Guide on Domain Names by jianghongl

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									                                                      The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                                     co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




                                                             Guide on Domain Names

- Preliminary remarks: objectives and structure of the guide......................................................................................                                       2
- A. How to access the Internet.......................................................................................................................................                   3
    - 1) The Internet server...............................................................................................................................................              3
    - 2) The ISP Agreement. ............................................................................................................................................                 3
- B. Domain names in daily life........................................................................................................................................                  4
    - 1) How to evaluate a domain name.........................................................................................................................                          4
    - 2) How to choose a domain name...........................................................................................................................                          4
    - 3) How to register a domain name..........................................................................................................................                         5
        - a) May I register?................................................................................................................................................             5
        - b) How to choose my Registrar?.......................................................................................................................                          5
        - c) How to apply for registration.........................................................................................................................                      6
        - d) Pragmatic considerations if you register through a registration company..............................................                                                       6
             - What name should I provide as the legal registrant? ...............................................................................                                       6
             - Whose name should I provide as administrative contact?.......................................................................                                             6
             - Check if the correct domain name fee has been paid by the registration company!.............................                                                              6
    - 4) Is it possible to Buy a domain name already "on hold" or registered?..........................................................                                                  6
        - a) How to find the domain name owner............................................................................................................                               6
        - b) How to valuate the domain name that I want to acquire.............................................................................                                          6
    - 5) How to transfer a domain name from the existing owner to a new owner.....................................................                                                       7
        - a) How do I proceed to the transfer?................................................................................................................                           7
        - b) What do I need to know about the transfer agreement?............................................................................                                            7
             - By having recourse to escrow services .....................................................................................................                               7
             - By sharing the financial risk........................................................................................................................                     7
             - By having recourse to a stakeholder .........................................................................................................                             7
    - 6) How to Transfer from a Registrar to another.....................................................................................................                                8
    - 7) How to change my domain name registration information .............................................................................                                             8
    - 8) Why could it be profitable to register my domain name as a trademark?......................................................                                                     8
- C. How is the Domain Name System structured?.......................................................................................................                                    9
- D. Which are the Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs)?............................................................................................                                        9
    - 1) Why choose a Generic top-level domains? ......................................................................................................                                  10
    - 2) Who may register a generic top-level domain name, and how to go about it?..............................................                                                         11
        - a) .aero.................................................................................................................................................................      11
        - b) .biz....................................................................................................................................................................    11
        - c) .com, .net and .org..........................................................................................................................................               11
        - d) .coop................................................................................................................................................................       11
        - e) .edu..................................................................................................................................................................      12
        - f) .gov...................................................................................................................................................................     12
        - g) .info..................................................................................................................................................................     12
        - h) .int....................................................................................................................................................................    12
        - i) .mil.....................................................................................................................................................................   12
        - j) .museum...........................................................................................................................................................          13
        - k) .name...............................................................................................................................................................        13
        - l) .pro....................................................................................................................................................................    14
    - 3) Where to find further information on generic top-level domains?..................................................................                                               14
- E. Which are the Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)?................................................................................                                              15
- F. How to deal with cybersquatting and domain name disputes...............................................................................                                             16
    - 1) What is Cybersquatting? ....................................................................................................................................                    16
    - 2) How to combat cybersquatting ..........................................................................................................................                         16
        - a) The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)..........................................................................................                                      16


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                                                        The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                                       co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




               - What are the criteria that panels use for making their decisions under the UDRP? .............................                                                           17
           - b) The interpretation of the UDRP.....................................................................................................................                       17
           - c) Pragmatic considerations..............................................................................................................................                    18
               - Advice on protecting yourself against false complaints of cybersquatting............................................                                                     18
               - Advice on how to avoid being a victim of cybersquatting........................................................................                                          19
               - Advice on how to use the UDRP to your advantage if you think that you are a victim of cybersquat-
                 ting..................................................................................................................................................................   19
               - Advice on what to do if you are falsely accused of cybersquatting........................................................                                                20
               - Advice on what to do if you are unhappy with a decision taken against you under the UDRP............                                                                     20
           - d) Specialised dispute resolution policies.......................................................................................................                            21
               - The Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy (STOP)...................................................................................                                       21
               - The Restrictions Dispute Resolution Policy (RDRP).................................................................................                                       21
               - The special system for .name domain names: Protective Registrations, the Consent Mechanism,
                 and the Eligibility Requirements Dispute Resolution Policy (ERDRP)....................................................                                                   21
       - 3) Where to find further information on cybersquatting and domain names disputes......................................                                                           22
   - G. Further information on the Internet and domain names .......................................................................................                                      23
       - 1) Internet history ....................................................................................................................................................         23
       - 2) What are the Requests For Comments? ...........................................................................................................                               23
       - 3) How are domain names administered? .............................................................................................................                              24
       - 4) The technical aspects of the Domain Name System........................................................................................                                       24
           - a) A hierarchical process...................................................................................................................................                 24
           - b) A distributed method.....................................................................................................................................                 25


Preliminary remarks: objectives and structure of the guide.
In recent years, commerce, personal relations and many other aspects of daily life have come under the influence of the virtual
world. Nowadays, the use of and access to the Internet, and the virtual market based on it, have become imperative: every-
where, undertakings, organisations and individuals are affected. A term like "http://www.ipr-helpdesk.org" trips already lightly off
the tongue of the average person in the street. The Internet has become a lifeline to more expansive and far-reaching commu-
nication, and, as a result, struggles for position and presentation on it continue.
In order to establish their presence on the Internet and obtain worldwide visibility for their businesses, Small and Medium Enter-
prises (SMEs) need to register one (or more) domain name(s) that enable Internet users to locate their Web sites. This online
window - accessible throughout the world by millions of people - will allow them to advertise their products and services, to im-
prove their use of electronic communications to do business, and to compete in the e-market. So, the trade benefits that an
SME could reap may be substantial. Therefore, the choice, the registration and the management of a domain name have be-
come important business decisions.
The present guide aims at providing interested persons and SMEs with practical information on crucial domain name issues by
answering the following questions:
· Preliminary requirements
   -    How to access the Internet
· Domain names in the daily life
   -    How to evaluate a domain name
   -    How to choose a domain name
   -    How to register a domain name
   -    Is it possible to buy a domain name already "on hold" or registered?
   -    How to transfer a domain name from the existing owner to a new owner
   -    How to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another
   -    How to change domain name registration information
   -    Why could it be profitable to register my domain name as a trademark?
· How is the Domain Name System structured?
· Which are the generic top-level domains (gTLDs)?
   -    Why choose a generic top-level domain?
   -    Who may register a generic top-level domain, and how to go about it?
   -    Where to find further information on generic top-level domains

                                                                                           -2-
                                        The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                       co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




· Which are the country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)?
· How to deal with cybersquatting and domain name disputes
   -   What is cybersquatting?
   -   How to combat cybersquatting
   -   Where to find further information on cybersquatting and domain name disputes
This guide will finally address further questions dealing with technical and historical aspects to understand how the Domain
Name System (DNS) works, is accessed, and has been managed .
· Further Information on the Internet and the Domain Names System
   -   Internet history
   -   What are the Requests For Comments?
   -   How are domain names administered?
   -   The technical aspects of the Domain Name System


A. How to access the Internet

   1) The Internet server
   An Internet server is a computer containing specific resources that gives multiple users simultaneous access to them. Indi-
   viduals, companies and organisations desiring to connect to the Internet in order to check their e-mails, to post to their Web
   site, or to do e-business need to get an Internet server. Although some of them have their own Internet server, the vast
   majority will have to connect to the Internet through the Internet server of an outside Internet Service Provider (ISP). They
   will generally conclude a contract called an ISP Agreement.


   2) The ISP Agreement.
   In order to get a domain name, the intervention of an ISP is often requested by the Registry - the authority that allocates
   the domain names. An individual or an uncorporated body wishing to register a domain name should contact an ISP which
   then may be able to act as an agent in the application process. This is the most convenient way for the applicant, as the ISP
   will also be offering further services.
   As technology advances and electronic commerce grows, ISPs are getting involved in more areas of their customers' busi-
   nesses, including networking, security, maintaining databases, hosting and the like. Thus, an ISP Agreement is a contract
   that has become a genuine commercial and marketing issue.
   This contract is usually made up of 5 main parts: the preamble, the scope, the costs, the liabilities, and the duration. There
   exist model contracts but it is preferable to analyse deeply the content of this standard form contract and to modify it if that
   does not cater to the customer's specific requirements. Some precautions ought to be observed before signing such a con-
   tract:
       -   The preamble must contain the main definition used in the agreement.
       -   The scope of the agreement must be explicitly stated. A scope provision referring simply to "Internet Access" would
           be too vague. The service levels that the customer expects from its ISP must be there in black and white. The agree-
           ment should also provide terms for technical aid in case of problems, as, for instance, a limited period of time for the
           ISP to intervene.
       -   The costs of providing the services must be set out clearly, including the costs of any maintenance services that may
           be required from time to time.
       -   The ISP's liability must be defined. This part must deal with the question of the ISP's liability for damages, and may
           provide for penalties if the ISP do not meet the agreed service levels.
       -   The term or duration of the contract must be stipulated. Furthermore, it is preferable to opt first for a previous limited
           trial period. A plan for emergencies and disaster recovery procedures as part of the plan for termination of the agree-
           ment are highly desirable. In this respect, the agreement should provide for a right for unilateral termination of the
           contract when a party is in serious breach of a contractual obligation.
   Lastly, it is recommended to:
       -   Ensure that the agreement is flexible enough to embrace changes in technology and changes in your requirements;
       -   confirm that all intellectual property rights belong to you;
       -   confirm software compatibility;
       -   confirm the equipment that will be required.




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                                       The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                      co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




B. Domain names in daily life
One of the first issues that has to be considered when starting an online activity concerns the valuation of the respective do-
main name. Before choosing or registering any domain name, a person or a SME ought to consider the evaluation of domain
names.


