NAF Rules

Domain Name Disputes Process

A party files a domain name Complaint with the FORUM in accordance with the appropriate policy and Supplemental Rule set. This party is known as the Complainant. A copy is sent or transmitted to the Respondent and the disputed domain name’s registrar.

Once the case is filed, the FORUM reviews the Complaint for administrative compliance. The Complainant has 5 days to bring the Complaint into compliance with the rules or the Complaint will be dismissed.

Once the Complaint has been processed and accepted by the FORUM, the case is commenced. In most cases the Respondent has 20 days to file a response with the FORUM in accordance with the appropriate policy and Supplemental Rule set.

The Respondent files a written response with the FORUM. If the Respondent does not provide a written response, the deciding panel will only consider the Complainant’s submissions.

Each party may submit one additional submission following the FORUM’s acceptance of the Response; refer to the Supplemental Rules for instructions, restrictions and fees.

The FORUM assigns a panel (or arbitrator[s]) to hear the case.

The panel reviews the Complaint and the Response, and has the discretion to review any additional submissions from the parties.

The panel issues a decision. The decision is published by the FORUM and communicated to the parties, the registrar, and the appropriate Internet body (such as ICANN or NeuStar).



Please note that this flowchart is not a substitute for the policies and rules governing domain name disputes. Parties to a domain name dispute must read and adhere to the procedures and deadlines outlined by the appropriate dispute resolution policy, its rule set, and the FORUM’s applicable Supplemental Rule set.

File a UDRP Complaint

Note: These instructions summarize certain portions of ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP), UDRP Rules (Rules), and the FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules (Supplemental Rule, or Supp Rule) that concern the filing of a Complaint. This summary is not a substitute for reading and understanding the Rules governing this proceeding.

File UDRP Complaints Properly
Parties interested in filing a UDRP Complaint must do so according to the UDRP Rules and the FORUM’s UDRP Supplemental Rules. Please read and review these rules prior to filing your Complaint.

If you would like to file your Complaint online, prepare the information for steps 1-18 below and proceed to our Online Filing for UDRP Complaints page.

If your Complaint involves one or more Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), please proceed to our Internationalized Domain Names page for additional filing instructions.

Prepare Your UDRP Complaint
A model Complaint form is available online in MS Word rich text format. You may download this form to assist you as you proceed through these instructions. 

Procedural Requirements

1.     Definitions:  Review Rule 1 and Supplemental Rule 1 if you aren’t sure who the proper Complainant and Respondent are.  Generally, the Complainant is the party who has the trademark rights in the domain name(s) at issue.  Generally, the Respondent is the party who is listed in the Whois record for the domain name(s) at issue.

2.     The Caption.  Include complainant’s name, respondent’s name, a list of domain names (or, if the list is long, a representative domain name from the list followed by “et.al.”)

3.     Excluding annexes, the complaint shall not exceed fifteen (15) pages. (Supp. Rule 4(a).)

4.     Include a request that the complaint be submitted for decision in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and Rules. (Rule 3(b)(i).)  If you use the model complaint, this language is provided in paragraph 1. 

5.     Include the name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone and facsimile numbers of the Complainant. The complaint must also include the name of the representative who is authorized to act for the Complainant in the proceeding. More than one email address may be provided for purposes of redundancy and to ensure receipt of critical communications. (Rule 3(b)(ii).)

 6.     Specify the preferred email addresses to be used in communicating with the Complainant. (Rule 3(b)(iii).)  

7.     Designate whether the Complainant requests one arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators.

§  When a one-member panel is requested, the National Arbitration Forum shall appoint a neutral and impartial arbitrator. Rule 6(b).

§  If Complainant opts for a three-member panel, the Complainant must provide names and contact information for three (3) candidates, one of whom will be asked to serve as a panel member. These candidates may be chosen from any ICANN approved provider's list of potential panelists. Rule 3(b)(iv). The other two panelists shall be selected in accordance with Rule 6(e).

