FINDING OUT WHO OWNS A DOMAIN NAME
Where can I get information about who is the registrant of a domain name?
If you have a domain dispute, you can contact the Registry to find out the contact details for a domain owner. Contact the Registry and fill out a Legitimate Interest form. The Registry will provide you with contact details. The Registrant details for any .gg and .je domain name are freely available to those persons having a legitimate concern to know the registrant details. See the [Pre-CIDD WHOIS Registrant Details Request Form].
To which dispute resolution service provider do I submit my Complaint?
Disputes in relation to Channel Island Domains (i.e. .gg and .je) can only submitted to CIDD.
Do I have to use CIDD?
No, you may also issue proceedings in the Alderney or Guernsey or Jersey Courts,
but if you have not used CIDD, there may be severe costs implications and you may
end up paying all the legal costs. (See also “Appeals”)
Is there a standard form in which a Complaint should be submitted?
No, but complaints should be in the form of the Sample Complaint
How do I submit a Complaint?
See the Complaint Transmittal Form and the Sample Complaint
In what language should the Complaint be made?
Currently we only accept complaints in English and Mandarin.
(For Mandarin, unless the Respondent is also chinese, please provide English translation).
Does the Complaint have to be prepared and submitted by a lawyer?
No, but you are wise to seek legal advice
What information should be included in the Complaint?
See the Sample Complaint and Complaint Guide
Can a Complaint include more than one domain name?
More than one person or entity may jointly make a complaint.
Where this occurs the joint Complainants must be part of the same corporate group and must:
a) all sign the hard copy of the complaint (or have it signed on their behalf);
b) specify one of the Complainants, or a single representative, who will be the ‘lead Complainant’ who will receive correspondence on behalf of all the Complainants and is entitled to act on behalf of them all (e.g. in Informal Mediation); and
c) specify which Complainant the Complainants wish to become the sole registrant of each Domain Name(s), if the Complainants are successful (this does not bind the Adjudicator).
Does the Complaint have to be certified or notarized?
No, but it must have the Statement as to Truth set out in the Procedures (this may differ from the signature block in the Sample Complaint.
Do any payments have to be made when filing the Complaint?
Yes, see our fees section
Is the Complainant required to send a copy of the Complaint to the Respondent?
No. When you file your complaint with the Registry, the Registry administration team will do so.
What do I include in the Complaint ?
a) Contact details of the Complainant and the Registrant, specifying whether the Complainant wishes to be contacted direct or through an authorised representative, and set out the email address, telephone number, fax number and postal address which should be used and setting out any of the Respondent’s contact details which are known to the Complainant and specify the steps taken to verify those addresses and whether communication to those addresses have been acknowledged by the Respondent;
b) The Complaint (not exceeding 5000 words (not including the text exclusions set out below and annexes) .This shall be provided in Word format or similar (i.e. Open-Source Word Processor) format or plain text but shall not be password protected;
c) be limited to 30 pages of annexes save where the Registry has given permission for additional pages of annexes and paid the relevant fee (being £5 per additional page).
d) specify the Domain Name and the name or mark which is identical or similar to the Domain Name and in which the Complainant asserts it has Rights;
e) describe in accordance with the Policy the grounds on which the complaint is made including in particular:
e.1. what Rights the Complainant asserts in the name or mark;
e.2. why the Domain Name should be considered to be infringing
e.3. why the Domain Name should be considered to be an Abusive Registration in the hands of the Respondent;
e.4. any other applicable aspects of the policy as well as any other grounds which support the Complainant’s assertion;
f) specify whether the Complainant is seeking to have the Domain Name transferred, suspended, cancelled or otherwise amended;
g) specify whether any legal proceedings have been commenced or terminated or otherwise discontinued or determined in connection with the Domain Name;
h) state that the Complainant will submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Alderney or Guernsey courts with respect to any legal proceedings relating the CIDD process or otherwise seeking to appeal, reverse or otherwise challenge the effect of a Decision requiring the suspension, cancellation, transfer or other amendment to a Domain Name registration,
i) state that the Complainant will not submit the registry or the adjudicator to any claim for damages or legal costs whatsoever;
j) state that the Complainant will submit to exclusively English law;
k) conclude with the required signature block (this does not count in the word limit).