   1) How to evaluate a domain name
   Owing to the increasing importance of giving a Web site on the Internet the appropriate name to attract Internet user, do-
   main names have become increasingly worthy of attention.
   Admittedly, the "value" of a domain name means different things to different people. One person will pay attention to the
   aesthetic qualities of the name, while another will attach importance to the monetary value and look to the future benefits of
   ownership.
   SMEs are certainly driven by marketing considerations when evaluating a domain name. Therefore, they should consider
   the widespread future benefits that will flow from the ownership of the name. Because there exist different categories of do-
   main names, the advantages that are gained from each of them may greatly vary depending on their type.
   If you need a domain that relates to a Web site that provides e-commerce facilities for your business, a "shop front domain"
   (such as www.fnac.com) will have a great value for you as an outlet for your products or services. With the support of an ef-
   fective online retail process, your products or services will be purchased directly by the consumers from their computers.
   If you need a domain designed to direct business towards a particular entity but is not attached to a Web site that offers the
   entire retail process online, a "referrer domain" would be appropriate - the commercial transactions will still be achieved in a
   traditional manner. Your Web site would have the purpose of marketing your business, and its products or services.
   If you need a domain that is held merely to prevent other parties from using it for commercial or other purposes, you would
   have to acquire a "protection domain". This can be useful to redirect hits on the adequate website. For instance, a name
   such as www.rolandgaros.com might be registered by the owner of the name www.rolandgarros.com to avoid Internet user
   traffic hijacking. (A rapid search on very similar domain names shows that the name www.rollandgarros.com relates to a
   website dedicated to humour or that the name www.rollandgarros.org to one commercial website dedicated to tennis.)
   You can also have a domain with a name related to a generic product or service. Outstanding examples of the value that
   "generic names" can attain are the names www.business.com and www.autos.com that were sold, respectively, for 7.5 mil-
   lion and 3 million U.S dollars.
   If you need a domain that relates to a Web site that gives details of an individual or just makes a statement, a "vanity do-
   main" is recommended.
   At last, please note that the categories mentioned above are just illustrative and a single domain name may fit in more than
   one category.


   2) How to choose a domain name
   When you have determined the purpose of your domain name, the next issue is the choice of a domain name. This is not a
   decision to be rushed. The attractiveness, or otherwise, of a name for Internet users may lead your business to the top or to
   the bottom.
   To succeed in this complicated task, some precautions might be observed:
   You should consider first the target market in order to find a specific name. If the name has clear appeal to your business, it
   will attract Internet users more easily. It is advisable to avoid similarities with other domain names because the potential for
   confusion, legal disputes, and the weakening of your brand: so it may be unwise to register www.iprhelpdesk.org where
   www.ipr-helpdesk.org already exists. Likewise, try to avoid similarities with trademarks other than your own, because you
   might infringe a trademark and your domain name might then have to be transferred to the trademark owner. It is therefore
   advisable, before choosing a domain name and applying for its registration, to find whether any other business is using the
   same or a similar name as a trademark. It is also advantageous to choose a name that can be registered as a trademark
   (see: Why could it be profitable to register my domain name as a trademark?);
   (Example: the International Business Machine company is better known by the public as "IBM". This specific name has clear
   appeal to its business ).

Examples of research resources to use before choosing a domain name to find whether any other business is using the same or
                                              a similar name as a trademark.


Free on-line trademark search                                     http://www.nameprotect.com/cgi-bin/FREESearch/search.cgi

                                                                  http://www.google.com/
                                                                  http://www.alltheweb.com/
Search engines
                                                                  http://www.yahoo.com/
                                                                  http://www.altavista.com/


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                                    The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                   co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




   -   Secondly, look for an intuitive name. You should try to find a name that Internet users recall without the aid of rea-
       soning. Remember that creativity is not the slave of logic;
       (Example: a user who looks for the homepage of the Web site of the International Business Machine company will
       certainly type intuitively "ibm.com").
   -   Thirdly, try to opt for a short name. It is really hard for Internet users to memorize long domain names, and they will
       wish to avoid typing too much letters on their keyboard;
       (Example: It is obviously easier and faster for an Internet user to type and remember "ibm.com" rather than "interna-
       tionalbusinessmachine.com")
   -   Fourthly, even if it is advisable to get a short name, do not forget to get an obvious name. Clever names, puns or ab-
       breviations and minimalist spelling will prevent users from accessing your website;
       (Example: While "iprhd.org" would be shorter than "ipr-heldesk.org", this minimalist spelling might distort users from
       the IPR-helpdesk Project service).
   -   Fifthly, you should test if your name is capable of being memorized by Internet users.
       (Example: if you are owner of a slatted bed base company named "zzz" and you have choosen the name "ilovemyslat-
       tedbedbase-zzz", it will be probably dificil for users to memorize it)
Once that you have chosen your name, a big issue is to decide under which top-level domain you want to register it. For in-
stance, a small company manufacturing and marketing shoes in Luxembourg and named "ipr" will have to select the apropri-
ate domain between all the existing ones. Depending on the visibility to its customers that the company wishes to acquire, it
will opt either for a generic top level domain or for a country code top level domain. (See : Why choose a generic top level
domain?)
The next step consists to verify if the name is available under the selected domain. Please note that some domain names
are restricted by the allocating authorities, others are already registered, some may be "on hold", etc. Usually, a registry will
have a tool on its Web site for searching for available domain names. This is commonly called "the WHOIS database". The
process is really simple: you type the domain name you want to register into the search engine and different types of results
may appear: free, registered, "quarantine", "on hold", etc.
   -   If the domain name is free, you can pass to the next step and register it (see the section "How to register a domain
       name?" for further details);
   -   If the domain name is already registered, it is impossible for you to register this domain name. Either you decide to
       choose another name or you try to acquire it by buying it (see the section "Is it possible to buy a domain name al-
       ready on hold or registered?" for further details) or obtaining its transfer (see the section "How to transfer a domain
       name from the existing owner to a new owner?" for further details);
   -   If the domain name is subject to "quarantine" i.e. blocked for a short period of time after the deletion of the registra-
       tion, you have to wait until the domain name is released.
   -   If the domain name is on hold, you have to wait until the domain name is released.


3) How to register a domain name
When you have chosen a domain name that is available, the next step is to register it. The registration of the domain name
varies from one top-level domain to another.
Generally, a single Registry is responsible for a specific top-level domain name. It operates the top-level domain and
holds the primary details for each domain name and (often) the identity of the Registrar who holds the details of each do-
main name's Registrant. For many top-level domains, the Registry does not deal directly with customers desiring to register
domain names, and it is necessary to deal with a Registrar or an appointed reseller to carry out the registration.


   a) May I register?
   This is the first question that you have to ask yourself when wishing to register. For some top-level domains, there are
   rules requiring the Registrant to qualify within specific categories in order to register or to hold a domain name. For in-
   stance, a person desiring to register www.ipr.us will have to satisfy the nexus rules established for the ".us" top-level do-
   main. So, the registrant must fall into one of the categories provided by these rules. This could be, for example, the sta-
   tus of permanent resident of the United States of America or any of its possessions or territories.


   b) How to choose my Registrar?
   Facing the increasing number of Registrars and the various levels of services, it can be difficult to know which Registrar
   to choose. For this reason, the ICANN has created a system of accreditation for Registrars. This can give Registrants
   added confidence. Those wishing to register a domain name should deal with a recognised, well-established Registrar
   based in their country in order to facilitate contacts or to ensure that challenges of potential UDRP decisions will be made
   before their national courts or in a specific language. (See on these issues: The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy)
   Please note that the cost and the duration of the registration may vary significantly from one domain name registration

                                                            -5-
                                     The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                    co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




   system to another.


   c) How to apply for registration
   The registration process in itself is not really complicated once you have chosen your Registrar and (if necessary) en-
   sured that you satisfy the criterion of eligibility. In order to register a domain name, you will only need to provide a wide
   range of information including, generally, the name of the Registrant; the Registrant's address, telephone and fax num-
   ber; the name of an administrative contact, her/his e-mail address, telephone and fax number; and (usually) other con-
   tacts (if different) for billing and technical matters.
   Once the information is provided and the domain name fee is paid, the domain name should be operational and capa-
   ble of working within a short period.


   d) Pragmatic considerations if you register through a registration company


       What name should I provide as the legal registrant?
       If you indicate the name of a registration company, this company will own the domain name. It is therefore preferable
       to register the domain name in either your own name or your company's name, unless you are launching a new
       product and you do not want it be connected directly with your company.


       Whose name should I provide as administrative contact?
       It is always advisable to provide the name of someone in your organisation, and not in the registration company, be-
       cause you will avoid problems in the future if the registration company ceases its activities and its e-mail addresses
       stop working.


       Check if the correct domain name fee has been paid by the registration company!
       Be careful because some less scrupulous registration companies have been known to charge for a long period of
       registration, but only pay the Registrar for only one year. After this period of time, if the registration company goes
       out of business, the domain name may be deleted for non-payment of fees!




4) Is it possible to Buy a domain name already "on hold" or registered?
If someone else already "owns" the domain name that you wished to register, it may be possible to purchase the domain
name, with or without the associated Web site (if any).
A good start is to check whether a Web site exists for the domain name. Most of the time, when a website does not exist,
the "owner" will be willing to part with it. Conversely, when a Web site exists, it is likely that the "owner" will be unwilling to
sell it. However, you could always made a tentative contact with the "owner". In certain cases, the domain name will refer
you to an auction Web site where it is available for sale.
So, your first task in order to buy a domain name is to contact the current "owner".


   a) How to find the domain name owner
   It could be difficult to know who owns the domain name. The best way is to look at the WHOIS record for the contact de-
   tails. Sometimes, not all the contact details are revealed in the WHOIS record and only the name of the legal Registrant
   appears. It is therefore necessary to have recourse to the registration company currently managing the domain and ask it
   to pass on a message or send your own e-mail to speculative e-mail addresses, such as info@, contact@, webmaster@
   plus the domain name.


   b) How to valuate the domain name that I want to acquire
   The valuation of a domain name in isolation of the web site as such, is a difficult matter because value means different
   things to different people. Every valuation is unique and made up of a number of elements. Different methodologies are
   used to valuate a domain name. It depends generally of the range of costs and benefits associated with the domain
   name. Broadly speaking, they looks at the future benefits accruing through ownership of the asset by assessing the in-
   come that flows from it, the price someone is ready to pay for it; or by reference to sales of similar assets.