8.    Provide the name of the Respondent (domain name holder), including the postal address, e-mail address, telephone and facsimile numbers, and any other contact information available to Complainant which will allow the National Arbitration Forum to send the complaint in compliance with Rule 2(a). Rule 3(b)(v). (Contact information may be found at a "Whois" database).

9.     Specify the domain name that is the subject of the complaint. If more than one domain name held by the same Respondent is in dispute, all may be included in one complaint. Rule 3(b)(vi).

10.   Identify with whom the domain name(s) are registered at the time the complaint is filed. Rule 3(b)(vii). (To identify the current domain Registrar, go to a "Registry Whois" database).

The Arguments

11.   Specify the trademark(s) or service mark(s) upon which the complaint is based. For each mark, the goods and services with which the mark is used must be described. The Complainant may also describe other goods and services with which it intends (at the time the complaint is submitted) to use the mark in the future. Rule 3(b)(viii).

12.   Describe the grounds on which the complaint is made. In particular, the complaint must describe:

a.     the manner in which the domain name(s) are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights, and

b.     why the Respondent should be considered as having no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name(s), and

c.     why the domain name(s) should be considered as having been registered and used in bad faith.

(Policy para. 4(a).)

13.   For elements (b) and (c) above, the description should include a discussion of the ICANN "Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy" (hereinafter "Policy") paragraphs 4(b) and 4(c) if applicable. Rule 3(b)(ix).

Policy paragraphs 4(b) and 4(c) provide as follows:

4.       Mandatory Administrative Proceeding.

b.     Evidence of Registration and Use in Bad Faith. For the purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:

                                                                i.    circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or

                                                                ii.    you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

                                                                iii.    you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

                                                                iv.    by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.

c.     How to Demonstrate Your Rights to and Legitimate Interests in the Domain Name in Responding to a Complaint. When you receive a complaint, you should refer to Paragraph 5 of the Rules of Procedure in determining how your response should be prepared. Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(ii):

                                                                i.    before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

                                                                 ii.    you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

                                                                iii.    you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

Concluding Formalities

14.  Specify the remedies sought. The Policy limits the remedies available to cancellation of the domain name or transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant. Transfer means the Registrar is ordered to transfer the domain name to you.  Cancellation means the domain name is taken away from the Respondent and placed back into the pool for general registrability. (Rule 3(b)(x), Policy Paragraph 4(i).)

15.  Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to any of the domain names that are the subject of the complaint. This includes any UDRP decisions that may have related to one or more domain name at issue here. (Rule 3(b)(xi).)

16.  State that a copy of the Complaint, together with the "Complaint Transmittal Cover Sheet" (available on the National Arbitration Forum's website), has been sent or transmitted to the Respondent and the Registrar(s) in accordance with Rule 2(b). (Rule 3(b)(xii), and Supp Rule 4(c)(e).)

17.  State that the Complainant will submit to the jurisdiction of the courts in one specified jurisdiction, if any challenge is made to a decision in the arbitration proceeding. Rule 3(b)(xiii).  See Rule 1 for a definition of Mutual Jurisdiction, which generally means the location of the registrar or the location of the registrant.

18.  Conclude with the following statement followed by the signature of the Complainant or its authorized representative:

"Complainant agrees that its claims and remedies concerning the registration of the domain name, the dispute, or the dispute's resolution shall be solely against the domain-name holder and waives all such claims and remedies against (a) the National Arbitration Forum and panelists, except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, (b) the registrar, (c) the registry administrator, and (d) the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, as well as their directors, officers, employees and agents.

Complainant certifies that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of Complainant's knowledge complete and accurate, that this Complaint is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Complaint are warranted under these Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument."

Rule 3(b)(xiv).

19.   Attach any documents or other evidence, including a copy of the Policy applicable to the domain name(s) in dispute and any trademark or service mark registration upon which the complaint relies, together with a table of contents of the evidence. Rule 3(b)(xv).

20.  Include the appropriate fee in accordance with the Forum's Supplemental Rules and Fee Schedule (Supp. Rule 17). Rule 19. If you prefer to pay by check, you may send the check to us using the addresses below. We will not process your case until we have received payment. Credit card information can be emailed with your complaint filing (as a separate attached document) or faxed to the fax number below. Please include the card number, expiration date, name on the card, amount authorized, and a signature (electronic signature accepted).

