is not satisfied with the outcome.
Paragraph 18 of the UDRP Rules sets out the action that an Administrative Panel may take if court proceedings are initiated prior to or during an administrative proceeding.
Yes, provided that the domain name Registration Agreement covering the domain name in issue specifically incorporates the UDRP Policy. This is the case for certain ccTLDs that have adopted the UDRP Policy on a voluntary basis.
Under UDRP, a complainant has to demonstrate three elements in order to obtain relief. These elements are:
The INDRP prohibits either the Registrant or the Registrar transferring a disputed domain name pending resolution of a Complaint under the INDRP.
Proceedings under the INDRP are conducted in accordance with the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which also provides for appeal on the following grounds:
A brand owner can always file a law suit for infringement of its registered trade mark. One benefit of doing so, is that the courts have the power to grant interim injunctions restraining the Defendant from using the mark either as a domain name or on a website. This remedy is particularly useful where the Defendant is using the mark both as a domain name and on products, or has threatened to do so, and immediate relief is needed.
On the other hand, arbitration proceedings under the INDRP are efficient and can lead to a speedy resolution, which includes transfer or cancellation of the domain name.