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                                      The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                     co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




5) How to transfer a domain name from the existing owner to a new owner
You might need to transfer a domain name from the current "owner" to a new "owner" for various reasons. First, you want to
buy it. This is the most common reason. It can also happen when your company is restructuring or merging with another
company of your corporate group. Then, the inclusion of the domain name in an asset transfer is usually achieved in the
context of a corporate takeover. Finally, the transfer of a domain name may sometimes be required by a court, or as the re-
sult of an arbitration.
Please note, however, that in some top-level domains, the rules do not autorize the transfer of the domain name (or au-
thorize it only under limited circumstances).


   a) How do I proceed to the transfer?
   The registries of top-level domains generally establish procedures according to which transfer is to be effected. Two
   types of procedures are usual: according to one, the domain name registration may be transferred to a third party by the
   submission by the holder of a written and signed document to the registry authorizing another entity to apply for a modifi-
   cation of the entry in the register regarding a specific domain name; the other procedure consists of the deletion of the
   database entries of a domain name and the application of this name by a new Registrant.
   These procedures do not seek to give commercial protection or advantage to either the transferor or the transferee by
   addressing the myriad legal and commercial issues which will affect the parties. It is therefore important for them to enter
   into a tranfer agreement.


   b) What do I need to know about the transfer agreement?
   This agreement aims at regulating the myriad legal and commercial issues in the same way as for the transfer of any
   other commercial asset. The difficulty comes from the fact that the current domain name "owner" will not want to transfer
   its domain name until such time as it has received payment or is convinced that it will do so while the tranferee will not
   want to pay before the domain name is transferred or until it is sure that this will happen. The transferor and the trans-
   feree may overcome this dilemma in different ways:


       By having recourse to escrow services
       Some services are provided online which can safely handle the transfer and payment for a domain name. They are
       better known under the name of escrow services. This system allows the parties to reach an agreement online about
       the terms and conditions of the transaction. Then, the buyer makes the payment to the escrow service and when this
       has cleared, the seller transfers the domain name. Once the transfer has been confirmed, the seller receives the
       payment from the escrow service.


       By sharing the financial risk
       It is also possible to agree on the payment by the transferee of a certain percentage of the price, with the balance be-
       ing paid after the transfer can be confirmed. The transferee thus takes the risk that the domain name never will be
       transferred, while the transferor puts up with the possibility that the transferee will not pay the balance after the trans-
       fer is complete.


       By having recourse to a stakeholder
       Another way is for the transferor to pay the price to her/his solicitor, who holds the funds to the transferee's order
       pending proof of completion of the transfer at the Registry.
       Please note that there exist many models for these transfer agreements. They are commonly divided into 11 parts:
       -   Definitions and construction
       -   Recitals
       -   Sale and purchase of domain name
       -   Purchase price
       -   Convenants of transferor
       -   Transferor's warranties
       -   Transferor's limitation and exclusion of liability
       -   Transferee's warranty and indemnity
       -   Entire agreement
       -   Amendments and waiver
       -   Governing law


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                                    The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
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       Even if these model agreements seem very simple, it remains nevertheless highly advisable to consult a professional
       legal adviser concerning the contract, the payment arrangements and many other issues.




6) How to Transfer from a Registrar to another
This is a different kind of transfer of a domain name. It does not involve the transfer of a domain name from an existing
owner to a new owner, but rather, a change in which registrar administers the domain name. The domain name is thus
transferred from one Registrar to another Registrar while the owner remains the same.
The reasons for such a transfer are numerous. Among other things, there could be enumerated a difference in the domain
name renewal fees charged by the two Registrars, fears about a possible bankruptcy of a Registrar, or simply inefficient
service on the part of a Registrar.
The transfer of Registrar depends largely of the terms and conditions established by the registration agreement and on the
domain names rules laid down by the Registry.


7) How to change my domain name registration information
Most of the registrars maintain a WHOIS record embracing all the details of the Registrants of domain names. They usu-
ally allow either the administrative contact or the technical contact to modify any aspects of the record such as the address
of the Registrant; the names, addresses, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail adresses of administrative, billing and techni-
cal contacts; and the names and IP adresses of the name servers, which determine where the domain name is pointed to.
In most cases, the system works by the use of user name and password access to the records.
Please be careful to retain your user name and password, because it can be difficult to contact the Registrar to replace
them if they are mislaid.


8) Why could it be profitable to register my domain name as a trademark?
If you own a registered domain name, it could be useful to register it also as a trademark (if the name is not purely descrip-
tive). A domain name serves the same branding purpose as a traditional trademark, and trademark registration grants an
exclusive right to use that particular sign in relation to specified commercial activities.
In this respect, ensure that you have registered your trademark in the relevant class. You will lose your trademark if it is not
used in relation to the marketing of corresponding goods or services. A common mistake is to register a trademark for a do-
main name in the "IT services" class although no IT services are provided under the trademark. Please bear in mind that the
medium by which you will market your goods and services has no relevance to the choice of trademark class. Only the
goods and services that you will market under the trademark matter.
This registered trademark for your domain name is a very attractive and valuable right to add to your intellectual property
portfolio. It may protect you in the following situations:
   -   A competitor or a cybersquatter registers a domain name which is a common misspelling of your domain name in
       order to divert traffic from your Web site;
       (example: If you have registered the domain name "tiddlypc.com" for your new Internet company for small personal
       computers, it may be useful to register (if possible) "tiddlypc" or "tiddlypc.com" as a trademark in order to avoid that
       an unscrupulous third registers the domain name "tidlypc" to divert traffic from your Web site)
   -   The goodwill in your products, services, brand and/or domain name is discredited by a "sucks" website of the form
       "www.-yourdomain-sucks.com":
       (example: "-thiscompany-sucks.com")
   -   An intellectual property right is invoked by a third party who wishes to force you to transfer your domain name.
       (example: If you have registered the domain name, it is possible that an uscrupulous third will register later your do-
       main name as a trademark and invoke it to get the transfer of your domain name. This situation is commonly known
       as "domain name hijacking")
Thus, when you are registering a domain name, it is important to also consider registering the domain name as a trade-
mark. There are three possible routes you can take to do this: national, regional ( as European Community trademark), and
international.
In contrast to domain names which are global in scope and are not protected per se, trademarks are territorial in scope and
in protection. A consequence is that trademarks are not necessarily unique in the way that domain names are. Further-
more, a trademark is protected in relation to one or more specific commercial activities. This means that a single trademark
can be registered in different countries in the same or different classes of products or services and by the same or different
people.
In order to prevent later trademark objections, it is therefore advisable, before applying for the registration of a domain


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                                       co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




   name, to find whether any other business is using the same or a similar name as a trademark. The existence of such a
   trademark will also impede you from registering your domain name as a trademark in the place and industry for which the
   trademark has been granted. In the event that trademark searches reveal potentially conflicting marks, it is highly recom-
   mended to consult a professional legal adviser regarding these results and on ways of overcomming likely objections to your
   domain name registration.
   It is also advisable to contact a professional legal adviser concerning all the issue dealing with the trademark registration as:
       -   deciding where the domain name is going to be registered as a trademark;
       -   choosing the classes of registration in which it is appropriate to register the domain name before applying for trade-
           mark registration, as it is not possible generally to change the specification once an application has been made;
       -   writing the specification to ensure that it is neither too restrictive, nor so generic that it may be challenged in future;
       -   considering who will be the registered owner of the trademark from a territorial and tax perspective;




C. How is the Domain Name System structured?
A "top-level domain name" is the part of a domain name beginning with the last dot. For example, if your domain name is "ipr-
helpdesk.org", then your top-level domain is ".org".
There are two main types of top-level domain name:
   1. Country code top-level domains (also called ccTLDs): these use two-letter codes to represent countries, for example,
      .uk for the United Kingdom, .jp for Japan, and .us for the United States. Some territories that are not strictly "countries"
      have country code top-level domains: for example, .aq for Antarctica, .gi for Gibraltar, and (soon to be made func-
      tional) .eu for the European Union. . In almost all cases, the two-letter codes are taken from the international standard
      ISO 3166-1. (See the section "Which are the Country Code Top Level Domains?" for further details)
   2. Generic top-level domains (also called gTLDs): these are longer than two letters, and they do not represent any partic-
      ular country - although, for historical reasons relating to the importance of the United States in the development of the In-
      ternet, there are three generic top-level domains that are wholly or mostly reserved for United States use: .edu, .gov
      and .mil. (See the section "Which are the Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs)?" for further details)
      (Please note that generic top-level domains are also called "global top-level domains". Both terms are correct, and they
      are synonyms.)


D. Which are the Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs)?
Generic top-level domains (also called "global top-level domains") come under the authority of ICANN. Although there are
some people who have challenged ICANN's position, it is generally accepted that only ICANN has the power to create a new
generic top-level domain.
At present, there are only fifteen generic top-level domains. These may be divided into the eight "old" top-level domain
names, which existed before the foundation of ICANN, and the seven "new" top-level domain names, which were created by
ICANN in 2000, and not all of which are yet functional. Further generic top-level domain names may be introduced by ICANN
in the future.
The old generic top-level domain names are .arpa, .com, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net and .org. Of these, only the last seven have
any ordinary significance: .arpa is not strictly speaking a generic top-level domain name at all, it is rather an "infrastructure
top-level domain name" - a historical survival from the early days of the Internet, which is now used by ICANN and related
bodies for certain administrative purposes only. No more needs to be said about this subject.
The new generic top-level domain names are .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name and .pro.
Each generic top-level domain has an intended purpose. These are as follows:

                                                  Old generic top-level domains


.com                                                               Commercial

.edu                                                               U.S.-accredited academic institutions

.gov                                                               U.S. government (including State governments, etc.)

.int                                                               International treaty organisations

.mil                                                               U.S. military

.net                                                               ISPs



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.org                                                              Non-commercial


                                                New generic top-level domains


.aero                                                             Aviation

.biz                                                              Commercial (created to alleviate "overcrowding" in .com)

.coop                                                             Co-operatives

.info                                                             Unrestricted use

.museum                                                           Museums

.name                                                             Individuals

.pro                                                              Professionals (e.g. doctors, lawyers)

The above table is not to be taken as "definitive", for the generic top-level domain name system is more complicated that it
would suggest. For example, although .com is intended for commercial use, there is nothing whatsoever to prevent it from being
used for non-commercial purposes. On the other hand, in the case of .biz, there is a possible sanction if the top-level domain
name is used for non-commercial purposes! The detailed rules for the different generic top-level domains will be explained
shortly.


