Sociology Index

WIPO Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedures

Companies with registered trademarks or service marks can evict cybersquatters through dispute resolution providers like WIPO. Domain Name Disputes resolution providers have held that a person has common law rights in his/her name and have in a large number of cases ordered the transfer of domain. When ICANN was first set up, one of the core tasks assigned to it was "The Trademark Dilemma", the use of trade marks as domain names without the trademark owner's consent. By the late 1990s, such use was identified as problematic and likely to lead to consumers being misled. In the United Kingdom, the Court of Appeal described such domain names as "an instrument of fraud" - British Telecommunications plc v One in a Million Ltd [1999] 1 WLR 903, Aldous LJ.

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center offers clauses, rules and neutrals for the following Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures.

Mediation: a non-binding procedure in which a neutral intermediary, the mediator, assists the parties in reaching a settlement of the dispute. WIPO Mediation Rules.

Arbitration: a neutral procedure in which the dispute is submitted to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute.

Expedited arbitration: an arbitration procedure that is carried out in a short time and at reduced cost.

Mediation followed, in the absence of a settlement, by arbitration: a procedure that combines mediation and, where the dispute is not settled through the mediation, arbitration.

The WIPO Rules are appropriate for all commercial disputes. However, they contain provisions on confidentiality and technical and experimental evidence that are of special interest to parties to intellectual property disputes.

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center provides time- and cost-efficient mechanisms to resolve internet domain name disputes, without the need for court litigation. This service includes the WIPO-initiated Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), under which the WIPO Center has processed some 45,000 cases.

When a registrant chooses a domain name, the registrant must "represent and warrant", among other things, 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 should any third party assert such a claim.