 

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File a UDRP Response

Note: These instructions summarize certain portions of ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) Rules and the FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules that concern the filing of a Response. This summary is not a substitute for reading and understanding the Rules governing this proceeding.

File UDRP Responses Properly
Parties interested in filing a UDRP Response must do so according to the UDRP Rules and the FORUM’s UDRP Supplemental Rules. Please read and review these rules prior to filing your Response.

If you would like to file your Response online, prepare the information for steps 1-10 below and proceed to our Online Filing for UDRP Responses page.

Prepare Your UDRP Response
A model Response form is available online. You may access this form to assist you as you proceed through these instructions. Before you begin, familiarize yourself with the FORUM’s Supplemental Rules as it provides information regarding file formats, file size, and what information must be included in each electronic file.

  1. The Response must be received within twenty (20) days after the commencement of the administrative proceeding. The Written Notice you received indicates the date your Response is due. ICANN Rules for Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (hereinafter "Rule") 5(a).

  2. Excluding attachments, the Response shall not exceed fifteen (15) pages. National Arbitration Forum Supplemental Rule (hereinafter "Supp. Rule") 5(a).
     
  3. The Response must respond specifically to the statements and allegations contained in the Complaint and include any and all bases for the Respondent to retain registration and use of the domain name. Rule 5(b)(i).

  4. Include the name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone and facsimile numbers of the Respondent. The response must also include the name of the representative who is authorized to act for the Respondent in the proceeding. Rule 5(b)(ii).

  5. Specify the preferred method for communicating with the Respondent. This shall specifically state the person to be contacted, the medium for contact and the address information. Specifically, provide the preferred email address(s) for the person who is to receive case communications. Rule 5(b)(iii). 

  6. Panel Selection
     
    • If the Complainant has requested a single-member Panel, designate whether the Respondent requests a single-member or three-member Panel. Rule 5(b)(iv).

    • When a single-member panel is requested, the National Arbitration Forum shall appoint a neutral and impartial arbitrator. Rule 6(b).

    • If Complainant or Respondent opts for a three-member panel, the Respondent must provide names and contact information for three (3) candidates, one of whom will serve as a panel member. These candidates may be chosen from any ICANN approved provider’s list of potential panelists. Rule 5(b)(v). The Forums list of panel candidates is available online. The other two panelists shall be selected in accordance with Rule 6(e).

    • If the Complainant elects to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel and Respondent elects a three-member Panel, Respondent shall pay one-half of the applicable fee for a three-member Panel as set forth in National Arbitration Forum Fee Schedule. If payment is not made, the dispute shall be heard by a single-member Panel. Rule 5(c).

  7. Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to the domain name(s) that are the subject of the complaint. Rule 5(b)(vi). This includes any prior UDRP cases the Respondent has been a party to with respect to this domain name.

  8. State that a copy of the response has been sent or transmitted to the Complainant in accordance with Rule 2(b). Rule 5(b)(vii).

  9. Conclude with the following statement followed by the signature of the Respondent or its authorized representative:

    "Respondent certifies that the information contained in this Response is to the best of Respondent's knowledge complete and accurate, that this Response is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Response are warranted under these Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument."

    Rule 5(b)(viii).

  10. Attach any documents or other evidence upon which the Respondent relies, together with a table of contents of the evidence. Rule 5(b)(ix).

File Your UDRP Response
Pursuant to Supp. Rule 5(c), send the Response and any other attached evidence by email to domaindispute@adrforum.com or submit online on the FORUM website.

If a three member panel is requested by Respondent, and Respondent wishes to pay by check, rather than online, note that the Rules require payment for the three member panel to accompany the submission of the Response.

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File a UDRP Additional Submission

Note: These instructions summarize certain portions of ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) Rules and the FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules that concern the filing of additional submissions. This summary is not a substitute for reading and understanding the Rules governing this proceeding..

The FORUM's Additional Submission Rule is designed to efficiently provide a fair and predictable procedure for accepting such submissions. UDRP Rule 10 provides the Panel with the ultimate authority to determine the admissibility of all submissions. Accordingly, it is up to the Panel, and not the FORUM, to decide whether submissions will be considered.

File UDRP Additional Submissions Properly
Parties interested in filing UDRP additional submissions must do so according to the UDRP Rules and the FORUM’s UDRP Supplemental Rules. Please read and review these rules prior to filing your additional submission.

Rules Governing UDRP Additional Submissions
Either party may submit an additional submission. National Arbitration Forum Supplemental Rule (hereinafter "Supp. Rule") 7(a). A Party may submit its Additional Submission under Supp. Rule 7(a) or 7(c), but not both. Supp. Rule 7(e).

Supp. Rule 7(a)-the First Party to File an Additional Submission:

  1. Additional submissions pursuant to Supp. Rule 7(a) must be received by the Forum within five (5) calendar days after the Response was submitted or the last day the Response was due. Additional submissions received after the five (5) day deadline will not be considered timely. Supp. Rule 7(a). The Panel may use its discretion in determining whether to consider any late additional submissions. Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (hereinafter "Rule") 10(d).

  2. A submission pursuant to Supp. Rule 7(a) will be considered timely only if it is received in its entirety (submission, attachments, and payment) by the Forum prior to midnight on the fifth day. If the submission, attachments, or payment are not all received by midnight of the fifth calendar day, the additional submission will not be considered complete. Supp. Rule 7(b). The Panel may use its discretion in determining whether to consider any incomplete additional submissions. Rule 10(d).

  3. A party may satisfy the payment requirement by providing a valid credit card number and expiration date prior to midnight on the fifth day. Although other forms of payment are acceptable, they must be received by the Forum prior to midnight on the fifth calendar day. If the payment is not received within the five (5) day period, the additional submission will not be considered complete. Supp. Rule 7(b)(ii). The Panel may use its discretion in determining whether to consider any incomplete additional submissions. Rule 10(d).
Supp. Rule 7(c)-Responding to an Additional Submission:
  1. The opposing Party has five (5) calendar days to respond to an Additional Submission submitted under Supp. Rule 7(a). Additional submissions pursuant to Supp. Rule 7(c) must be received by the Forum within five (5) calendar days after the 7(a) Additional Submission was submitted. Additional submissions received after the five (5) day deadline will not be considered timely. Supp. Rule 7(c). The Panel may use its discretion in determining whether to consider any late additional submissions. Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (hereinafter "Rule") 10(d).


  2. A submission pursuant to Supp. Rule 7(c) will be considered timely only if it is received in its entirety (submission and attachments) by the Forum prior to midnight on the fifth calendar day. If the submission or attachments are not all received by midnight of the fifth calendar day, the additional submission will not be considered complete. Supp. Rule 7(d). The Panel may use its discretion in determining whether to consider any incomplete additional submissions. Rule 10(d).

For both 7(a) and 7(c) Additional Submissions:

  • The party submitting an Additional Submission under either Supp. Rule 7(a) or 7(c) must serve a copy of the Additional Submission upon all opposing parties. Proof of service upon the opposing parties must be submitted to the Forum within the five (5) calendar day period. Supp. Rule 7(b)(iii) and 7(d)(ii).

  • Additional Submissions under 7(a) or 7(c) shall be submitted to the Forum in electronic form and must comply with the electronic file requirements set forth in the Annex to the Supplemental Rules. Supp. Rule 7(b)(iv) and 7(d)(iii).

  • An Additional Submission must not amend the Complaint or Response. Supp. Rule 7(f).

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The FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules

Effective July 1, 2010, this version of the FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules govern the FORUM's administration of the UDRP. Previous versions of the FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules are available for cases filed prior to July 1, 2010.

Download Current Version
Use the links below to download the July 1, 2010 version of the FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules. The PDF file requires Adobe Reader software. You can download Adobe Reader from Adobe's website.

The FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules
The FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules

To see what has changed in our Supplemental Rules since the March 1, 2010 version, review the redline version below.

The FORUM's UDRP Supplemental Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

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