   1) Why choose a Generic top-level domains?
   When a business chooses a domain name, it must consider it as a question of brand image. The choice has to be made be-
   tween a country code top-level domain name and a generic top-level domain name. Of course, it's possible to register
   more than one domain name, but domain names cost money. Moreover, the domain name will be used for marketing pur-
   poses (on the business's letter-head, for instance, and possibly also in advertisements). It is therefore important to make a
   wise choice.
   A country code top-level domain name will generally serve, in the mind of the customer, to place the business in a particu-
   lar country. For example, .fr will make people think of you as a French company. This may be an advantage or a disadvan-
   tage, depending on your business. When .eu becomes functional, you will be able to choose a domain name that identifies
   your business as pertaining to the European Union (as opposed to identifying your business as French, German, etc.).
   There are, however, cases in which what is technically a country code top-level domain name can function for most practi-
   cal purposes as a generic top-level domain name. The most prominent example of this is .tv. Technically, .tv is the coun-
   try code top-level domain name for the tiny independent nation of Tuvalu, which consists of nine coral atolls in the South
   Pacific Ocean. However, most people associate the letters "tv" with television, not with Tuvalu. For this reason, the Tuvaluan
   Government entered into an agreement under which .tv could be used as if it were a generic top-level domain name, in re-
   turn for money being paid to the Government. Usually, a country code top-level domain name is expected to be used for
   the country to which it is allocated; but in this case, the Tuvaluan Government was of the opinion that Tuvalu needed the
   money more that it needed the country code top-level domain name!
   Of the generic top-level domain names, by far the most popular is .com. Although it was originally intended for commercial
   use, it is now used by organisations of all kinds, as well as by individuals. The particular fame of this top-level domain
   name makes it an attractive choice: everyone has heard of .com, so it's easy for customers to remember. It also has a de-
   gree of "prestige" value.
   People sometimes regard .com as being American - this is false, although it does have a grain of truth in it. The United
   States had a central role in the development of the Internet, and many .com names were registered by American busi-
   nesses, while businesses in other countries tended to use their country codes. American businesses were discouraged from
   registering under .us, because of the various restrictive rules applying to that top-level domain name (which have only rela-
   tively recently been lifted).
   It therefore came about that most registrations under .com were American, and .com gained the (strictly false) reputation of
   being an America top-level domain name. Many .com registrations nowadays are not American, and the perception that
   .com is American is fading. Nevertheless, this perception may still have an effect on brand image.
   Certain other top-level domain names have the advantage of telling the customer something about you. For example, if you
   are choosing a domain name for the (imaginary) British airline Ruritanian Airways, do you prefer "ruritanian.com" (easily re-
   membered, but tells the customer very little), or do you pick "ruritanian.aero" (not so easily remembered, but tells Internet-
   savvy customers what industry you are in), or "ruritanian.co.uk" (which tells the customer where you come from, but not what
   you do)?
   This is essentially a branding issue. One way of coping is to register (say) "ruritanian.aero" as your main domain name, and


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to use this name for marketing purposes, but also to register "ruritanian.com" and "ruritanian.co.uk". Then, have it set up so
that any customer who, forgetting your domain name, types "ruritanian.com" or "ruritanian.co.uk" is automatically forwarded
to "ruritanian.aero". This strategy prevents the situation in which you register "ruritanian.aero", and then "ruritanian.com" or
"ruritanian.co.uk" is registered by someone else (perhaps a disgruntled customer who wishes to criticise your airline, or
maybe even one of your competitors). Further information on what may happen in this situation will be found in the section
on cybersquatting and domain name disputes - however, when registering a domain name for your business, it is as well to
consider that prevention is better than cure!


2) Who may register a generic top-level domain name, and how to go about it?
The rules and procedures for registering a domain name vary between one top-level domain name and the next. It is there-
fore necessary to consider the top-level domain names distinctly for this purpose.
The different generic top-level domain names are considered below in alphabetical order. All of them accept registrations,
with the sole exception of .pro, which is not yet functional. Unless otherwise specified, registration is always on a first-
come-first-served basis.


   a) .aero
   This new top-level domain name is administered by the Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aeronautiques
   (SITA). In order to obtain a domain name, you must first obtain "aviation community membership ID" by applying to
   SITA with proof that you are (according to their definition) a "member of the aviation community". The aviation community
   includes everyone (individuals, companies and organisations) involved in aviation, including those who fly aeroplanes for
   recreation.
   Only then can you obtain a .aero domain name, which will usually be obtained through an online ".aero shop" authorised
   by SITA. Both second-level domain names (i.e. domain names of the form X.aero) and third-level domain names (i.e. do-
   main names of the form X.Y.aero) are available, with somewhat complicated restrictions on the choice of a name.
   For example, Heathrow Airport (the largest airport in London) could register "heathrow.airport.aero" (a third-level domain
   name), "heathrow.aero" and "lhr.aero" - the latter, on the basis that "LHR" is the standard code in the industry for
   Heathrow Airport.
   From September 2002, it will be possible for members of the aviation community, other than individuals, to register "un-
   regulated names" on a first-come-first-served basis. This means that any second-level domain name between three
   and sixty-three characters in length can be registered, so long as it is not a particular "reserved" name and so long as no
   one else has registered it.


   b) .biz
   This new top-level domain name is administered by the company Neulevel. Domain names are available for registration
   by anyone, but are only to be used for bona fide commercial purposes. They are not to be used for non-commercial pur-
   poses, nor are they to be registered for the specific purpose of selling them.
   The sanction for a violation of the above rules is that any interested party may require you to submit to an arbitration, and
   if the violation is proved, you will lose your domain name registration. (See the section "How to deal with cybersquatting
   and domain name disputes" for further details.)
   Domain names are registered through "authorised Registrars". Pricing structures may vary. The domain names
   granted are second-level domain names. Almost any name between three and sixty-three characters can be registered
   - however, some names are "reserved". Two-character names may be registrable under certain circumstances. Domain
   names can be transferred (i.e. sold or given away) - but this does not mean that registering them for the specific purpose
   of selling them is permitted.


   c) .com, .net and .org
   These old top-level domain names are all administered by the company Verisign, and registered through "certified Reg-
   istrars". You may pick any certified Registrar - their pricing structures may be different. There are no limits as to who can
   register. The domain names granted are second-level domain names. Any name between two and sixty-three charac-
   ters can be registered. Domain names can be transferred (i.e. sold or given away).
   Verisign's right to administer .org expires at the end of 2002. It is possible, therefore, that the rules relating to .org will
   change on 1 January 2003 - however, no details are yet known.


   d) .coop
   A co-operative is a trading organisation operated for the benefit of consumers, as distinguished from a business run for
   profit. Co-operatives have a policy of open membership, and they are run by their members in a democratic fashion. For
   more information on what a co-operative is, contact the International Co-operative Alliance <www.coop.org>, which is the


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internationally recognised representative body for the co-operative sector.
The new .coop top-level domain name is operated by a company called DotCooperation. To be eligible to register, you
must be recognised as a bona fide co-operative, or as a wholly-owned subsidiary of a co-operative, or as a body operat-
ing for the benefit of the co-operative sector. All Registrants have to go through a rigorous process of proving their eligi-
bility.
DotCooperation sells .coop domain names at 160 U.S. dollars (USD 160) for an initial period of two years, with an an-
nual renewal fee of USD 80 thereafter. Arrangements are being made to allow Registrars and resellers also to accept
applications. However, DotCooperation retains the responsibility for checking the eligibility of applicants.
DotCooperation also operates a scheme called "Brand Safe", according to which a non-co-operative corporate body can
make a defensive registration. This scheme only applies to trademarks, trade names and the like. The price is USD 2000
for five years. The Brand Safe defensive registration will prevent anyone else from registering that name, although the
registrant will not be permitted to use the domain name. Brand Safe registrations are subject to challenge on the same
terms as other registrations - see the section on cybersquatting and domain name disputes for details.
The domain names granted are second-level domain names. Almost any domain name between three and sixty-three
characters can be registered - however, some names are "reserved".
Of special interest are certain domain names referring to countries (e.g. france.coop, greece.coop, together with certain
other domain names of generic significance (e.g. food.coop, telephone.coop). These are all reserved for use as "commu-
nity names", and will be registered only to a body wishing to act as a "steward" for a particular community (the commu-
nity of all co-operatives in France, etc.). A special application procedure applies.


e) .edu
This old top-level domain name is administered by an organisation called Educause. Registration is only educational in-
stitutions that grant degrees and have accreditation from one of six bodies in the United States. In practice, therefore, it is
very rare indeed for educational institutions outside the United States to qualify.
A qualifying institution is permitted only one domain name, but receives it free of charge. The domain names granted
are second-level domain names.


f) .gov
This old top-level domain name is administered by the General Services Administration, a U.S. Government body. Reg-
istration under .gov is restricted to U.S. governmental entities.
Specifically, only the following are eligible: non-military U.S. Federal Government entities, State and local U.S. govern-
mental entities, and Native American tribes recognised by the U.S. Federal Government. Other, related entities that are
not strictly eligible may apply for special permission to register. The U.S. military is excluded, because they are expected
to use their own top-level domain, .mil.
The domain name registered must reflect the name of the Registrant. For Native American tribes, the name will be
"<nameoftribe>-nsn.gov" (where "nsn" stands for "Native Sovereign Nation"). There is no registration fee.
Domain names granted by the General Services Administration are second-level domain names. However, some ap-
plicants may be expected to go elsewhere, and receive a third-level domain name. For example, local governments are
expected to contact their State, and Federal courts (other than the Supreme Court) are expected to contact the Adminis-
trative Office of the U.S. Courts.


g) .info
This new top-level domain name is administered by the company Afilias. It is an "open" top level domain name very
similar to .com, .net and .org. However, there are slight differences: all domain names between three and sixty-three
characters, and some names are "reserved". Also, it is forbidden to transfer (i.e. sell or give away) your domain name
within sixty days of registration.


h) .int
This old top-level domain name is administered by IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). Applications must
be made directly to IANA, and only qualifying organisations may apply.
Only the following are qualifying organisations: organisations established by international treaty or convention, organisa-
tions having official "observer status" at the United Nations, and United Nations specialised agencies. A qualifying organ-
isation is permitted only one domain name, but receives it free of charge. The domain names granted are second-
level domain names.


i) .mil


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This old top-level domain name is administered by the U.S. Department of Defence. It is exclusively for the use of the
U.S. military. Second-level and third-level domains are allocated, depending on the position of the applicant within the
U.S. military. Domain names must be descriptive of the applicant, and must usually be between two and twelve charac-
ters in length. Registration is free of charge.


