The Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy for .biz (STOP) is exclusive to the .biz gTLD. STOP is used to resolve disputes between IP Claimants and domain name registrants over the registration or use of a .biz domain name that was registered during the .biz Start-up Period (June 25 - September 21, 2001).
STOP complaints can only be filed:
- by IP Claimants, who
- have been notified by NeuLevel, the Registry Operator of the .biz gTLD (notifications will be sent out on or about October 23, 2001),
- have registered their intention to submit a complaint at the NeuLevel web site, and
- have been provided a ticket number by NeuLevel (no STOP complaint will be accepted without a valid ticket number).
All other trademark owners must use the UDRP to resolve disputes over .biz domain names. However, pursuant to Paragraph 5 STOP, no UDRP complaint shall be brought against a domain name, as long as that domain name is, or can be, subject to an administrative proceeding under STOP.
The procedure and the substantive requirements under STOP are essentially the same as under the UDRP. Relevant differences include the following:
- under STOP, the complainant must show that the domain name(s) is/are identical to its trademark or service mark, whereas the UDRP also covers domain names that are confusingly similar;
- under STOP, the complainant must demonstrate that a domain name was either registered or used in bad faith, whereas under the UDRP both elements must be proved;
- the only available remedy under STOP is transfer of the domain name registration, whereas the UDRP also provides for cancellation;
- STOP disputes are exclusively decided by single-member Panels, while under the UDRP either party can opt for a three-member Panel;
- under STOP, para. 8(a), the possibility to settle a pending STOP administrative proceeding is restricted, because the Respondent may not transfer the domain name to the Complainant if there are any further IP Claimants for that domain name. Under the UDRP (para. 8(a)), there is no such restriction.
Please note that it does not suffice for a Complainant to have registered an IP Claim for the contested domain name for obtaining the transfer of that domain name, nor does it suffice to demonstrate trademark ownership only. In order prevail, the Complainant will rather have to prove all of the following three elements in its Complaint (Rules, para. 4(a)):
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of that domain name; and
(iii) The Respondent has registered the domain name, or is using it in bad faith.
Please note that the decision will be rendered by a neutral Panel on the basis of the information submitted in the Complaint and the Response (if any). A Panel is not required to admit any supplemental filings. It is therefore in the Complainant's interest to include in its Complaint any and all information that may serve as a basis for its request.
While the assistance of a lawyer is not required, it may nevertheless be helpful to consult a lawyer when preparing or submitting the Complaint
The fees for filing a STOP complaint are the same as under the UDRP. See the STOP Schedule of Fees for details. Please note that there are no three-member panels under STOP.
For more detailed information please refer to the following documents: