Domain Name Disputes

About Domain Name Disputes

Domain Name disputes in Australia are regulated under ordinary Trade Marks and Trade Practices law although there is the added convenience of a contractual dispute mechanism available to parties.

If you hold a .au suffixed domain name available to most entities, the auDRP provides a low-cost, fast-turnaround dispute resolution mechanism with the decision becoming binding on the contracting domain name registrar.

Before making demands in relation to a domain name, you must be careful so as to avoid extortionate offers for payment being made from the infringing party.

Domain name

Additionally, under Trade Marks law, the mere registration of a domain name does not necessarily constitute trade mark infringement – although it may constitute misleading and deceptive conduct which attaches similar remedies for rights holders.

Most Popular Questions

How long does it take to engage in the auDRP process?

Most auDRP disputes are settled within two months’ of filing. This is subject to the rules and regulations governing the process and the rules of the forum hearing the dispute.

I do not have a registered trade mark, do I still have a right to my domain name?

A registered trade mark is a preferred avenue to demonstrate ownership in an auDRP dispute. Whilst other factors on a legal basis will be considered, the case brought may be less convincing.

What fees can I expect to pay to settle a domain name dispute?

In many instances, where the cost to re-gain a domain from an unauthorised registrant is not prohibitive (ie. Less than $1,000) it is often cheaper (and easier) to negotiate a settlement directly with the other party. Where the ‘sale price’ to re-gain control of the domain is higher than this amount, an auDRP process should be considered.

I previously owned a generic domain name which was not a registered trade mark and someone else has now registered it, what can I do?

In this instance specialist advice from a trade marks attorney or lawyer should be taken however the auDRP avenue is normally not the best avenue of dispute in these instances.