j) .museum
This new top-level domain name is administered by the Museum Domain Management Association ("MuseDoma"), a
non-profit-making corporation. The top-level domain name is reserved for museums, although the definition of "mu-
seum" is broad: a planetarium, a nature reserve, and an aquarium (for example) would all qualify as "museums". Organi-
sations that support the museum sector may also register, as may professionals working in that sector.
Third-level, fourth-level and even lower level domain names are available: for example, an art museum in Glasgow, Scot-
land, could be "art.glasgow.museum"or "glasgow.art.museum" or even "glasgow.scotland.art.museum". The name cho-
sen must reflect the name of the museum, possibly together with its location, and the name must not be unfair to the mu-
seum sector as a whole. So, for example, "glasgow.scotland.museum" could not be registered by a single museum, be-
cause that would be unfair on other museums in the city. However, a representative organisation of which the majority of
museums in Glasgow were members might be allowed to register "glasgow.scotland.museum".
Second-level domain names are generally seen as inherently unfair, but exceptions may be made for organisations of a
special standing: for example, the International Council of Museums has been allowed to register "icom.museum". In the
case of individual museum professionals, a fourth-level domain name for the form profes-
"<firstname>.<lastname>.<sional>.museum"          is     recommended,       subject     to     such    variations     as
"<firstname>.<lastname>.<curator>.museum", etc. In any case, names at all levels must be between one and sixty-three
characters long (except at the second level, where names must be between three and sixty-three characters long), and
some names are "reserved". Finally, there is no objection in principle to multiple registrations (so the same museum
could register both "art.glasgow.museum" and "glasgow.art.museum").
Given the complexity of the above rules, MuseDoma runs an "ENS" (Eligibility and Name Selection) service, which is
compulsory for all applicants, and costs USD 100 per applicant, regardless of the number of domain names desired and
distinct from any charge for the domain names themselves.
Currently, domain names are available directly from MuseDoma, and are free of charge. However, there are plans to
change the system in the near future: it will become necessary to register through a Registrar, who will charge. Pricing
structures may differ between Registrars. However, it will remain necessary to purchase "ENS" from MuseDoma.


k) .name
This new top-level domain name is administered by a company called the Global Name Registry, and is designated
specifically for use by individuals wishing to register their names. The domain names granted are third-level domains of
the form "<firstname>.<lastname>.name".
So, for example, if your name is Jonathan Smith, you can register "jonathan.smith.name" - you will then become entitled
to use jonathan@smith.name as your permanent email address, with any email arriving at that address being forwarded
automatically to another email address of your choice. If you are commonly known as John Smith, you can also (or in-
stead) register "john.smith.name" - entitling you to the email address john@smith.name. However, no one may register a
second-level domain name such as "smith.name", because it is considered that this would be unfair on all the other peo-
ple in the world named Smith.
The name that you register must be in two parts - no middle names - and must be either the Registrant's legal name, or
a name by which he or she is commonly known. Pen names and stage names are permitted. No one other than an indi-
vidual may register a .name domain name. However, by way of an exception, anyone who can show intellectual prop-
erty rights in the name of a fictional character may register that fictional character's name.
It is permitted to add numerals to one or both of your names. For example, if you are John Smith, but "john.smith.name"
has already been registered by another John Smith, you could choose "john1.smith.name", or "john.smith777.name", or
even (if you wanted to be silly) "john123456789.smith987654321.name". Note that the second-level domain must be at
least three characters long - so if your last name is Lu (not an uncommon name for a Chinese), you will have to add at
least one numeral. It is also permitted to register a fourth-level domain name (e.g. "<mywebsite>.john.smith.name"). This
will be treated in the same way as the registration of "john.smith.name". The name at the fourth level can be virtually any-
thing that the individual wishes.
Names at all levels must be between one and sixty-three characters long (except at the second level, where names must
be between three and sixty-three characters long), and some names are "reserved".
All of these rules are designed for the benefit of individuals. However, the creators of the .name system also considered
the interests of trademark owners. There are two services provided for trademark owners:
   1. "NameWatch": Although this service is designed for the benefit of trademark owners, you are not actually required
      to be a trademark owner in order to use it. The service consists simply of information from the Global Name Reg-
      istry on whether anyone has registered a .name domain name containing a particular string of characters.
   2. "Defensive Registrations": This service is only available to trademark owners who apply no later than 31 Decem-


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                  ber 2002. A defensive registration does not enable the defensive Registrant to use a domain name: it is solely a
                  way of preventing someone else from registering a domain name. This prevention is, however, by no means ab-
                  solute. For details on how defensive registrations work, see the section on cybersquatting and domain name dis-
                  putes.
        Registrations, and the two services mentioned above, are not sold directly by the Global Name Registry, but have to be
        purchased from Official Providers (i.e. Registrars accredited by the Global Name Registry). Pricing structures may vary.
        At the time of applying for registration, you will not usually be asked to prove eligibility - but if you register illegitimately,
        your registration may later be challenged. (For details, see the section on cybersquatting and domain name disputes.)


        l) .pro
        This new top-level domain name is administered by a company called RegistryPro, a wholly-owner subsidiary of Regis-
        ter.com. It is designated as a top-level domain name exclusively for professionals.
        As was stated above, .pro is not yet functional. When it is functional, RegistryPro is planning to accept applications for
        third-level domain names such as "<yourname>.law.pro" (for a lawyer) and "<yourname>.med.pro" (for a doctor). Each
        profession that RegistryPro recognises will be allocated its own second-level domain name, and each applicant wishing
        to register under that second-level domain name will have to fill criteria for membership of that profession.
        RegistryPro has yet to take a final decision on what professions it will recognise, what the membership criteria will be,
        and how those criteria will be enforced.
        Other measures have also yet to be announced, including what measures will be taken to protect the interests of trade-
        mark holders. (RegistryPro has promised that there will be such measures, but they have yet to determine the details.)
        When registrations begin, applications will not be accepted directly by RegistryPro. Rather, applicants will have to buy
        domain names from accredited Registrars. Pricing structures will vary.



   3) Where to find further information on generic top-level domains?
   Links:

ICANN                                                                 http://www.icann.org/


                                                        Registration resources


.aero                                                                 http://www.nic.aero/

.biz                                                                  http://www.nic.biz/

.com, net and .org                                                    http://www.verisign-grs.com/

.coop                                                                 http://www.nic.coop/

.edu                                                                  http://www.educause.edu/edudomain/

.gov                                                                  http://www.nic.gov/

.info                                                                 http://www.nic.info/

.int                                                                  http://www.iana.org/int-dom/int.htm

.mil                                                                  http://www.nic.mil/ftp/mgt/bul-9605.txt

.museum                                                               http://www.nic.museum/

.name                                                                 http://www.nic.name/

.pro                                                                  http://www.nic.pro/


                                                           WHOIS databases


.aero                                                                 http://www.whois.aero/


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                                        The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
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.biz                                                               http://www.whois.biz/

.com, net and .org                                                 http://www.internic.net/whois.html

.coop                                                              http://www.coop/whois.asp

.edu                                                               http://www.internic.net/whois.html

.gov                                                               http://www.nic.gov/whois.html

.info                                                              http://www.afilias.info/whois_search/

.int                                                               http://www.internic.net/whois.html

.museum                                                            http://www.internic.net/whois.html

.name                                                              http://www.whois.name/

   The WHOIS database for .mil does not appear to be accessible. Since .pro is not yet functional, you would not expect there
   to be a WHOIS database yet.



E. Which are the Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)?
A country code top-level domain name can be distinguished by the fact that it contains two letters. Each two-letter code repre-
sents a country: for example, .de represents Germany and .us represents the United States. Not all territories treated as "coun-
tries" for this purpose are sovereign States: for example, .gi represents Gibraltar, and .aq represents Antarctica.
Generally speaking, the two-letter codes are based directly on the international standard ISO 3166-1. So, for example, the ISO
3166-1 symbol for Japan is "JP", therefore the country code top-level domain name for Japan is .jp. The policy of using ISO
3166-1 relieves ICANN of the burden of determining the (potentially politically sensitive) issue of what is and is not a country.
There are a few exceptions: for example, the ISO 3166-1 symbol for the United Kingdom is "GB", but the country code top-level
domain name for the United Kingdom is .uk. The reason for this is simply that the .uk top-level domain name was chosen be-
fore the policy of using ISO 3166-1 was adopted.
ICANN has approved the creation of a .eu country code top-level domain name for the European Union. This top-level domain
name is expected to be introduced in 2003 (or possibly late 2002).
The theoretical purpose of a country code top-level domain is to benefit the Internet community in the country (or territorial
entity) in question. However, this is not always applied in practice. For example, the country code for the former Soviet republic
of Moldova, .md, is used almost entirely for purposes relating to healthcare!
ICANN has the authority to make a "delegation" of a top-level domain name to whomever it sees fit, and may, under appropriate
circumstances, revoke the delegation. Delegations have been made to government departments, semi-public bodies, non-
profit-making organisations, private enterprises, and even individuals. The authorities of the relevant territory have the right to be
consulted on matters of delegation , but no more than that: the decision rests with ICANN.
Whoever has received the delegation is responsible for maintaining the database of domain names within that top-level do-
main, and, in consequence, has the power to grant domain names under that top-level domain as it chooses. So, for exam-
ple, AFNIC has received the delegation for the .fr country code top level domain name, and therefore can allocate the do-
main name "<anydomainname>.fr" to whomever it sees fit - or, it can refrain from allocating that domain name at all.
This potentially arbitrary authority is limited by ICANN's power to revoke the delegation. In recent years, it has been usual for
the body receiving the delegation to sign a contract with ICANN, whereby the recipient of the delegation agrees to abide by cer-
tain rules as to the management of the domain.
However, it remains the case that the recipient of a delegation has a very wide discretion in management of the top-level do-
main name, and different country code top-level domain names therefore function in very different ways. With some country
code top-level domains, you need a certain relationship to the country in question to register (and the details of the relation-
ship can vary) - but with some, you don't. Most country code top-level domains accept registrations from individuals, but
some don't. Usually, you have to pay a fee to register, but for some countries, you don't. And so on.
In consequence, anyone wishing to acquire a domain name under a country code must become aware of the rules governing
that particular country code - which will often be unique to that country code.
Note that not all the country codes that existICANN are actually operational: in some cases (especially with Third World coun-
tries), the country code may be formally allocated before the country in question has any need of it. In this case, it will not be
possible to register a domain name within that country code top-level domain.
Below, you will find a list of the country codes, sorted by region, with a description of the rules governing each one
(including a range of relevant links).