The Complainant should remember that the Complainant has the burden of proving its case and therefore:
i) It is recommended that the Complaint deals with potential defences such as fair use. (Where it appears to the adjudicator that fair use arises, or where the Complainant avers that there is bad faith registration but there are legitimate grounds for registration such that bad faith in registration is not automatic, then the Complaint should deal with this).
ii) It is recommended that the Complaint attach (as exhibits) copies of any written documentary or other evidence on which the Complainant relies including correspondence and summaries of any trade mark registration and/or summary evidence of use of or reputation in a name or mark, together with an index of the material attached.
l) A witness statement duly sworn is often a good idea.
How does the Registry communicate Complaints?
The Registry uses its discretion and will seek to send the complaint to the Parties by using, in Registry discretion, any of the following means:
a) sending the complaint by first class post, fax or email to the Parties at the contact details shown on the Complaint or as the registrant or other contacts in Registry domain name register database entry for the Domain Name;
b) sending the complaint in electronic form (including attachments to the extent available in that form) by email to postmaster@<the Domain Name>, Webmaster@<the Domain Name> and admin@<the Domain Name> or any e-mail address provided to the Registry; or
c) if the Domain Name resolves to an active web page (other than a generic page which Registry conclude is maintained by a registrar for parking Domain Names), to any email address shown or email links on that web page so far as this is practicable; or
d) sending the complaint to any addresses provided to us by the Parties so far as this is practicable.
e) (optionally as additional notification) SMS message to any mobile phone number provided, VOIP or IM address provided).
f) Registry may provide until Respondent responds, the Complaint on the CIDD Pages of the Registry.
WHAT IS THE COMPLAINANT SIGNATORY WORDING?
See the Procedural Rules
Where are the Old Rules?
The Old Rules had a number of flaws and defects including not requiring a statement of truth and not requiring positive defenses, so they could be inferred. As a result, it was felt in late 2021 that the Procedures needed an update. A set of the old 2014 rules are here.
- Complainants should avoid being distracted by taking into account the decisions and discussions in previous dissimilar cases of UDRPs that are simply wrong at law when compared with Court caselaw.
- Complainants should avoid being distracted by taking into account the decisions and discussions in previous dissimilar cases of UDRP where only one party has participated in the UDRP as argument had likely not considered properly the various arguments and counterarguments.
- Complainants should avoid being distracted by taking into account the decisions and discussions in previous dissimilar cases of UDRPs where poor panellists have repeated arguments in cases where the Respondent has not replied or attempted to fit decisions around unargued law instead of simply saying “the Respondent has not responded and therefore must be deemed to have agreed to the transfer of the domain name”.
- Complainants should focus on the evidence to prove their case and to focus on the burdens of proof that they need to meet and not the previous UDRPs.
- Complainants should avoid the trap of considering that there was little need for actual evidence to support their case because the previous dissimilar cases of UDRPs would suffice.
- Complainants should avoid arguments that a breach of terms would be adequate. The question of breach of terms and conditions is not a relevant consideration for a UDRP such as CIDD as being too complex for the simple CIDD procedures, having arguments that need detailed consideration of fairness of terms, whether the terms survive secondary sale doctrines, unfair competition challenges, challenges whether parties have accepted the terms, whether there is simply a marketplace at the domain name and not direct sales etc and numerous other arguments. The nature of UDRP makes it inappropriate for the UDRP to consider whether or not there are minor infringements of a complainant’s terms and conditions or the validity of end-user agreements that may go to over 30 pages. It is not for UDRPs to consider complex arguments on the question of validity or terms and any breach of terms and conditions.
