This is not an official ICANN document.  This is a DRAFT PROPOSAL dated 9/9/99 and circulated only for comment.
It has not yet been submitted to ICANN.

This draft was prepared by a number of representatives of the accredited/testbed registrars,
incuding Alibanza, AOL, AT&T, AITcom, CORE, Domainbank, FICPI, ICC, Infonetworks,
INTA, Interq-Japan, Netnames, NSI, PSI Japan, Register.com

It was posted by Ken Stubbs,
a member of the DNSO Names Council and the Registrar's Constituency
.

POLICY STATEMENT REGARDING THE
MODEL DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE POLICY

The Model Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy for Voluntary Adoption by Registrars (the "Policy") represents the efforts of the registrars listed below (collectively, the "Registrars") to establish a uniform policy to govern disputes regarding domain name registrations.  The Registrars believe that the adoption of a uniform policy will best further the interests of the Internet community, as it will provide certainty regarding the resolution of such disputes and foster competition between registrars based upon the quality and cost of their services, and not on their administration of domain name disputes.

The Policy is the result of collaborative efforts among the Registrars and incorporates suggestions from a variety of additional sources, including various commentators and the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO").  The goal of the Policy is to remove the Registrars from the process of adjudicating domain name disputes, and relegate resolution of such disputes to courts, arbitration panels, or administrative panels which are better suited to adjudicate these claims.  To that end, Registrars will no longer change the status of a disputed domain name registration until the dispute has been resolved.

 The Policy incorporates WIPO's proposal regarding the use of a mandatory administrative proceeding in cases where a domain name holder is alleged to have registered and used a domain name in bad faith and in violation of another party's trademark rights.  In the past, these so-called "cybersquatters" have tried to convince trademark owners that it would be cheaper and faster to buy the applicable domain name from a cybersquatter rather than engage in costly and protracted litigation.  The Registrars believe that an inexpensive and expedited mandatory administrative proceeding should eliminate this cybersquatter strategy, and thereby benefit the Internet community.

Domain name holders alleged to have registered and used a domain name in bad faith must submit to an administrative proceeding before an approved dispute resolution service provider.  These providers cannot award monetary damages, but can direct that a domain name may be cancelled or transferred.  While this process is mandatory if invoked, nothing prevents a domain name holder or a complainant from going to court before the administrative proceeding is commenced, or to seek relief from the judgment of the administrative proceeding after it is concluded.

The Registrars are working to establish an agreed upon set of procedural rules to be applied by the dispute resolution service providers.  Those  proce-dural rules are intended to balance the due process interests of the domain name holder with the rights of a complainant to resolve expeditiously disputes where their trademark or service mark may have been registered as a domain name in bad faith.
 
 

DRAFT - FOR DISCUSSION PURPOSES ONLY

MODEL DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE RESOLUTION POLICY
FOR VOLUNTARY ADOPTION BY REGISTRARS

1. Purpose.  This Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy") is incorporated by reference into your Registration Agreement, and sets forth the terms and conditions in connection with a dispute between you and any party other than us (the registrar) over the registration and use of an Internet domain name registered by you.

2. Your Representations.  By applying to register a domain name, or by asking us to maintain or renew a domain name registration, you hereby represent and warrant to us that (a) the statements that you made in your Registration Agreement are complete and accurate; (b) to your knowledge, the registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party; (c) you are not registering the domain name for an unlawful purpose; and (d) you will not knowingly use the domain name in violation of any applicable laws or regulations.  We do not check to verify, and it is your responsibility to determine, whether your domain name registration infringes or violates someone else's rights.

3. Cancellations, Transfers, and Changes.    We will cancel, transfer or otherwise make changes to domain name registrations under the following circumstances:

1. subject to the provisions of Paragraph 8, our receipt of written or appropriate electronic instructions from you or your authorized agent to take such action;

 2. our receipt of an order from a court or arbitral tribunal, in each case of competent jurisdiction, requiring such action;

3. our receipt of a decision of an Administrative Panel requi-ing such action in any administrative proceeding to which you were a party (as explained in Paragraph 4 below); and/or

4. to comply with the resolution of a dispute concerning your domain name under another registrar's domain name dispute resolution policy that is identical to this policy in all material respects.

We may also cancel, transfer or otherwise make changes to a domain name registration in accordance with the terms of your Registration Agreement or other legal requirements.