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Owing to the facts that these rules are changing very quickly and that any description only provides a brief overview of
such rules, please always consult the full rules in force for each country code top-level domain and accessible through
the links provided.
African Area
Asian Area
Central American Area
European Area
Middle East Area
Northern American Area
Oceanian Area
Southern American Area


F. How to deal with cybersquatting and domain name disputes

   1) What is Cybersquatting?
   One problem that has arisen with regard to domain names is so-called "cybersquatting". This is where someone registers
   a domain name in bad faith, in order to prevent the owner of a trademark from registering their trademark as a domain
   name.
   One of the most famous cases went before the England and Wales Court of Appeal in 1998: it was the case of Marks and
   Spenser v. One in a Million. In this case, the company One in a Million had registered the domain name "marksand-
   spenser.co.uk" and had then offered to sell it to Marks and Spenser, a well-known British company. One in a Million told
   Marks and Spenser that if they refused to buy it, they would sell it to one of Marks and Spenser's competitors. One in a Mil-
   lion had done the same thing to other well-known British companies.
   Marks and Spenser sued One in a Million. Since this case was the first of its kind, the question was whether One in a Million
   had broken any law. The Court of Appeal said yes, and ordered One in a Million to transfer "marksandspenser.co.uk" to
   Marks and Spenser free of charge.
   The case described above represents a fairly typical instance of cybersquatting. However, other forms of cybersquatting
   are possible: for example, one of your competitors may register the name of your business in order to prevent you from do-
   ing so.


   2) How to combat cybersquatting
   Cybersquatting had become rather common, and it was clear that the threat of a law suit was not sufficient to deter it: litiga-
   tion is troublesome and expensive, and many companies would rather pay a cyberquatter than go to court. The US
   Congress passed the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999, which allows heavy damages to be awarded
   against cybersquatters - but even this has not proved a sufficient deterrant.


      a) The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)
      In the same year (1999), ICANN established the anticybersquatting policy that remains today the most effective tool for
      combating cybersquatting: the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
      This policy is designed to allow complaints of cybersquatting to be arbitrated upon without the need to go to court. Any
      party wishing to bring a complaint files their complaint, in writing, with an "approved dispute-resolution service
      provider" (that is, an organisation approved for this purpose by ICANN), and pays the provider a determined fee. The
      provider then appoints a "panel", consisting either of three members, or of just one member. The person accused of cy-
      bersquatting is then permitted to file a written response. Soon afterwards, proceedings are conducted in the language of
      the registration agreement. It is therefore easier to choose a Registrar established in your own country or affording reg-
      istration in your own language (in the case of countries with several official languages such as Belgium or Switzerland).
      At the end of the proceedings, the panel takes its decision - in the case of a panel of three members, where the panel
      cannot agree, the majority view prevails. All decisions are finally published on the Web. If either side is unhappy with the
      decision of the panel, they remain free to take the matter to court. In order to suspend the effect of the Panel's decision,
      paragraph 3(b)(xiii) of the UDRP Rules limits the choice of court to the jurisdictions of "the location of the principal office
      of the concerned registrar." and "the location of the domain name holder's address, as shown for the registration of the
      domain name(s) in the concerned registrar's Whois database at the time of the submission of the Complaint to the Cen-
      ter", or both of them. So, if you choose a Registrar established in your own country, you can be reasonably certain that
      any challenge to a UDRP decision will be heared by a court in that country.
      The UDRP applies to all generic top-level domains except .edu, .gov, .int and .mil. Some country code top-level do-
      mains (e.g. .tv) are also subject to the UDRP. In certain other countries (e.g. the United States), the relevant national au-
      thorities have adopted a variant of the UDRP.


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   What are the criteria that panels use for making their decisions under the UDRP?
   These are set out by ICANN in paragraph 4(a) of that document, and are as follows:
   You [the registrant] are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a
   "complainant") asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that
   1. your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has
      rights; and
   2. you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
   3. your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
   In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present.
   In other words, the party bringing the complaint must prove three things: firstly, similarity to the complainant's trade-
   mark or service mark; secondly, the Registrant's lack of "rights" in the name (so if the registrant also has a relevant
   trademark or the like, the complaint will be dismissed); and thirdly, "bad faith".
   Similarity to the complainant's mark is generally assessed on the basis of whether the consumer would associate the
   domain name with the mark. So, for example, if the trademark is "McDonald's", then "mcdonalds.com" would clearly
   be similar, and even "macdonalds.com" or "mcdonnalds.com" - since either might be typed in error - would almost
   certainly be regarded as similar.
   According to paragraph 4(c), a lack of rights in the name generally means either a bona fide use of the domain name
   (or demonstrable preparation to make such use), or relevant trademark or service mark rights. So, for example, the
   domain name "apple.com" is registered to Apple Computer - but had it been registered to the equally legitimate com-
   pany Apple Vacations, or to someone who sold fruit, or to someone who simply wished to write a Web site about fruit,
   or to someone writing a tourist guide to New York City ("the Big Apple"), then Apple Computer would not have been
   able to recover the name under the UDRP. However, if the registrant had been an individual who wanted to write
   about Apple computers (as opposed to fruit), the panel would probably take the view that this was not legitimate.
   Likewise, if the Registrant claimed to wish to write about fruit, but the panel considered that this was nothing but a
   pretext for selling the domain name to Apple Computers, then this would be held not to be legitimate.
   As for "bad faith", paragraph 4(b) describes four possible indicators of "bad faith":
   i.   circumstances indicating that you [the registrant] have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily
        for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who
        is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in
        excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
   ii. you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflect-
        ing the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
   iii. you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
   iv. by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your
        web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the
        source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web
        site or location.
   These four indicators are not exhaustive - there have been many cases in which none of these four indicators have
   been present, but the panel has found "bad faith" on some other grounds.
   The sort of circumstances that are likely to lead to a finding of bad faith are: attempting to sell the domain name to the
   complainant; registering the name of a competitor (and thereby preventing the competitor from registering it); or "ty-
   posquatting" (which involves registering a domain name very similar to that of a popular site - for example, registering
   "gogle.com" in the hope that users wishing to go to the popular site www.google.com will go to your site by mistake).



b) The interpretation of the UDRP
Although the wording of the policy is such that it appears that only true cybersquatters will be deprived of their domain
names, panels have repeatedly interpreted the rules very broadly in favour of those making complaints. In particular, the
definition of "bad faith" has been expanded far beyond anything contained in paragraph 4(b). Many commentators now
take the view that the UDRP, as interpreted, goes too far.
The argument goes that approved dispute-resolution service providers charge for their services, and it is the party
making the complaint who chooses the provider. Companies wishing to make complaints are likely to choose providers
whom they think will allow them to win, and this gives each provider a strong incentive to appoint panels that are biased
in favour of the party making the complaint. Since earlier cases tend to be relied upon as precedents in later cases, any
bias tends to get worse.
This is no mere academic issue: when the company eResolution resigned its status as a provider in 2001, it stated that


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those wishing to make complaints generally believed that they had a better chance with WIPO (another provider), and
that the resulting loss of cases had forced eResolution out of business. The perception that the UDRP is biased has re-
sulted in the phenomenon where a company, finding that someone else has registered their desired domain name,
makes a trumped-up accusation of cybersquatting under the UDRP. This practice now even has a name: "reverse do-
main name hijacking".


c) Pragmatic considerations
If you wish to register a domain name under any of the top-level domain names to which the UDRP applies, you should
be familiar with two essential facts. The first is that you will be operating within an arbitration system the fairness of which
has been cast in serious doubt (see most notably Fair.com? by Professor Michael Geist). The second is that the UDRP is
a double-edged sword: on the one hand, you may be able to use the UDRP to win a domain name from a cybersquatter,
but on the other hand, someone may accuse you of cybersquatting even if you are innocent.
To deal with this situation, there follows some advice on five practical issues:
   -   when registering a domain name, how to protect yourself against false complaints of cybersquatting - there is
       no such thing as absolute protection, but you can do your best.
   -   how to avoid being a victim of cybersquatting.
   -   if you think that you are a victim of cybersquatting, how to use the UDRP to your advantage.
   -   if you are falsely accused of cybersquatting, what you might do about it.
   -   if you are unhappy with a decision taken against you under the UDRP, what you might do.


   Advice on protecting yourself against false complaints of cybersquatting
   -   Choose your domain name carefully! Ask yourself two questions: do I have rights in this name, and does anyone
       else have rights in this name? UDRP panels tend to define "rights" broadly: the best kind of right is a registered
       trademark or the like (and it might even be worth registering a trademark just for this purpose), but second best is
       what panels refer to as "Common Law rights": if a business or organisation is generally known by a particular
       name, or uses a particular word or expression just like a trademark, then "Common Law rights" can be estab-
       lished.
       So, try to discover whether anyone else has any rights in the name you would like to use. If you are a small busi-
       ness called Bliggers Ltd and there is also a large corporation in another country called Bliggers, you should be
       aware that registering "bliggers.com" could lead to conflict. This does not mean that you should never risk it, but
       you should not be unaware of the risk. ("Bliggers" is an entirely fictitious name chosen for illustrative purposes.)
       How to discover if anyone else has rights to a name? One way is to perform an on-line trademark search. (Simple
       searches can be done free of charge.) Another way is to use an ordinary Internet search engine to look for the
       name. If you take these precautions (which are not a certain means of discovering whether anyone else in the
       world has any rights in your desired name), and you are unable to find anyone else with rights to the name, then
       you should keep formal records of your searches, dated and preferably witnessed, and including printouts of the
       search results. These records can then be used as evidence of good faith in the event of a dispute.
   -   When registering your domain name, pay attention to the choice of the registrar. (See the section "How to choose
       a registrar" for further details). Remember that, in the absence of a specific agreement or good reasons to the
       contrary, the language in which the agreement is written will be the language in which any UDRP proceedings will
       be conducted. So, make sure that it's a language that you are comfortable with.
   -   Give your correct name and full contact details at the time of registration, and keep them up to date. This is impor-
       tant for two reasons.
       Firstly, it will enable anyone who wishes to make a complaint of cybersquatting to contact you. You can then
       avoid the situation in which (for example) a complaint is sent to an out-of-date email address, and a panel delivers
       a decision against you before you become aware that the complaint even exists.
       Secondly, panels can interpret a lack of contact details as evidence of bad faith.
   -   Remember that if you offer to sell or hire your domain to anyone, this can be construed as evidence of cyber-
       squatting.
   -   Do not allow your domain name to lie unused. Bona fide use of your domain name will work in your favour if you
       are accused of cybersquatting. Detailed plans for such use in the near future (a business plan, or the like) are a
       good second best. (However - see the first paragraph of "advice on how to avoid being a victim of cybersquatting
   -   If someone contacts you wishing to acquire your domain name, be careful: anything you say may be used
       against you, if they later wish to file a complaint. Respond as promptly as you reasonably can, and be courteous
       and business-like. Emphasise your good faith. In particular:
       -   Read the UDRP, paragraphs 4(a)-(c) - this is the official definition of cybersquatting - before you respond.
       -   If you are legitimately using the domain name, or have specific plans to do so in the near future, then say so.