- For cases involving trademarks with the addition of other words in a registered domain name (often known as “composite domains” or “potentially fair use domains”), Complainants and Respondents should consider whether nominative fair use has arisen (and the line of cases stemming from the Toyota Motors v Tabari case, (partially cited in the arbitrators decision in Fortniteitems.gg) and their equivalent in other jurisdictions and complainants should pro-actively provide any argument against nominative fair use as part of the main complaint.
Is the filing of a Response mandatory?
No, but if you don’t file a response, you are likely to lose your domain.
You also need to file a response within 21 days of the Complaint being sent to you.
What if I need more time?
You can apply for an extension on good grounds, but this be done before the 21 days expire except in exceptional cases.
Do I need to engage a lawyer to file a response?
No. Whether you use a lawyer or not is up to you. The CIDD process is designed to be user friendly and you should read the previous CIDD decisions and also look at the guidelines and the Response template set out on the CIDD site.
How many days does a Respondent have to file a Response?
21 days from receiving the Complaint
What happens if a Response is not filed or not filed on time?
If you don’t file a response, you are likely to lose your domain. You also need to file a response within 21 days of the Complaint being sent to you. You can apply for an extension on good grounds, but this be done before the 21 days expire except in exceptional cases.
The Tribunal has discretion to accept late submissions but will not normally do if it has already published a judgement. The Tribunal may make a judgment at any time after the expiry of the time for providing a response, but will normally not do so until at least 7 days after the expiry of the time for the response.
Is there a standard form in which a Response should be submitted?
No, but you are recommended to use look at the guidelines and use the Response template set out on the site.
When submitting a Response electronically, what format should be used?
It should normally be in word (.doc or .docx) or .odt format or similar format. Please do not send scanned pdfs as data needs to be extracted.
In what language should the Response be made?
The response should be in English. (Where all parties are Chinese, CIDD may be able to accommodate a complaint and response in Mandarin if the parties as well as the registry agree).
Does the Response have to be submitted by a lawyer?
No, but you must ensure that you have the Respondent Signatory Block.
What information should be included in the Response?
This will depend on each case and it is impossible to say what is the appropriate information
that should be provided. You should however see the Sample response and the response
Guide and look at previously decided cases for indications.
In preparing my Response, how do I demonstrate my rights to and legitimate interests in the domain name that is the subject of the Complaint?
This is set out in the guidelines and also referred to in previous CIDD cases. For domains having Potentially Fair Use we recommend looking at the previous decision in Fortniteitems.gg.
Does the Response have to be certified or notarized?
No, but it must have the signature block shown in the Sample Response
Do any fees have to be paid when filing a Response?
Please see the Fees section. Response fees are not usually charged.
Lengthy Responses may incur document charges as set out in the Fees Page
How do I submit a Response?
See the Response Transmission Sheet for details
Which contact details should be used when sending the Response to the Complainant and what communication methods should be used?
All communications should be sent to the support desk at the Registry. Please do not contact the Adjudicator directly.
Does the Response have to be sent to the registrar(s)?
No, the response should be sent to the Registry as set out in the Response Transmission Sheet.
ROLE OF THE CIDD PANEL
What is an Administrative Panel?
Who are the Panelists?
The panelists are qualified solicitors or barristers with both IT and IP expertise or may also be IT experts with legal training or experience.
When is the Administrative Panel appointed?
The Administrative Panel is a shortlist of the Panellists and is appointed when a Complaint is received.
What decisions can the Administrative Panel take?
The CIDD has a wide range of decisions including
(i) No action
(i) Transfer of Domain
(ii) De-Registration of Domain
(iii) Listing of a Party as Vexatious
(iv) Listing of a Party as CyberSquatting
(v) Listing of a Party as CyberHijacking
Can the Administrative Panel award any monetary amounts?
If something is sensitive, can I communicate it privately?
This is at the discretion of the Registry and Adjudicator.
We would recommend raising this as an issue with the Registry first, who will pass it onto the
Adjudicator who will mak e a final decision.