4. Mandatory Administrative Proceeding.

This Paragraph sets forth the type of disputes for which you are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding.  These proceedings will be conducted before one of the administrative dispute resolution service providers listed at <URL> (each, a "Provider").

1. Applicable Disputes.  You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a ďcomplainantĒ) asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with that Provider's rules of procedure, that (i) your domain name is identical or misleadingly simi-lar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and (ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

2. Evidence of Registration and Use in Bad Faith.  For the purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following, in particular but without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith: (i) your offer to sell, rent or otherwise transfer 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; or (ii) your attempt to attract, for financial gain, Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by creating confusion with the trademark or service mark of the complainant; or (iii) your registration of a 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 a pattern of such conduct has been established on your part; or (iv) your registration of a domain name in order to disrupt the business of a competitor.

3. Selection of Provider.  The Provider who will administer a particular proceeding shall be choose one [selected by the complainant] or [assigned by us].

4. Initiation of Proceeding and Process.   Each Provider's rules of procedure state the process for initiating and conducting a proceeding and for selecting the panel that will decide the dispute (the "Administrative Panel").  The rules of procedure for each Provider appear at <URL>.

 5. Consolidation.  In the event of multiple disputes between you and a complainant, either you or the complainant may petition to consolidate the disputes before a single Administrative Panel.  This petition shall be made to the first Ad-ministrative Panel selected to hear a pending dispute between the parties.  This Administrative Panel may consolidate before it all such disputes in its sole discretion, provided that (i) such domain name registrations are governed by a domain name dispute resolution policy identical to this Policy in all material respects; and (ii) all of the disputes are before Providers listed at <URL>.

6. Fees.  All fees incurred in connection with any dispute before an Administrative Panel pursuant to this Policy shall be paid as set forth in the relevant Provider's rules of procedure.

7. Our Involvement in Administrative Proceedings.  We do not, and will not, participate in the administration or con-duct of any proceeding before an Administrative Panel.  In addition, we will not be liable as a result of any decisions rendered by the Administrative Panel.

8. Remedies.  The remedies available to a complainant pursu-ant to any proceeding before an Administrative Panel shall be limited to requiring the cancellation of your domain name or the transfer of your domain name registration to the complainant.

9. Notification and Publication.  The Provider shall notify us of any decision made by one of its Administrative Panels with respect to a domain name you have registered with us. All decisions under this Policy will be published over the Internet, except when an Administrative Panel determines in its sole discretion not to have its decision published.

 10. Availability of Court Proceedings.  The mandatory admin-istrative proceeding requirements set forth in Paragraph 4 shall not prevent either you or the complainant from submit-ting the dispute to a court of competent jurisdiction for independent resolution before such mandatory administra-tive proceeding is commenced or after such proceeding is concluded.  If an Administrative Panel decides that your domain name registration should be cancelled or trans-ferred, we will wait ten (10) calendar days after being in-formed by the applicable Provider of the Administrative Panel's decision before implementing that decision.  We will then implement the decision unless we have received from you during such ten (10) calendar day period a copy of a complaint, file-stamped by the clerk of the court, against the complainant regarding your right to use your domain name.  If we receive such a complaint, we will not implement the Administrative Panel's decision, and we will take no further action, until (i) we are informed of a resolution between the parties; (ii) we are informed that your lawsuit has been dismissed or withdrawn; or (iii) we receive a copy of an order from such court dismissing your lawsuit or ordering that you do not have the right to continue to use your do-main name.


5. All Other Disputes and Litigation.  All other disputes between you and any party other than us regarding your domain name registration that are not brought pursuant to the mandatory administrative proceeding provisions of Paragraph 4 shall be resolved between you and such other party through any court, arbitration or other proceeding that may be available.

 6. Our Involvement in Disputes.  We will not participate in any way in any dispute between you and any party other than us regarding the registration and use of your domain name.  You shall not name us as a party or otherwise include us in any such proceeding.  In the event that we are named as a party in any such proceeding, we reserve the right to raise any and all defenses deemed appropriate, and to take any other action necessary to defend ourselves.

7. Maintaining the Status Quo.  We will not cancel, transfer, activate, deactivate, or otherwise change the status of any domain name registration under this Policy except as provided in Paragraph 3 above.

8. Transfers During a Dispute.

1. Transfers of a Domain Name to a New Holder.  You may not transfer your domain name registration to another holder (i) during a pending administrative proceeding brought pursuant to Paragraph 4 or for a period of fifteen (15) calen-dar days after such proceeding is concluded; or (ii) during a pending court proceeding or arbitration commenced regarding your domain name unless the party to whom the domain name registration is being transferred agrees, in writing, to be bound by the decision of the court or arbitrator.  We reserve the right to cancel any transfer of a domain name registration to another holder that is made in violation of this subparagraph.

 2. Changing Registrars.  You may not transfer your domain name registration to another registrar during a pending administrative proceeding brought pursuant to Paragraph 4 or for a period of fifteen (15) calendar days after such pro-ceeding is concluded.  You may transfer administration of your domain name registration to another registrar during a pending court action or arbitration, provided that (i) the domain name you have registered with us shall continue to be subject to the proceedings commenced against you in accordance with the terms of this Policy; and (ii) the new registrar has a domain name dispute policy under which it will recognize and implement any decision rendered in any such proceeding.  In the event that you transfer a domain name registration to us during the pendency of an administrative proceeding, court action, or arbitration, such dispute shall remain subject to the domain name dispute policy of the registrar from which the domain name registration was transferred.

9. Policy Modifications.  We reserve the right to modify this Policy at any time.  We will post our revised Policy at <URL> at least thirty (30) calendar days before it becomes effective. Unless this Policy has already been invoked, in which event the version of the  Policy in effect at the time it was invoked will apply to you until the dispute is over, all such changes will be binding upon you with respect to any domain name registration dispute, whether the dispute arose before, on or after the effective date of our change.  In the event that you object to a change in this Policy, your sole remedy is to cancel your domain name registration or transfer your domain name registration to another registrar, provided that in the event of a transfer, you will not be entitled to a refund of any fees you paid to us.  The revised Policy will apply to you until you cancel or transfer your domain name registration.
 POLICY SIGNATORIES

America Online

Network Solutions, Inc.

Register.com

 APPROVED AND CONSENTED TO

World Intellectual Property Organization
 
 

Model Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
(the ďRulesĒ)


 








[If the Registrar has retained the right to appoint the dispute resolution service provider, the italicized text in square brackets shall apply.]

1. Definitions

In these Rules:

Complainant means the party initiating a complaint concerning a domain name registration.

Panel means an administrative panel appointed by a Provider to decide a complaint concerning a domain name registration.

Panelist means an individual appointed by a Provider to be a member of a Panel.

Party means a Complainant or a Respondent.

Policy means the domain name dispute resolution policy that is incorporated by reference and made a part of the Registration Agreement.

Provider means a dispute resolution service provider listed in the Registrarís websitePolicy.

Registrar means the entity with which the Respondent has registered a domain name that is the subject of a complaint.

Registration Agreement means the agreement between a Registrar and a domain name holder.

Respondent means the holder of a domain name registration against which a complaint is initiated.


2. Communications

(a) Any written communication provided for under these Rules shall be made by either

(i)  by telecopy or facsimile transmission, with a confirmation of transmission; or

(ii)  by postal or courier service, postage pre-paid and return receipt requested; or

(iii)  electronically via the Internet, provided a record of its transmission is available[with a request for acknowledgment of receipt of the electronic mail/with a confirmation copy sent simultaneously via regular mail].

(b) The Complainantís contact details shall be as set forth in the complaint. A domain name holderís contact details provided to and updated with the Registrar in accordance with the Registration Agreement shall be considered valid for the purpose of any communication under these Rules.  Either Party may update its contact details by notifying the Provider and the Registrar in accordance with Paragraph 2(a).

(c) Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, or decided by a Panel, all communications provided for under these Rules shall be deemed to have been made

(i)  if delivered by telecopy or facsimile transmission, on the date shown on the of receipt of a confirmation of transmission; or

(ii)  if by postal or courier service, on the date marked on the receipt; or

(iii)  if via the Internet, on the date that the electronic mail communication was [received/transmitted, provided that the date of transmission is verifiable].

(d) All time periods calculated under these Rulese shall begin to run on the date that the communication notice is deemed to have been made in accordance with Paragraph 2(c)the preceding sentence.

(e)  Any communication by

(i) a Panel to any Party shall be copied to the Provider and to the other Party;

(ii) the Provider to any Party shall be copied to the other Party; and

(iii) a Party shall be copied to the other Party, the Panel and the Provider, as the case may be.