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    -   If you had never before heard of the company or their trademark, then say so.
    -   If you yourself have rights in the domain name, then say so - and provide details.
    -   Do not offer to sell them the domain name, or even hint that you might accept money in return for the domain
        name! If you do this, then it can easily be construed as evidence that you are a cybersquatter. This applies
        even if they ask you whether or not your domain name is for sale. If, however, they offer money, that is a dif-
        ferent matter. Yet even then, haggling over the price could be construed as evidence of cybersquatting.


Advice on how to avoid being a victim of cybersquatting
-   If you have rights in a name (e.g. it is your company's name, or your trademark), register the corresponding do-
    main name before someone else does - even if you are unable to use it immediately. (However - see the last
    paragraph of advice on protecting yourself against false complaints of cybersquatting, above!)
-   Think about registering more domain names than you strictly need. If your main domain name is going to be
    "bliggers.com", you may also wish to register "bliggers.net", "bliggers.org", "bliggers.biz", "bliggers.info", "blig-
    gers.tv", "bliggers.co.uk", "bliggers.fr", "bliggers.de", etc. (The .coop and .name domain names also allow for "pro-
    tective" registrations that don't allow you to use the name, but prevent anyone else from doing so.)
    However, you should remember that it is impractical to cover every country code! It is up to you how far you go.
    Some companies go even further that just discussed: they would also register "bligers.com" (with one "g"), so as
    to avoid what is called "typosquatting" - where someone registers a very similar name to that of a popular Web
    site, hoping to get visitors from people who mistype the domain name. Also, some people would recommend that
    you register "bliggerssucks.com", which would prevent anyone from using that domain name for a "Bliggers
    Sucks" Web site, describing just how much they hate Bliggers.
    Practically speaking, the more extreme measures mentioned above are only worthwhile for large companies. Af-
    ter all, registering domain names costs money: a company will have to judge how many registrations it is worth-
    while to make. Remember also that the sole registration of the trademark "bligger" might allow to cover, in a less
    expensive way, all the corresponding domain names such as "bligger.com" and prevent third from using your
    trademark in a confusing way (See the section "Why is it interesting to register my domain name as a trademark?"
    for further details). Furthermore, it is impossible to cover everything: even if you register "bliggerssucks.com",
    someone who hates Bliggers can always register "bliggersreallysucks.com".


Advice on how to use the UDRP to your advantage if you think that you are a victim of cyber-
squatting
-   Before you do anything else, do the necessary research. Use the relevant WHOIS database to find out who the
    Registrant is. Then, see what - if anything - they are doing with the domain name. If you type www. followed by
    the domain name into your Web browser, do you see a Web page? (Even if not, it does not mean that the do-
    main name is not being used - it may be being used for something other than a Web site, e.g. email addresses.)
-   You must understand that using the UDRP costs money. Certainly, it's cheaper than going to court, but it's still ex-
    pensive. The exact fee will depend on whether you prefer a one-person panel or a three-person panel, on
    whether there is just one domain name in dispute or more than one, and on which provider you choose. Prices
    are always stated in U.S. dollars (USD).
    If there is more than one domain name in dispute between the same pair of parties, a single complaint should be
    brought in respect of all of them - although the fee will differ depending on the number of domain names under
    dispute, it is far cheaper to bring one complaint than to bring several. (However, if you are facing more than one
    cybersquatter, you will have to make one complaint per cybersquatter.)
    By way of illustration, the fee charged by WIPO (the most popular provider) for an arbitration involving between
    one and five domain name is USD 1500 for one panellist, and USD 3000 for three panellists. For between six and
    ten domain names, the fee is USD 2000 for one panellist, and USD 4000 for three panellists. For eleven or more
    domain names, the fee is subject to negotiation.
    If you make a complaint, you must pay the fee, no matter whether you win or lose. There is one exception to this:
    if you ask for a one-member panel and the Registrant asks for a three-member panel, then the Registrant's re-
    quest will prevail, but each party is then required to pay half the applicable fee.
-   It may be worth contacting the registrant and trying to settle the matter by negotiation, saving you the expense
    and trouble of arbitration. The Registrant's behaviour at this stage may help both you, and - if necessary - the
    panel, to determine whether or not there is a case of cybersquatting. Even in clear cases of cybersquatting, it
    may be cheaper to pay a ransom as demanded by the cybersquatter than to invoke the UDRP - although this
    should be balanced against the risk that your business will be seen as an "easy target" for cybersquatting!
    Furthermore, you should remember that attempting to negotiate will deprive you of the element of surprise if you
    do decide to file a complaint under the UDRP.
-   If you decide to go ahead with a UDRP complaint, choose the most advantageous forum. Statistics show that


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    one-person panels at WIPO and the National Arbitration Forum are most likely to uphold complaints - on average,
    they uphold five complaints out of every six. (The registrant may ask for a three-person panel, but would then
    have to pay half of the fees - so most Registrants don't bother.)
-   Read the UDRP, the UDPR rules, and the provider's supplemental rules - these three documents together set out
    the procedure you will be following, including the criteria that will be used to decide the case.
-   Prepare your case carefully, in the light of those documents. Make sure that you provide evidence of your right to
    the name, of the Registrant's lack of a right to the name, and of the Registrant's bad faith. You may wish to hire
    a lawyer to help you with this.
    If you don't want to pay for a lawyer, you should use the standard complaint form issued by the provider to write
    your complaint. (A link to the forms for WIPO is contained in the links section of this document.)
-   If the case goes before a one-person panel, the panellist will be chosen by the provider. However, if the case
    goes before a three-person panel, you will have a part to play in choosing the panellists. In that case, you should
    remember that some panellists are more likely to uphold complaints than others. Look at the on-line archives of
    past UDRP decisions, and choose carefully.


Advice on what to do if you are falsely accused of cybersquatting
-   If a complaint is filed against you, you have just twenty days to file a response. If you don't, then you will be de-
    priving yourself of your sole opportunity to put a case to the panel! So, make sure you file a response on time, and
    make sure it's a good one.
    Read the UDRP, the UDPR rules, and the provider's supplemental rules - these three documents together set out
    the procedure you will be following, including the criteria that will be used to decide the case.
    Prepare your case carefully, in the light of those documents. You may wish to hire a lawyer to help you with this.
    If you don't want to pay for a lawyer, you should use the standard response form issued by the provider to write
    your response. (A link to the forms for WIPO is contained in the links section of this document.)
-   If you need more time to prepare your case, ask the panel for permission. If, in the event, you file late, the panel is
    within its rights to refuse to consider your response - however, if you include a justification of why you were late,
    they may decide to accept your response.
    In this regard, you should also remember that it is unclear whose clock determines whether you are on time or
    late: if the deadline is Tuesday, you may think that you sent the response on Tuesday, but in the panellist's time
    zone, it may already be Wednesday! Try to beat the deadline by at least two days if you can.
-   If the party making the complain has asked for a one-member panel, you can either accede to this, or ask for a
    three-member panel. On the one hand, you should remember that a one-member panel will not cost you money,
    while a three-member panel will. On the other hand, you should be aware that statistically, a three-member panel
    is more likely to rule in your favour.
-   If the case goes before a three-person panel, you will have a part to play in choosing the panellists. In that case,
    you should remember that some panellists are more likely to uphold complaints than others. Look at the on-line
    archives of past UDRP decisions, and choose carefully.


Advice on what to do if you are unhappy with a decision taken against you under the UDRP
-   The UDRP contains no provision for appeal. There is no point in contacting the provider, or ICANN, or anyone
    else, and asking if you can appeal: you can't.
    However, the UDRP does allow either party to bring the matter before an ordinary court of law: the court's deci-
    sion overrides the panel's decision. This is not really an appeal, because the court will apply the ordinary law of
    the land, not the UDRP.
-   Going to court is expensive and time-consuming. Before you undertake it, you should think carefully whether it's
    really worth it. Do you really need that particular domain name so badly that it's worth a lengthy and costly court
    case that you may not even win?
-   If you are the Registrant of a domain name, and you have been found by a panel to be a cybersquatter, there is
    a grace period (usually around two weeks) before the domain name is transferred to the party who made the
    successful complaint. This is to allow you to take the matter to court: if you do, then there is a procedure that en-
    ables you to prevent the domain name from being transferred until the law suit is concluded. It is very important
    that you act quickly, and take advantage of this. Please note, however, firstly, that the choice of court is limited if
    you wish to suspend the effect of the Panel's decision (see the section on "the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy
    (UDRP)" for further details); and secondly, that it is not only necessary to bring the case during the grace period,
    but also to provide the Registrar concerned with evidence that the case has been brought. Once the domain
    name has been transferred, it will be much more difficult to persuade a court to let you have it back again.
    In the opposite case - where you have made a complaint that has been rejected by a panel, and you want to bring
    the matter to court - there is no such strict time constraint.


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   -   If, having read the above advice, you still wish to bring the matter to court, then it is imperative that you hire a
       lawyer with expertise in this particular highly specialised area of law.



d) Specialised dispute resolution policies
The UDRP was created before the introduction of the new generic top-level domain names. When the new generic
top-level domain names were introduced, ICANN saw that, because of the special nature of many of these new top-
level domain names, specialised dispute resolution policies would have to be developed.
While the UDRP continues to apply to "ordinary" cybersquatting cases, special procedures apply to (for example) the
registration of a .biz domain name (reserved for businesses) by a non-commercial organisation, or the registration of a
.name domain name (reserved for individuals) by a business.
There follows a consideration of the three most important specialised dispute resolution policies. It must be remembered
that these policies apply as well as (not instead of) the UDRP.


