The Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) is an administrative process developed by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers (“ICANN“) to facilitate disputes related to the registration of generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”). Through third-parties such as the FORUM and/or the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO“), a Complainant may file an UDRP Complaint against a Respondent that has: (1) registered a domain name identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark; (2) no rights or legitimate interests to the domain name; and (3) used the domain name in bad faith. In short, it is a faster, more cost-effective option to combat cybersquatting.
While the UDRP provides a more streamlined approach to address cybersquatting issues, it lacks an internal appeal process. So, what happens when you are on the receiving end of an adverse UDRP decision? Are you stuck with it? Thankfully, the answer is no (or rather, not necessarily) – but there is only a small window of time. Ten (10) days to be exact.
UDRP decisions can be challenged through filing a Declaratory Judgment action under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”) or any other state or federal claim attacking the merits of trademark infringement and transfer. While it is not technically an “appeal” of the UDRP decision (the court is not bound by the UDRP decision and gives no deference to it), a Declaratory Judgment action operates to provide new review of a domain name dispute.
If a Respondent loses a UDRP proceeding, it will be ordered to transfer the domain name to the Complainant within ten days. Consequently, the Respondent only has ten (10) days to file the Declaratory Judgment action in a court of competent jurisdiction. Therefore, a Respondent wishing to challenge an adverse UDRP decision must act fast to preserve their rights or risk transferring a domain name that may be rightfully theirs.
Have you recently received an adverse UDRP decision and want to challenge it in Court? Don’t wait until it is too late – contact an attorney at Traverse Legal today.