As of July 31, 2015, new Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) rules will be in effect for domain name disputes involving ICANN-accredited registrars and their customers. These changes have also prompted a National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”) Supplemental Rule change as well.  The new UDRP Rules and NAF Supplemental Rules will apply to all UDRP proceedings in which a complaint is submitted to a provider on or after July 31, 2015. Below highlights a few of those changes and practice tips to consider:

  • The Registrar is required to “lock” the domain name while the UDRP proceeding is pending. This is to be done within 2 business days of receiving a verification request from the Complainant, and before notifying the domain owner. Furthermore, under the new UDRP rules, Complainants are no longer required to send a copy of their complainant to Respondents. Because Respondents will no longer have advance notice of the UDRP action, there is less of a chance that Respondents will transfer the domain before the Registrar places a defined lock on the domain name.
  • Respondents now have the opportunity to expressly request an additional four calendar days to respond to the complaint, which is to be automatically granted upon request.
  • If the Parties reach a settlement, the Complainant must now confirm to the Provider that the domain name(s) at issue has been implemented further to the Provider’s supplemental rules. Complainants should be aware of this notification obligation.
  • If the purpose of a request to stay is for settlement, the Complainant must notify NAF in writing that the settlement terms have been implemented by the Registrar. Complainants should be aware of this notification obligation.
  • A Complaint dismissed by NAF by a joint withdrawal request, after commencement but before NAF has received a Response, will be dismissed with prejudice unless the parties agree otherwise.

The new policy is intended to streamline the UDRP process and was approved by ICANN in September 2014. Visit ICANN’s website for further details.