As of July 31, 2015 updated UDRP Rules and WIPO Supplemental Rules are in effect. As further described below, these updates impact complaint filing modalities, model pleadings, registrar “locking” of domain names during pending UDRP proceedings, and party settlement practices.
Complaint Filing Practices
To address concerns about the improper transfer of domain names during UDRP proceedings (also known as cyberflight), under the updated UDRP Rules, complainants should now email their complaint directly to the WIPO Center, but should not copy the respondent.
The updated UDRP Rules provide the following definitions:
- Lock means a set of measures that a registrar applies to a domain name, which prevents at a minimum any modification to the registrant and registrar information by the Respondent, but does not affect the resolution of the domain name or the renewal of the domain name.
- Pendency means the time period from the moment a UDRP complaint has been submitted by the Complainant to the [WIPO Center] to the time the UDRP decision has been implemented or the UDRP complaint has been terminated.
By defining the concept of a registrar lock the updated UDRP Rules clarify previous registrar obligations to more explicitly require their assistance to prevent cyberflight during UDRP proceedings. The updated UDRP Rules provide that:
Within two (2) business days of receiving the [WIPO Center’s] verification request, the Registrar shall provide the information requested in the verification request and confirm that a Lock of the domain name has been applied. The Registrar shall not notify the Respondent of the proceeding until the Lock status has been applied. The Lock shall remain in place through the remaining Pendency of the UDRP proceeding. Any updates to the Respondent’s data, such as through the result of a request by a privacy or proxy provider to reveal the underlying customer data, must be made before the two (2) business day period concludes or before the Registrar verifies the information requested and confirms the Lock to the [WIPO Center], whichever occurs first. Any modification(s) of the Respondent’s data following the two (2) business day period may be addressed by the Panel in its decision.
The updated UDRP Rules also codify longstanding case suspension and party settlement agreement practices through a series of steps outlined below, and using a Standard Settlement Form. If, during a suspension, the parties inform the WIPO Center that they have agreed on a settlement, the WIPO Center will instruct the registrar to unlock the domain name to implement the settlement agreement.
The updated UDRP Rules provide that a settlement should apply the following process:
(i) The parties request that the WIPO Center suspend the proceedings to allow the parties to discuss settlement possibilities.
(ii) The WIPO Center informs the Registrar that the proceedings are suspended.
(iii) If the parties reach a settlement they should complete and return the WIPO Center’s Standard Settlement Form.
The Standard Settlement Form is not intended to be an agreement itself, but only to summarize the essential terms of the parties’ separate settlement agreement. The WIPO Center will not disclose the completed Standard Settlement Form to any third party. An email version of the WIPO Center’s Standard Settlement Form is also available upon request by the parties.
(iv) The WIPO Center will confirm to the registrar the action to be taken under the parties settlement agreement, i.e., transferring the domain name to the complainant (or, cancelling the domain name registration).
(v) The registrar will remove the lock within two (2) business days.
(vi) The complainant should then confirm to the WIPO Center that the action agreed to under the parties’ settlement agreement has been implemented by the registrar.
(vii) The WIPO Center will dismiss the proceedings without prejudice, unless otherwise stipulated in the parties’ settlement agreement.
Response Extension Requests
The updated UDRP Rules now provide for an automatic four-day extension of the response due date upon request by the respondent. No fee is required for extension requests.
Please contact the WIPO Center at email@example.com with any questions.