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URS – ICANN Offers Uniform Rapid Suspension against Cybersquatters

Logo for ICANN, which developed URS - Uniform Rapid SuspensionI have written several times about ICANN’s longstanding Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). This post discusses a more recent way to thwart some cybersquatters, namely, URS – Uniform Rapid Suspension.

According to ICANN explains, URS exists to “provide rapid relief to trademark holders for the most clear-cut cases of infringement“. Furthermore, URS is cheaper and faster than UDRP.

URS Speed and Burden of Proof

Under the URS, the Complainant must prove three facts comparable to those to be proved under the UDRP.

(i) The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights rights.
(ii) The Registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
(iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Under the URS, however, these facts must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. Put another way, the Examiner must determine there is no genuine issue of material fact.

This high burden of proof permits the Examiner to make a quick decision. And a quick decision means the URS proceeds quickly.

URS Remedy: Suspension

In contrast to the UDRP, URS does not result in transfer of a domain name to a successful complainant. Instead, the domain in question is suspended. This means that a losing Registrant cannot use the domain for the remainder of its registration period.

Following a URS determination, a Complainant may seek other relief. This might include, typically, via the UDRP or in a court proceeding.

In an obvious case of cybersquatting, the URS may be the quickest, easiest, least expensive way to dislodge the cybersquatter.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law  +1 510 547-0545  dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
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