3. The Complaint

(a) Any person or entity may initiate an administrative proceeding by submitting a Complaint in accordance with the Policy and these Rules to the [Provider/[Registrar].

(b) The Complaint shall:

(i) Request that the Ccomplaint be submitted for decision in accordance with the Policy and these Rules;

(ii)  Provide the names and postal and e-mail addresses and the telephone and telefax numbers of the Complainant and the Respondent (domain name holder) and of any authorized representative of the Complainant;

(iii)  Specify the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Ccomplaint;

(iv)  Identify the Registrar(s) with whom the domain name(s) is/are registered at the time the Ccomplaint is filed;

(v) In no more than [number of words], describe, in accordance with the Policy, the grounds on which the Ccomplaint is made including, in particular,

  (1) the manner in which the domain name is identical or misleadingly similar to a trade or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

  (2) why the Respondent (domain name holder) should be considered as having no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Ccomplaint; and

  (3)  why the domain name should be considered as having been registered and being used in bad faith.


The following, in particular but without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:

(i) the Respondentís (domain name holderís) offer to sell, rent or otherwise transfer the domain name registration to the complainant or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration; or

(ii) the Respondentís (domain name holderís) attempt to attract, for financial gain, Internet users to the domain name holderís website or other on-line location, by creating confusion with the trade or service mark of the complainant; or

(iii) the Respondentís (domain name holderís) registration of a domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trade or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that a pattern of such conduct has been established on the part of the domain name holder; or

(iv) the Respondentís (domain name holderís) registration of a domain name in order to disrupt the business of a competitor.

(vi) Specify, in accordance with the Policy, the remedies sought;

(vii) Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to the domain name(s) that are the subject of the complaint;

(viii) Annex any documentary or other evidence, including a copy of the Policy applicable to the domain name(s) in dispute, any trademark or servicemark registration upon which the Ccomplaint relies, together with a schedule indexing such evidence; and

(ixviii) Provide proof/State that a copy of the Ccomplaint has been sent or transmitted to the Respondent (domain name holder), in accordance with ParagraphArticle 2.

(c) The Ccomplaint may relate to more than one domain name, provided that the domain
names are registered by the same domain name holder.

4. Notification of Complaint

[(a) The Registrar shall forward the Complaint to the Provider no later than ther (3) days after receiving it.].

(a) [The Registrar shall forward the complaint to the Provider no later than three (3) days after receiving it.] The Provider shall review the Ccomplaint for compliance with the Policy and these Rules and, if in compliance,  shall forward the Ccomplaint to the Respondent within three (3) days following receipt of the fees to be paid by the Complainant in accordance with ArticleParagraph 19.

(b) The date of commencement of the proceedings shall be the date on which the Ccomplaint is forwarded by the Provider to the Respondent.

(c) The Provider shall notify the Complainant, the Respondent and the concerned Registrar(s) of the date of commencement of the proceedings.

5. The Response

(a) Within twenty (20) days of the date of commencement of the proceedings the Respondent shallmay submit a Rresponse to the Provider.

(b)  The Rresponse shall:

 (i) In no more than [number of words], respond to the statements and allegations contained in the Ccomplaint and include any and all bases for the Respondent (domain name holder) to retain registration and use of the disputed domain name;

 (ii) Provide the names and postal and e-mail addresses and the telephone and telefax numbers of the Respondent (domain name holder) if different from that specified in the Ccomplaint, as well as of any representative of the Respondent;

 (iii) Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to the domain name(s) that are the subject of the complaint;

 (iv) Annex any documentary or other evidence upon which the Respondent relies, together with a schedule indexing such documents; and

(iv) StateProvide proof that a copy of the Rresponse has been sent or transmitted to the Complainant, in accordance with Article Paragraph 2.

(c) At the request of the Respondent, the Provider may, in exceptional cases, extend the period of time for the filing of the Rresponse.

(d) If a Respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the complaint.
 

6. Appointment of the Panel and Timing of Decision

(a) The Provider shall maintain and publish a publicly available list of Panelists and their qualifications.

(b) Within five (5) days following receipt of the Rresponse by the Provider, or the lapse of the time period for the submission thereof, the Provider shall appoint a Panel of one or three members from its list of Panelists and shall notify the Parties accordingly.  The Provider shall, at the same time, notify the Parties of the date by which, absent exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall forward its decision on the Ccomplaint to the Provider.

(c) In appointing a Panel, the Provider shall take into consideration factors such as the identity of the Parties, the circumstances underlying the Ccomplaint and the number of other complaints to be decided by the Panel.

7. Impartiality and Independence

A Panelist shall be impartial and independent and shall have, before accepting appointment, disclosed to the Provider any circumstances giving rise to justifiable doubt as to the Panelistís impartiality or independence.  If, at any stage during the proceedings, new circumstances arise that could give rise to justifiable doubt as to the impartiality or independence of the Panelist, that Panelist shall promptly disclose such circumstances to the Provider.  In such event, the Provider shall have the discretion to appoint a substitute Panelist.

8. Communication Between Parties and the Panel

No Party or anyone acting on its behalf may have any unilateral communication with the Panel.  All communications between a Party and the Panel or the Provider shall be made to the a case administrator appointed by the Providerís case administrator.

9. Transmission of the File to the Panel

The Provider shall forward the file to the Panel as soon as the Panelist is appointed in the case of a Panel consisting of a sole Panelist, or as soon as the last Panelist is appointed in the case of a three-member Panel.

10. General Powers of the Panel

(a) Subject to the Policy and these Rules, tThe Panel shall conduct the proceedings in such manner as it considers appropriate in accordance with the Policy and these Rules.

(b) In all cases, the Panel shall ensure that the Parties are treated with equality and that each Party is given a fair opportunity to present its case.

(c) The Panel shall ensure that the proceedings take place with due expedition.  It may, at the request of a Party or on its own motion, extend, in exceptional cases, a period of time fixed by these Rules or by the Panel.

(d) The Panel shall determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of the evidence.

(e) A  Panel shall decide a request by a Party to consolidate multiple domain name disputesa Complaint, or any part thereof,  in accordance with the Policy and these Rules.

11. Language of Proceedings

(a) Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the proceedings shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the proceedings.

(b) The Panel may order that any documents submitted in languages other than the language of the proceedings be accompanied by a translation in whole or in part into the language of the proceedings.

12. Further Statements

In addition to the Ccomplaint and the Rresponse, the Panel may request, in its sole discretion, further statements or documents from either of the Parties.

13. In-Person Hearings

There shall be no in-person hearings, unless the Panel determines, in its sole discretion and as an exceptional matter, that such a hearing is necessary for deciding the Ccomplaint.

14. Default

(a)   If a Respondent does not submit a Response in accordance with Article 5, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the Complaint.

(ab) The Panel shall also proceed to a decision on the Complaint iIn the event that a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any of the time periods established by these Rules or the Panel, the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the complaint.

(bc) If a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under these Rules or any request from the Panel, the Panel shall draw such inferences therefrom as it considers appropriate.

15. Panel Decisions

(a) A Panel shall decide a Ccomplaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.

(b) In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall forward its decision on the Ccomplaint to the Provider within fourteen ([14)] days of its appointment pursuant to Article Paragraph 6.

(c) In the case of a three-member Panel, the Panelís decision shall be made by a majority.

(d) The Panelís decision shall be in writing, provide the reasons on which it is based, indicate the date on which it was rendered and identify the name(s) of the Panelist(s).

(e) Panel The decisions shall not exceednormally be limited to [number of words].  Any dissenting opinion shall accompany the majority decision and shall not normally be limited toexceed [number of words].
 

16. Communication of Decision to Parties

(a) Within three (3) days of receiving the decision from the Panel, the Provider shall communicate the full text of the decision to each Party and the concerned Registrar(s) and shall indicate the date for the implementation of the decision in accordance with the Policy.

(b) Except if the Panel determines otherwise, the Provider shall publish the decision and the date of its implementation on a publicly accessible website.
 

17. Settlement or Other Grounds for Termination

(a) If, before the Panelís decision, the Parties agree on a settlement, the Panel shall terminate the proceedings.

(b) If, before the Panelís decision is made, it becomes unnecessary or impossible to continue the proceedings for any reason, the Panel shall terminate the proceedings, unless a Party raises justifiable grounds for objection within a period of time to be determined by the Panel.
 

18. Effect of Court Proceedings

(a) In the event that a Party initiates court proceedings during the pendency of an administrative proceeding in respect of a dispute that is the subject of the Complaint, and the Complaint is not withdrawnIn the event of any legal proceedings initiated prior to or during an administrative proceeding in respect of a domain name dispute that is the subject of the complaint, the Panel shall have the discretion to decide whether to suspend or terminate the administrative proceedingsproceeding, or to proceed to a decision.

(b) In the event that a Party initiates any legal proceedings during the pendency of an administrative proceeding in respect of a domain name dispute that is the subject of the complaint, it shall promptly notify the Panel and the Provider.

19. Fees

(a) The Complainant shall pay to the Provider a non-refundable fixed fee, in accordance with the Providerís published schedule, within the time and in the amount required.  (Annex A to these Rules).

(b) No action shall be taken by the Provider on a Ccomplaint until it has received the fee in accordance with Paragraph 19(a).

(c) If the Provider has not received the fee within ten (10) days of receiving the Ccomplaint,  the Ccomplaint shall be deemed withdrawn and the proceedings terminated.

(d) In exceptional circumstances, for example in the event an in-person hearing is held, the
Provider shall request the Parties for the payment of additional fees, which shall be
established in agreementconsultation with the Parties and the Panel.
 

20. Exclusion of Liability

Except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, neither the Provider nor a Panelist shall be liable to a Party for any act or omission in connection with any administrative proceeding under these Rules.
 

21. Amendments

The version of these Rules in effect at the time of the filing of the Ccomplaint shall apply to the administrative proceeding commenced thereby.  The Provider shall retain the right to revise, amend or modify these Rules from time to time.

END OF DOCUMENT.
 
 

Model Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
(the ďRulesĒ)


 








[If the Registrar has retained the right to appoint the dispute resolution service provider, the italicized text in square brackets shall apply.]
 

1. Definitions

In these Rules:

Complainant means the party initiating a complaint concerning a domain name registration.

Panel means an administrative panel appointed by a Provider to decide a complaint concerning a domain name registration.

Panelist means an individual appointed by a Provider to be a member of a Panel.

Party means a Complainant or a Respondent.

Policy means the domain name dispute resolution policy that is incorporated by reference and made a part of the Registration Agreement.

Provider means a dispute resolution service provider listed in the Registrarís website.

Registrar means the entity with which the Respondent has registered a domain name that is the subject of a complaint.

Registration Agreement means the agreement between a Registrar and a domain name holder.

Respondent means the holder of a domain name registration against which a complaint is initiated.


2. Communications

(a) Any written communication provided for under these Rules shall be made

(i)  by telecopy or facsimile transmission, with a confirmation of transmission; or

(ii)  by postal or courier service, postage pre-paid and return receipt requested; or

(iii)  electronically via the Internet, provided a record of its transmission is available.


(b) The Complainantís contact details shall be as set forth in the complaint. A domain name holderís contact details provided to and updated with the Registrar in accordance with the Registration Agreement shall be considered valid for the purpose of any communication under these Rules.  Either Party may update its contact details by notifying the Provider and the Registrar in accordance with Paragraph 2(a).

(c) Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, or decided by a Panel, all communications provided for under these Rules shall be deemed to have been made

(i)  if delivered by telecopy or facsimile transmission, on the date shown on the confirmation of transmission; or

(ii)  if by postal or courier service, on the date marked on the receipt; or

(iii)  if via the Internet, on the date that the  communication was transmitted, provided that the date of transmission is verifiable.


(d) All time periods calculated under these Rules shall begin to run on the date that the
communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with Paragraph 2(c).

(e)  Any communication by

(i) a Panel to any Party shall be copied to the Provider and to the other Party;

(ii) the Provider to any Party shall be copied to the other Party; and

(iii) a Party shall be copied to the other Party, the Panel and the Provider, as the case may be.


3. The Complaint

(a) Any person or entity may initiate an administrative proceeding by submitting a complaint in accordance with the Policy and these Rules to the Provider/[Registrar].