Usually anything genuinely identified as sensitive will be redacted in the Public Judgment.
Please discuss this with the Registry using the CIDD Supplementary Form.
How long does it take to get a decision?
Typically this is within 60 days, but may be longer during covid periods.
The Respondent has 28 days to reply once the Complaint is sent to them,
but the registry must ensure that Respondent understands the implications of CIDD process
The Panel Arbitrator may also have questions to ask the parties which may delay matters.
The Panel Arbitrator will try to get an answer within 28 days of receiving the Reply. In cases where the arbitrator has to consider issues not properly raised or dealt with by either of the Parties then the decision will take longer
How is an Administrative Panel decision implemented?
Once an Arbitrator gives a decision, the decision is sent to both parties.
The decision is a recommendation to the Registry.
The Registry usually follows the decision but is not bound to do so.
Either Party can issue an appeal within 14 days (or apply to Court).
If no appeal (or service of Court documents) is made to issue within 14 days, the Registry will
decide what to do and, if it is not following the recommendation, will so notify the parties.
Is it possible to challenge an Administrative Panel decision?
Yes – see Appeals
Are the Administrative Panel’s decisions available to the public?
Yes – see previous decisions
What happens if the parties come to an agreement over their dispute during the proceedings?
Just as in court cases, the Parties are free to reach a settlement agreement at any time prior to the Arbitrator’s decision being made. The Registry will record the complaint in the CIDD list of complaints but no decision will be published. The matter will simply state “A confidential Settlement Agreement was reached”.
G. ROLE OF THE REGISTRY
What is the registry’s role in the administrative proceeding?
H. Where are the old rules?
The Procedures were updated in March 2022. The previous rules are available here.
of the amount due at the time of filing.)
DOMAIN ARBITRATION FEE (COMPLAINT FEE)
The fee payable to start the formal stage of a domain dispute is £900 (per domain). It is based on the assessment that a domain dispute can be decided in just one day,
Additional, per-page fees apply for large evidence filings.
Once this is paid, the Complainant must put in their statement of case as a formal CIDD Arbitration Challenge/Complaint.
The applicable fees for the submission of an appeal are £3,500 excluding VAT.
A Defendant/Respondent can only appeal where they availed themselves of the full dispute hearing by paying the Contested Dispute Fee, where required.
In exceptional circumstances, for example if an in-person hearing is held, we will request that the Parties pay additional fees to be agreed between us, the Parties and the Adjudicator.
ABOUT THE FEES
All fees are calculated on a cost-recovery basis, and are passed on in their entirety to the Adjudicator(s),
The Registry does not charge for our mediation or administration services in respect of the CIDD, nor for its role in providing related administration services, such as managing comunications between the parties and the Expert.
CIDD is a low cost arbitration service and therefore costs are no recoverable.
Please note: Your alternative using this service is to bring a dispute in a court having jurisdiction over the domain (usually Guernsey or Jersey), where the Court will and usually do make appropriate costs orders. These costs may be in excess of £25,000; however please also note that in accordance with existing caselaw, a Court may consider limiting recoverable costs to the cost of the CIDD process with the accompanying risk that the prevailing party could being substantially out of pocket as a result of not using the available DRS.
Calls for more teeth to RDNH
The high water mark of reverse domain name hijacking findings is demonstrated in the recent case of IUNO Advokatpartnerselskab v Croom (Case D2011-0806). Some commentators have suggested that a finding of reverse domain name hijacking means little more than the panel slapping a complainant’s hand and saying “bad boy” whilst others have suggested that reverse domain name hijacking procedures should be given more teeth – for example, by imposing a costs penalty on the complainant (as the CIDD procedure has powerr to do) or, as under Nominet (.uk) preventing a complainant from using the Domain Dispute procedure for a specified time once several findings of reverse domain name hijacking have been made against it, but some commentators are saying that the high number of RDNH findings need a proper financial penalty.
