The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) performs the administrative functions relating to generic top level domain (gTLD) names. Generic top level domain disputes are determined by the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution (“Rules”). ICANN, amongst all its other functions, supervises and administers the UDRP and Rules and handle complaints about registrations.
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To be successful with a complaint under the UDRP, a Complainant must prove:
- a Respondent has registered a domain name identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights,
- the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
- the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Identical or confusingly similar
A Complainant must specify:
- the trademarks or service marks and for each mark and describe the goods or service;
- the manner in which the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
Respondent does not have rights or interest
The following factors may prove that a Respondent does not have legitimate rights to the name:
- the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name is not in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services;
- the Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) is not commonly known by the domain name;
- the Respondent is not making legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the domain name without intent for commercial gain, diverting consumers misleadingly or tarnishing the trademark or service mark at issue.
Registered or used in bad faith
In order to prove a registration of bad faith, a Complainant must prove the following:
- circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
- the Respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
- the Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
- by using the domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its web site or location or of a product or service on its web site or location.