On November 1 1999 Network Information Centre (NIC) Chile amended its Domain Name Registration Regulations to adopt provisions of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for arbitrating domain name disputes. The revisions incorporate:

  • the standards for determining abusive use;

  • the standards for determining bad faith registration; and

  • the possibility of domain name revocation.

These changes were made in order to help resolve conflicts in Chile concerning .cl domain names that are used by .com, .net and .org registrars.

The amendment provides that conflicts involving the registration, processing or revocation of domain names will be resolved according to arbitration procedures. The current arbitration process in Chile is similar to the process that existed prior to the amendment, but the amendment adds bad faith and abusive registration as grounds for revoking a domain name.

An arbiter may find that 'abusive registration' exists when the following criteria are met:

  • a domain name is identical or deceptively similar to a famous product or service of a person who has rights to the name;

  • the domain-name holder does not have any legitimate rights to the name; and

  • the domain name is registered and used in bad faith by someone other than the domain-name holder.

Likewise, an arbiter may determine that a domain name was registered in bad faith if there is evidence that the principle purpose of registration was:

  • to resell or rent the domain for an amount in excess of the original registration price;

  • to hinder the domain name's use by the owner of a corresponding trademark; or

  • to interfere with the business of a competitor.

These new standards of bad faith and abusive registration are not necessarily retroactive. Thus, although all registrations may be arbitrated, the standards for registration that apply to registrations made prior to the amendments are less clear. NIC Chile's prior regulations did not include a provision binding registrants to the organization's 'current policies'. Thus, it is questionable whether the new revocation policy and bad faith/abuse standards may be used by arbiters to revoke domain names that were registered prior to the revisions.

Nevertheless, because the previous regulations were vague and gave arbiters few guidelines upon which to base their opinions, it is likely that arbiters will refer to ICANN's UDRP when resolving disputes, whether or not the domain name in dispute was registered prior to the November 1999 amendment.

For further information on this topic please contact Guillermo Carey at Carey y Cía Ltda by telephone (+56 2 365 7219) or by fax (+56 2 633 1980) or by e-mail ([email protected]).

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