Domain Names: WIPO to resolve EU Top Level Domain Name Disputes from Tomorrow

WIPO Head Office in Geneva
Photo Jane Lambert
© 2006 Jane Elizabeth Lambert: all rights reserved
















Jane Lambert

Since 2005 the European Union has had its own top level domain space for businesses, institutions and individuals domiciled in any of the EU or EFTA mmber states.  The best known users of that domain space are the EU institutions such as the European Union itself (http://europa.eu/), the Court of Justice of the European Union (https://curia.europa.eu) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (https://euipo.europa.eu) but there are others who have registered ".eu" domain names.

The agreement to register an ".eu" domain name requires complaints by trade mark owners over the registration of the domain name to be referred to a panel appointed by a dispute resolution service provider chosen by the complainant. Up to now, the Czech Arbitration Court has been the only dispute resolution service provider but from tomorrow it will be joined by the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") which is already the leading provider of resolution services for generic and many country code top level domain name disputes.

I have been a member of the WIPO's panel of neutrals since 2003 and have decided many disputes under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP") but I have had an interest in domain name dispute resolution since the earliest days of the internet. I contributed several articles on the topic to the NIPC newsletter in the late 1990s and I was one of the first (if not the first) English barrister to draft a UDRP complaint in 2000. From tomorrow, I shall be one of the neutrals who will be eligible for appointment as a panellist in ".eu" domain name disputes.

When not acting as a panellist, I am available to advise trade mark owners on whether a complaint can be brought under the UDRP, Nominet Dispute Resolution Service or other country code dispute resolution policy and domain name registrants on whether a complaint can be resisted under the relevant policy. If there is a reasonable prospect of success I will draft the complaint or, as the case may require, the response and advise on any subsequent proceedings including appeals where they are available and litigation.

Anyone who wishes to discuss this article or domain name dispute resolution generally can call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

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