(b) The complaint shall:

(i) Request that the complaint be submitted for decision in accordance with the Policy and these Rules;

(ii)  Provide the names and postal and e-mail addresses and the telephone and telefax numbers of the Complainant and the Respondent (domain name holder) and of any authorized representative of the Complainant;

(iii)  Specify the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the complaint;

(iv)  Identify the Registrar(s) with whom the domain name(s) is/are registered at the time the complaint is filed;

(v) In no more than [number of words], describe, in accordance with the Policy, the grounds on which the complaint is made including, in particular,

  (1) the manner in which the domain name is identical or misleadingly similar to a trade or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

  (2) why the Respondent (domain name holder) should be considered as having no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the complaint; and

  (3)  why the domain name should be considered as having been registered and being used in bad faith. The following, in particular but without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:

(i) the Respondentís (domain name holderís) offer to sell, rent or otherwise transfer the domain name registration to the complainant or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration; or

(ii) the Respondentís (domain name holderís) attempt to attract, for financial gain, Internet users to the domain name holderís website or other on-line location, by creating confusion with the trade or service mark of the complainant; or

(iii) the Respondentís (domain name holderís) registration of a domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trade or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that a pattern of such conduct has been established on the part of the domain name holder; or

(iv) the Respondentís (domain name holderís) registration of a domain name in order to disrupt the business of a competitor.

(vi) Specify, in accordance with the Policy, the remedies sought;

(vii) Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to the domain name(s) that are the subject of the complaint;

(viii) Annex any documentary or other evidence, including a copy of the Policy applicable to the domain name(s) in dispute, any trademark or servicemark registration upon which the complaint relies, together with a schedule indexing such evidence; and

(ix) State that a copy of the complaint has been sent or transmitted to the Respondent (domain name holder), in accordance with Paragraph 2.

(c) The complaint may relate to more than one domain name, provided that the domain
names are registered by the same domain name holder.

4. Notification of Complaint

(a) [The Registrar shall forward the complaint to the Provider no later than three (3) days after receiving it.] The Provider shall review the complaint for compliance with the Policy and these Rules and, if in compliance, shall forward the complaint to the Respondent within three (3) days following receipt of the fees to be paid by the Complainant in accordance with Paragraph 19.

(b) The date of commencement of the proceedings shall be the date on which the complaint is forwarded by the Provider to the Respondent.

(c) The Provider shall notify the Complainant, the Respondent and the concerned Registrar(s) of the date of commencement of the proceedings.

5. The Response

(a) Within twenty (20) days of the date of commencement of the proceedings the Respondent shall submit a response to the Provider.

(b)  The response shall:

 (i) In no more than [number of words], respond to the statements and allegations contained in the complaint and include any and all bases for the Respondent (domain name holder) to retain registration and use of the disputed domain name;

 (ii) Provide the names and postal and e-mail addresses and the telephone and telefax numbers of the Respondent (domain name holder) if different from that specified in the complaint, as well as of any representative of the Respondent;

 (iii) Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to the domain name(s) that are the subject of the complaint;

 (iv) Annex any documentary or other evidence upon which the Respondent relies, together with a schedule indexing such documents; and

(v) State that a copy of the response has been sent or transmitted to the Complainant, in accordance with Paragraph 2.

(c) At the request of the Respondent, the Provider may, in exceptional cases, extend the period of time for the filing of the response.

(d) If a Respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the complaint.

6. Appointment of the Panel and Timing of Decision

(a) The Provider shall maintain and publish a publicly available list of Panelists and their qualifications.

(b) Within five (5) days following receipt of the response by the Provider, or the lapse of the time period for the submission thereof, the Provider shall appoint a Panel of one or three members from its list of Panelists and shall notify the Parties accordingly.  The Provider shall, at the same time, notify the Parties of the date by which, absent exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall forward its decision on the complaint to the Provider.

(c) In appointing a Panel, the Provider shall take into consideration factors such as the identity of the Parties, the circumstances underlying the complaint and the number of other complaints to be decided by the Panel.

7. Impartiality and Independence

A Panelist shall be impartial and independent and shall have, before accepting appointment, disclosed to the Provider any circumstances giving rise to justifiable doubt as to the Panelistís impartiality or independence.  If, at any stage during the proceedings, new circumstances arise that could give rise to justifiable doubt as to the impartiality or independence of the Panelist, that Panelist shall promptly disclose such circumstances to the Provider.  In such event, the Provider shall have the discretion to appoint a substitute Panelist.

8. Communication Between Parties and the Panel

No Party or anyone acting on its behalf may have any unilateral communication with the Panel.  All communications between a Party and the Panel or the Provider shall be made to a case administrator appointed by the Provider.