Fortinet loses trademark dispute with rival Fortanix
A US federal court jury has rejected cybersecurity firm Fortinet’s claims that rival Fortanix Inc infringed its trademark. Fortinet, which creates firewalls, antivirus software and other cybersecurity products, sued Fortanix, a data security provider, in 2020, claiming that its company name was “highly similar in appearance and in sound” and therefore likely to cause consumer confusion.
However, after a nearly two-week trial, the jury was unsatisfied that trademark infringement had been shown. Fortanix had argued that the variation in approach and technology that the two companies offer and the level of scrutiny that “sophisticated IP professionals” apply to these cybersecurity options before purchasing them made consumer confusion unlikely.
Proposal to block and lock illegal pharmacy domains
new report by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), sponsored by ASOP Global Foundation, has demonstrated how locking and suspending websites that illegally sell prescription medications online directly impacts patient safety. “Disrupting Illegal Online Pharmacies: Lock-and-Suspend as a Tool to Protect Patients”.
The owner of figurative marks containing the term ‘NLix’ sought the transfer of ‘nlix.net’ under the UDRP. The panel found it more likely than not that the domain name was originally registered before 2001, when the complainant filed its trademark. The panel was not of the opinion that the complaint should never have been made and thus declined to make a finding of RDNH.
Appfollow.fi Oy sought the transfer of the domain name ‘appfollow.com’ under the UDRP. With regard to the first limb, the complainant submitted that it owned a Finnish trademark registration for the mark APPFOLLOW dating from May 2021. The complainant also claimed rights in this term as an unregistered trademark.
The disputed domain name, ‘appfollow.com’, was registered in February 2017 and used to point to various websites. Until 2020 it pointed to a registrar parking page or to a page indicating that the domain name was for sale. Starting from January 2020, the domain name resolved to a website promoting the ‘App Annie’ service (one of the complainant’s supposed competitors), as well as to a website containing articles about various applications and topics.The complainant asserted that the disputed domain name had been registered in 2017 in bad faith. The complainant argued that its business, conducted at first via the matching domain name ‘appfollow.ru’, had already started in 2014. A year later, the complainant registered and started to use the domain name ‘appfollow.io’ and created a Twitter account. The complainant also submitted its results associated with Google AdWords between 2016 and 2021 and with its advertising through QuoraAds. The complainant’s sales revenues, as well as use of the term ‘Appfollow’ before 2017, were limited to the Russian Federation and were not substantial.The scale of the complainant’s use of the term ‘Appfollow’ when the domain name was registered was insufficient to reject the respondent’s denial of awareness of the complainant’s unregistered trademark.
The panel decided not to make a finding of RDNH as the complaint was not necessarily bound to fail.
NB: Having a trademark does not necessarily mean that a trademark holder will succeed in obtaining the transfer of a domain name, even if it is identical, especially wherre a domain name has descriptive or generric connotations. Having matching domain names under different extensions will not automatically allow a complainant to claim rights to similar domain names.
Transferring a parody domain name? Never ever!
A WIPO UDRP Panel efused to transfer the domain name ‘nevereverfx.com’, finding that the complainant had failed to prove that the respondent had no rights or legitimate interests and that the respondent had registered and used the domain name in bad faith.
ICC Intercertus Capital Ltd, an international online broker, provides access to tradable instruments for both retail and institutional investors and has trademarks for EVERFX, including EU trademark No 017995046, and was the owner of the domain name ‘everfx.com’.
It complained about the Respondent registering the domain name ‘nevereverfx.com’ on 24 March 2021. At the time of the proceedings, the domain name resolved to a website warning consumers against using the complainant’s services and included a parodied copy of the complainant’s logo.
