Notes on the dispute resolution regulation
Our Dispute Resolution Regulations explain the arrangements for setting a disagreement about who the rightful registrant of a domain name is.
We recommend that you start by trying to resolve your differences in a friendly way. Agreeing a solution between you is easiest for everyone. The dispute resolution system is there for the disagreements that can't be resolved that way. You also have the option of going to court.
Take a look at the decisions made in previous cases as well. They're published on www.wipo.nl.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use our dispute resolution system if:
You think that a .nl domain name is the same as a name that you have the right to use. Or so similar as to be confusing. Names that you have the right to use can include things such as:
Names of government bodies and agencies
Names of foundations and associations
You also think that the existing registrant has no legitimate interest of their own in using the domain name.
You also think that the domain name has been registered 'in bad faith' (i.e. for a dishonest purpose).
Not through our system. Our system is purely for deciding who should have control of a domain name.
See the table below.
Number of domain names
* Are you involved in a dispute about more than ten domain names? Please contact WIPO (email@example.com) for advice.
You always have to pay your own costs, even if you win the case. That includes any additional costs, such as the fees charged by a lawyer or advisor. Our system is purely for deciding who should have control of a domain name.
You have to pay the fee only if the panellist actually considers your case.
You don't pay up front when you send in the form.
You don't pay if the case is resolved by mediation before the panellist considers it.
Domain names are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no rules against offering a legitimately registered domain name for sale.
You complete a form explaining why you think that you should have the disputed domain name. That form is known as 'the complaint'.
The registrant is given the opportunity to say why they don't accept your claim on the domain name. They send in a written explanation of their case, which is known as 'the response'.
The panellist is a lawyer specialising in this field, who acts like a judge within our system.
You get an e-mail from WIPO acknowledging receipt of your form.
WIPO checks your form to make sure you've filled it in properly. If not, you'll be given the opportunity to put it right.
The process starts.
WIPO sends one copy of your form to the registrant and another to us.
We freeze the domain name's registration, so that the registrant can't dispose of the name or cancel it before the process has finished.
The registrant is given the opportunity to respond to your complaint.
If the registrant submits a response, we see whether we can mediate between the two of you.
If no response is received or mediation doesn't help, WIPO appoints a panellist to consider the case.
The panellist studies your complaint and the response (if there's been one) and decides who should have control of the domain name.
The panellist decides the case purely on the basis of your complaint.
The panellist aims to decide the case within fourteen calendar days. Within three days of reaching a decision, the panellist tells you, the registrant and us.
Our system doesn't provide for costs to be paid by the loser. Our system is purely for deciding who should have control of a domain name.
Our system doesn't provide for appeals. But either of you can challenge the decision through the law courts.
You are given the opportunity to say why you think you should be allowed to keep the domain name. You send in a written explanation of your case, known as 'the response'.
An impartial mediator takes a fresh look at the case and listens to what both sides have to say. The mediator helps you and the other side explore the possibility of settling their differences amicably.
It starts within five days of WIPO sending the response to us. First, we take a look at the case, then we send you both a mail telling you about the start of the mediation process.
The outcome is up to you and the other side, not a panellist or a judge.
You can come up with a creative solution. A panellist can decide only who the registrant should be. If you settle things yourselves, you can make a set of arrangements that suit you both.
Mediation saves money. If the case is settled before a panellist looks at it, no fee is payable to WIPO.
Mediation provides a quick solution.
The outcome is up to you and the other side. The mediator simply acts as a go-between. Nothing you say to the mediator is passed on to the panellist.
One of our mediators will call you a number of times. Depending on the workload and how easy it is to get hold of you and the other side, the process can take between three weeks and three months. Calls are usually made on working days between 8am and 6pm, but we can talk to you at other times by arrangement.
WIPO will appoint a panellist to decide who should have the domain name. Consideration will start once the complainant has paid the fee. If payment isn't made on time, the process is cancelled.
The mediation paperwork isn't passed on to the panellist. The case is decided purely on the basis of the complaint and response, plus any additional information that the panellist might ask for.