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Nominet UK is the official Registry for .uk domain names. It has acquired a good reputation over the years for its Domain Resolution Service (DRS) as being the only Registry to offer an option of free mediation prior to appointing of an Expert who will then decide the case.

Nominet UK published a single revised draft proposal and invited comments between 10 February 2016 and 24 March 2016.

NOMINET’s new policy still known as “Dispute Resolution Service Policy” (DRS Policy) came into effect from 1st October 2016 which can be viewed here- http://www.nominet.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Final-proposed-DRS-Policy.pdf.

Some of the major changes are-

  1. The Domain Resolution Service Policy (DRS Policy) and Domain Resolution Service Procedure have been unified into one policy and therefore from 1st October 2016 parties will rely and refer only to the new Dispute Resolution Service Policy (DRS Policy).
  2. The definition of ‘Respondent’ will include privacy services. This has an impact on notifications when a complaint is made. The DRS Policy recognises that a domain name can be registered in the name of a privacy service. When a complaint is filed against such a registrant NOMINET will notify the privacy service and in their discretion if they see fit will allow WHOIS details to be updated will ensure notify the privacy service of such proceedings. (Para 6.1 DRS Policy).
  3. Under the new policy NOMINET will reject a complaint if there are any deficiencies rather than previously where it allowed three (3) days to a Complainant to correct the deficiencies and return the complaint.
  4. NOMINET explained the strict wording to be a reflection of, “….cases where a complaint is repeatedly filed and discontinued in a manner which is borderline harassment, the revised wording now allows the DRS staff to reject such complaints, and we feel the proposed wording gives staff this useful power and should be retained in the final policy” (Para 6.2 DRS Policy)
  5. Annexes should be submitted with clear and descriptive file names and such annexes are purely for the purposes of submitting evidence to support the argument, not to bypass the 5000 word limit (Para 4.3.1 & 4.3.2 of DRS Policy).
  6. The DRS Policy recognises domains to be of an exact match even if they have certain characters (for example- spaces, apostrophes etc) while establishing rights in the context of a trade mark or name (Para 5.1.6 DRS Policy).
  7. The Rules under Para 15 (d) used the following wording, “…the expert finds that the complaint was brought in bad faith, for example in an attempt at reverse domain name hijacking”. The DRS Policy Para 18 has removed the words ‘in an attempt’ as this does not provide any concrete meaning.
  8. Any success and failure of the DRS Policy can only be assessed over the next several months which we will provide an update- so watch this space.
    If you need legal advice on filing a ‘.uk’ domain dispute you can contact Ramya Kumar ([email protected]). If you are an existing customer please contact your Account Manager for further information.

    Author – Ramya Kumar


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