Navigating UDRP Disputes: Protecting Your Domain Name

udrp disputes of domain names with the World Intellectual Property Organization

UDRP Disputes: Overview of Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP)

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a mechanism which was established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to address domain name disputes related to cybersquatting. It is a streamlined and cost-effective process for resolving disputes related to domain names. The UDRP applies to generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as .com, .net, .org, among others. The UDRP provides a streamlined and cost-effective alternative to traditional litigation for resolving conflicts arising from the abusive registration and use of domain names generally.

Scope of the UDRP 

The UDRP applies to generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) such as .com, .net, .org, as well as a selection of country code top-level domain names (ccTLDs). It covers disputes where the registered domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights, and the domain name registrant has no legitimate interest in the domain name and has registered and used it in bad faith. Furthermore, it is worthy to note that all registrars and registrants of domain names/trademark owners are bound to mandatory arbitration in respect of their domain names under the ICANN’s UDRP dispute resolution policy in order to provide a faster dispute resolution mechanism to them rather than the use of traditional litigation in respect of disputes arising out of their ownership or transfer of domain names.

Procedure for navigating UDRP Disputes and Complaint Filing

The Internet Association of Authorized Names and Numbers (ICANN) holds that UDRP complaints can be submitted to designated UDRP dispute resolution service providers who are bound by the ICANN’s Rules and its own supplementary Rules of procedure and practice. Thus, if a domain name holder/complainant wants to make a complaint, such complainant is expected to file a complaint with the ICANN-accredited UDRP dispute resolution provider of its choice. Such a complainant is required to fully set out all relevant facts of the domain name under dispute, set out its legal arguments to demonstrate how it is entitled to have the domain name under dispute to be transferred to it or cancelled as the case may be. The summary of a complainant’s arguments/claims are underlisted as follows: 

  1. That the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights
  2. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name.
  3. That the Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

Response by the Disputed Domain Name Registrant

Each complaint filed by a complainant with an accredited UDRP service provider must be served upon a disputed domain name registrant/respondent. Upon service of this complaint to the respondent, the respondent disputed domain name registrant has an opportunity to respond to the allegations. Upon such service, the respondent can, in its defence, file its response detailing its own counter-arguments to the complaint against it and providing all necessary evidence it has (if any) to defend their registration, ownership and use of the disputed domain name.

Decision and Remedies

If the respondent files its response with its counter arguments and facts to the complainant’s complaint, the panel handling the dispute shall review the evidence and arguments presented by both parties to the dispute, conducts its necessary investigations into the disputed domain name, and then issues its decision to the complaint within a specific timeframe. Likewise, where the respondent is served wit hte complaint and it fails to respond to same within the stipulated time frame, the panel handling the dispute is expected to proceed with the proceedintgs and review the case presented to it by the complainant, before proceeding to make a decision. If the panel finds in favor of the complainant, it may order the transfer of the disputed domain name to the complainant or it may order a cancellation of the domain name with the Domain Name registrar of the disputed domain name. However, the UDRP does not provide for monetary damages to compensate a complainant. Furthermore, as each case is reviewed and decided on its merits, it is possible that a complainant may fail to prove its claim in respect of a disputed domain name, even where a respondent/domain name registrant of a disputed domain name fails to file a counter argument to the proceedings.

Tips for filing a UDRP complaint.


  1. Ensure that you have a legitimate claim. This means that you are either the trademarks owner of a name or you at least have a legitimate business claim to such a name and can show that the other registrant is using the Name in bad faith.
  2. Gather all necessary evidence and documentation to back up your claim.
  3. Seek legal advice as to your available options.


The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) established by ICANN is an important tool for resolving domain name disputes related to cybersquatting. It offers a streamlined and efficient process, allowing trademark owners to protect their rights and combat unauthorized use of their intellectual property. If you believe your trademark is being infringed through cybersquatting, consulting with experienced legal professionals can help you navigate the UDRP process effectively and ensure the protection of your online brand.

For more information about our Domain Name practice and our UDRP Dispute Resolution practice, we invite you to reach out to our head of practice via email at for more information pertaining to how we can help you achieve clarity on your needs.


About the Author

You may also like these

Open chat
Hello. Thank you for reaching out to us. Please tell us how we can be of service to you and we will be happy to.