The panel found that the respondent had successfully passed the “impersonation test”, which addressed the question of whether a domain name would be mistakenly perceived by the public as being authorised by, or affiliated with, the trademark holder. It iis an essential part of parody that the parodying party calls into the mind of the reader the thing benig parodied. The panel found that the addition of the term ‘never’ to the complainant’s trademark created a blended term which was likely to be considered derogatory, such that potential customers were unlikely to perceive the domain name as being affiliated with, or authorised by, the complainant, and served as a sufficient indication that the website at the domain name was critical of the complainant. Moreover, the panel found that the criticism expressed by the respondent seemed genuine and non-commercial and, as such, could not be interpreted as a pretext for cybersquatting or tarnishment of the complainant’s trademark. The panel therefore found that the complainant had failed to carry its burden under the second element of Paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP. The respondent appeared to be engaged in genuine non-commercial criticism in good faith and if this damaged the complainant’s reputation and disrupted its business, it was within legitimate use.
Comment: This decision provides a good example of how the UDRP offers a safe harbour protecting freedom of expression.
An unstreamlined complaint
The complainant was GSL Networks Pty Ltd, from Australia, represented by a law firm. According to limited factual research into public records conducted by the panel, the complainant appeared to have been incorporated on 4 August 2017. The complainant claimed (but evidence was not provided) that it had used the name Streamline Servers or variants thereof across various businesses since 2009. The complainant added that it had purchased the domain name ‘streamline.net.nz’ in November 2009 and that such domain name was still active and registered to the complainant. Since the complainant did not exist then, the panel was prepared to assume that an affiliate or predecessor of the complainant was the registrant of the domain name.The complainant was the owner of the Australian figurative mark S STREAMLINE SERVERS, registered in March 2020, and a US trademark for the word-and-design mark STREAMLINE SERVERS, registered in December 2020 and claiming first use in commerce in April 2016.
The respondent was Alex Alvanos of Bobservers, located in the United States. He created and registered the domain name in June 2004. The domain name resolved to an unconfigured server page. The complainant however provided a screenshot, taken in April 2021, indicating that the domain name, at one time, redirected to a website at ‘www.gameservers.com’, which the complainant stated was one of its competitors. The respondent also provided screenshots from the internet archive service Wayback Machine demonstrating that, in 2004, 2005 and 2010, he had operated a game server hosting business from the disputed domain name.The respondent argued that he had registered the domain name because it contained the two dictionary words ‘streamline’ and ‘server’, which corresponded to his interest in developing a website and business that facilitated owning a server for gamers. The respondent added that the complainant’s trademark did not exist at that time and that a respondent was not required to make use of a domain name in order to have rights or legitimate interests therein. The fact that the domain name described the respondent’s purpose was only further strong evidence of his intent to use it for a bona fide purpose. The respondent specified that he had actually used the domain name for such purpose.
The panel held that the complainant had failed to prove that the respondent had registered or used the domain name in bad faith. Based on the evidence presented, the panel confirmed the respondent’s argument that the domain name had been registered by the respondent before the complainant’s trademark rights accrued and absent any nascent or unregistered rights of the complainant. The panel also held that there was no suggestion or evidence on the present record that, in registering the domain name in 2004, the respondent was anticipating and intending to target any then-nascent rights of the complainant.
The panel found that the complainant had indeed engaged in RDNH because the complaint was doomed to fail at the outset and the complainant, especially if it was represented by legal counsel, should have appreciated this.
The panel further noted that the complainant should have considered the fact that the distinctiveness of its trademark was due in part to its stylisation, and that the domain name contained dictionary words which were at least partially descriptive of a hosting business. The fact that the word ‘servers’ was disclaimed in the complainant’s US trademark registration raised the reasonable possibility that another entity might have come by the term ‘streamline servers’ on an independent basis, and without necessarily having any knowledge of, or intent to target, the complainant or its rights.
RECENT SALES – Fall 2022:
$119,911 sale of Sino.xyz paid by buyer, the Sino Group, is a property developer in Hong Kong that already owns Sino.com. Fiduciary.com at $84,999 in a sale made through NameJet. .Coms took the next two spots as well, with Sedo moving #3 Fincas.com for $74,250 and #4 TouchWallet.com going for $65,000.
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