9. Transmission of the File to the Panel

The Provider shall forward the file to the Panel as soon as the Panelist is appointed in the case of a Panel consisting of a sole Panelist, or as soon as the last Panelist is appointed in the case of a three-member Panel.

10. General Powers of the Panel

(a) The Panel shall conduct the proceedings in such manner as it considers appropriate in accordance with the Policy and these Rules.

(b) In all cases, the Panel shall ensure that the Parties are treated with equality and that each Party is given a fair opportunity to present its case.

(c) The Panel shall ensure that the proceedings take place with due expedition.  It may, at the request of a Party or on its own motion, extend, in exceptional cases, a period of time fixed by these Rules or by the Panel.

(d) The Panel shall determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of the evidence.

 (e) A  Panel shall decide a request by a Party to consolidate multiple domain name disputes in accordance with the Policy and these Rules.

11. Language of Proceedings

(a) Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the proceedings shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the proceedings.

(b) The Panel may order that any documents submitted in languages other than the language of the proceedings be accompanied by a translation in whole or in part into the language of the proceedings.

12. Further Statements

In addition to the complaint and the response, the Panel may request, in its sole discretion, further statements or documents from either of the Parties.

13. In-Person Hearings

There shall be no in-person hearings, unless the Panel determines, in its sole discretion and as an exceptional matter, that such a hearing is necessary for deciding the complaint.

14. Default

(a) In the event that a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any of the time periods established by these Rules or the Panel, the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the complaint.

(b) If a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under these Rules or any request from the Panel, the Panel shall draw such inferences therefrom as it considers appropriate.

15. Panel Decisions

(a) A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.

(b) In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall forward its decision on the complaint to the Provider within fourteen (14) days of its appointment pursuant to Paragraph 6.

(c) In the case of a three-member Panel, the Panelís decision shall be made by a majority.

(d) The Panelís decision shall be in writing, provide the reasons on which it is based, indicate the date on which it was rendered and identify the name(s) of the Panelist(s).

(e) Panel decisions shall normally be limited to [number of words].  Any dissenting opinion shall accompany the majority decision and shall normally be limited to [number of words].
 

16. Communication of Decision to Parties

(a) Within three (3) days of receiving the decision from the Panel, the Provider shall communicate the full text of the decision to each Party and the concerned Registrar(s) and shall indicate the date for the implementation of the decision in accordance with the Policy.

(b) Except if the Panel determines otherwise, the Provider shall publish the decision and the date of its implementation on a publicly accessible website.

17. Settlement or Other Grounds for Termination

(a) If, before the Panelís decision, the Parties agree on a settlement, the Panel shall terminate the proceedings.

(b) If, before the Panelís decision is made, it becomes unnecessary or impossible to continue the proceedings for any reason, the Panel shall terminate the proceedings, unless a Party raises justifiable grounds for objection within a period of time to be determined by the Panel

18. Effect of Court Proceedings

(a) In the event of any legal proceedings initiated prior to or during an administrative proceeding in respect of a domain name dispute that is the subject of the complaint, the Panel shall have the discretion to decide whether to suspend or terminate the administrative proceeding, or to proceed to a decision.

(b) In the event that a Party initiates any legal proceedings during the pendency of an administrative proceeding in respect of a domain name dispute that is the subject of the complaint, it shall promptly notify the Panel and the Provider.

19. Fees

(a) The Complainant shall pay to the Provider a fixed fee, in accordance with the Providerís published schedule, within the time and in the amount required.  (Annex A to these Rules).

(b) No action shall be taken by the Provider on a complaint until it has received the fee in accordance with Paragraph 19(a).

(c) If the Provider has not received the fee within ten (10) days of receiving the complaint, the complaint shall be deemed withdrawn and the proceedings terminated.

(d) In exceptional circumstances, for example in the event an in-person hearing is held, the
Provider shall request the Parties for the payment of additional fees, which shall be
established in agreement with the Parties and the Panel.

20. Exclusion of Liability

Except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, neither the Provider nor a Panelist shall be liable to a Party for any act or omission in connection with any administrative proceeding under these Rules.

21. Amendments

The version of these Rules in effect at the time of the filing of the complaint shall apply to the administrative proceeding commenced thereby.  The Provider shall retain the right to revise, amend or modify these Rules from time to time.


END OF DOCUMENT.