Businesses and organizations which are unable to settle trademark-based domain name disputes are likely to end up in the courts.

Under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), disputes must be resolved by agreement, court action, or arbitration before a registrar will cancel, suspend, or transfer a domain name.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers explained that all registrars must follow the UDRP.

But disputes alleged to arise from abusive registrations of domain names – for example, cybersquatting – may be addressed by expedited administrative proceedings initiated by the trademark rights holder.

“To invoke the policy, a trademark owner should file a complaint in a court of proper jurisdiction against the domain-name holder,” ICANN stated.

“Or in cases of abusive registration, [they should] submit a complaint to an approved dispute-resolution service provider.”

The UDRP applies to all 22 top level domain names currently in existence, and some country code top level domains.

UDRP helps protect trademark rights, says ICANN
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