   The Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy (STOP)
   This policy forms part of a special system developed to protect trademark interests in the .biz top-level domainat the
   time when that top-level domainwas starting up. The policy is the responsibility of Neulevel (the company responsi-
   ble for the .biz top-level domain), and not of ICANN. Domain names registered now and in the future are not sub-
   ject to theSTOP.
   The STOP is very similar to theUDRP, but with certain differences: notably, all STOP cases are decided by a one-
   member panel. Also, arbitrators tend to regard the degree of "bad faith" required for a complain to be upheld as being
   lower for STOP complaints than for UDRP complaints. All things considered, the STOP is more advantageous for
   those bringing complaints than the UDRP.


   The Restrictions Dispute Resolution Policy (RDRP)
   This policy is also restricted to .biz domain names, but it applies permanently. The idea is that if a Registrant is us-
   ing a domain name other than for bona fide commercial purposes, any other interested party may claim the domain
   name. This policy is also the responsibility of Neulevel, not of ICANN. It doesn't matter who files the complaint: any-
   one who wants the domain name is entitled to file a complaint under the RDRP.
   In paragraph 4(b) of the policy, Neulevel states that "commercial purposes" mean:
   i. to exchange goods, services, or property of any kind; or
   ii. in the ordinary course of trade or business; or
   iii. to facilitate the exchange of goods, services, information, or property of any kind or the ordinary course of trade or
        business.
   However, registering a domain name so as to sell or hire it is not within the definition of "commercial purposes".
   It is further provided that non-use of the domain name cannot on its own found a complain under the RDRP.
   In most other respects, the RDRP operates in the same way as the UDRP.


   The special system for .name domain names: Protective Registrations, the Consent Mechanism,
   and the Eligibility Requirements Dispute Resolution Policy (ERDRP)
   A special and rather complicated system exists for protecting trademark interests within the .name domain. The
   .name top-level domain is intended for use by individuals; the system intends to balance the interests of trademark
   owners with those of individuals.
   There are two types of registration: the usual kind, and Defensive Registrations. A Defensive Registration does not
   enable the Defensive Registrant to use the name: it is merely a way of blocking other people from making ordinary
   registrations. However, one Defensive Registration does not operate to block another Defensive Registration: there is
   no limit to the number of parties who may hold Defensive Registrations for the same name at the same time.
   Defensive Registrations are classified in two ways:
   -   Into "Phase I" and "Phase II" Defensive Registrations.
       A Phase I Defensive Registrations is one made before ordinary .name registrations were possible. In order to be
       eligible, the Defensive Registrant had to hold a registered trademark fulfilling certain criteria. However, no checks
       were made at the time: the Defensive Registrant's right to make a Defensive Registration is left to be decided by
       arbitration, should it be contested.
       A Phase II Defensive Registrations is one made during the period in which ordinary .name registrations are possi-
       ble, but no later than 31 December 2002. Anyone can make a Defensive Registration: no trademark is required.

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            From 1 January 2003, no Defensive Registrations will be accepted.
        -   Into "standard" and "premium" Defensive Registrations.
            A standard Defensive Registration is of a particular domain name: for example, coca.cola.name.
            A premium Defensive Registration blocks anything with a particular sequence of characters in it: so a premium
            Defensive Registration of "james" would block "james.brown.name", "john.jameson.name", etc.
            It is important to understand the "blocking" provided by defensive registrations is not intended to be absolute:
            those with the right to make an ordinary registration have ways of getting around Defensive Registrations, as will
            now be explained.
            When someone wishes to register a name that is blocked by a Defensive Registration, they will be able to obtain
            a complete list of all the Defensive Registrants who are blocking them. They will then be able to invoke the pro-
            cedure known as the Consent Mechanism: this involves emailing the Defensive Registrant(s) to ask for permis-
            sion to proceed with the registration. If all necessary permissions are obtained, the intending Registrant will then
            inform the Registry, which will then consult the Defensive Registrant(s) to ensure that all necessary permissions
            have indeed been obtained. If so, the registration can go ahead. If a Defensive Registrant refuses permission,
            then the intending Registrant has recourse to arbitration.
            Under the Eligibility Requirements Dispute Resolution Policy (ERDRP), three kinds of dispute may be brought,
            under a procedure almost identical to the UDRP:
            1. A claim (made by anyone) that someone who made an ordinary registration did not fulfil the criteria to do so.
            2. A claim (made by anyone) that someone who made a Phase I Defensive Registrations did not fulfil the criteria
               to do so.
            3. A claim made by a person who asserts the right to make an ordinary registration notwithstanding a Defensive
               Registration.
            In the third type of case, the party making the claim merely has to show entitlement to register the name. As was
            said earlier, the criterion is that the name must be either the Registrant's legal name, or a name by which he or
            she is commonly known. Pen names and stage names are permitted. No one other than an individual may regis-
            ter a .name domain name. However, by way of an exception, anyone who can show intellectual property rights in
            the name of a fictional character may register that fictional character's name.
            So, if the firm Arthur Anderson had made a defensive registration of "arthur.anderson.name", and your personal
            name was Mr Arthur Anderson, and you wanted to register "arthur.anderson.name", you might take the following
            steps:
            -   First, you would try to make the registration, and find that you were blocked by the Defensive Registration.
            -   Then, you could use the Consent Mechanism: you would contact the firm and ask them for permission. If they
                gave permission, you could proceed to registration (provided that you were not blocked by any other Defen-
                sive Registration).
            -   If they did not give permission, you could file a complaint under the ERDRP. Your complaint should be upheld,
                if you can prove that you really are Mr Arthur Anderson.
            If a standard Defensive Registration is defeated in this manner, the Defensive Registration is automatically can-
            celled.
            For premium Defensive Registrations, the position is different: there is a "three strikes" system. Every time a legiti-
            mate Registrant wins a case under the ERDRP, the Defensive Registration suffers a "strike". Only after the third
            "strike" is the Defensive Registration automatically cancelled.




  3) Where to find further information on cybersquatting and domain names disputes

ICANN                                                            http://www.icann.org/


                                    Cybersquatting and domain name dispute resources


UDRP information                                                 http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp.htm

STOP and RDRP information                                        http://www.neulevel.biz/stop_overview/index.html

ERDRP information                                                http://www.gnr.name/corporate/page/72/162/



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                                       The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                      co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




                                            Further information, advice and opinions


A Web site on the UDRP and the other policies                     http://www.udrplaw.net/

A commentary on the UDRP                                          http://lweb.law.harvard.edu/udrp/opinion/

ICANN's database of UDRP cases                                    http://www.icann.org/cgi-bin/udrp/udrp.cgi

Resources on the UDRP, including information on individual
                                                           http://www.udrpinfo.com/
panellists

A Web site on defending yourself against false accusations of
                                                              http://www.delux.com/UDRP/
cybersquatting

Fair.com? by Professor Michael Geist - an essay arguing that
                                                             http://aix1.uottawa.ca/~geist/geistudrp.pdf
the UDRP, as applied, is biased


                                            Create your own complaint or response


WIPO's forms for creating UDRP complaints and responses
                                                               http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/filing/udrp/index.html
(including full instructions on how to complete and file them)




G. Further information on the Internet and domain names

  1) Internet history
  Even if collective memory will lump together the origins of Internet within the 20th century, it can be noted that the @ sign
  was used for the first time in recorded history by the Florentine merchant Franscesco Lapi in a letter dated 4th May 1536.
  Admittedly, the situation has greatly evolved since 700 BC, when homing pigeons carried messages in Ancient Greece.
  Technological developments such as the invention of the telegraph (1837), the telephone (1876) and the computer (1939)
  have revolutionised the communications world.
  Nowadays, the widespread information infrastructure known as the Internet finds its roots in the "decentralised network"
  concept. The idea was to interconnect computers to work together running programs, and retrieving data as necessary on
  any other machine. This concept had been considered in a number of countries but it was with the provision of funding from
  the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) that a practical implementation was developed. The purpose of such in-
  vestment was to find a method of enabling the US military and Government to maintain communications after a nuclear war.
  The fear of nuclear attacks was present, and the US Department of Defense (DoD) make the ARPA - an agency established
  under their auspices - responsible for the mission. As a matter of fact, the circuit switched telephone system was totally inad-
  equate to maintain communications after nuclear war and the United States were looking for a solution. That solution came
  from the first paper of Leonard Kleinrock on packet switching networks, declaring the theoretical feasibility of communica-
  tions using packets rather than circuits.
  Such funding allowed the definition of an overall structure and specifications for the ARPANET. In 1969, the first packet
  switches called Interface Message Processors (IMPs) was installed and the first host computer was connected.
  The Internet was born!
  It remained to give a name to the baby. The Term "Internet" was used for the first time in 1974 in a publication by Vint Cerf
  and Bob Kahn titled "A Protocol for Packet Network Internetworking". But only on 1st January 1983, the Internet becomes
  reality when ARPANET was split into military and civilian sections. The baby could grow...


  2) What are the Requests For Comments?
  Since its conception, the Internet has been shaped to be a collaborative area where people are welcome to share informa-
  tion, skills and knowledge. In order to create an environment in which everyone felt free participating in helping the network
  to thrive, ideas and proposals were posted into memorandums called "Requests For Comments" (RFCs). The first RFC
  document was created on 7th April 1969 by Steve Crocker, and was entitled "Host Software". It runs through the points relat-
  ing to the interface between hosts and IMPs devices.
  First, the RFCs were intended to be an informal, fast-distribution way to share ideas with other network researchers, provid-
  ing them with a positive feedback loop to develop the network. Over time, the RFCs have become more focused on proto-
  col standards. They have been drawn within specialised task forces working democratically and presented by joint authors

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                                    The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                                   co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




with common views independent of their location. The standard-setting RFCs form the basis of the Internetand are mostly
scrupulously respected. The RFCs are freely available online and allows students and researchers, as well as entrepreneurs
of SMEs developing new systems, to access the actual specifications to be used.


3) How are domain names administered?
In the earliest days of the Internet, the allocation of domain names was managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Au-
thority, better known as IANA. This organisation, which is part of the Information Science Institute within the University of
Southern California, was "Dedicated to preserving the central coordinating functions of the global Internet for the public
good".
From 1993, the IANA delegated the task of allocating domain names to Network Information Centres (NIC), while keeping
itself busy with the central coordination functions. For some time after this date, Network Solution Inc. (NSI), a private US
company, enjoyed a quasi-monopoly on generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and criticism was raised! Discussions
throughout the world over two years showed growing concerns about the legal regime under which the Internet operated,
and the US dominance over the shaping of what was becoming an essential global communications network
In 1996, a process for the reorganization of the management of the Internet began. The increasing international and com-
mercial importance of this new medium led to the creation of the Internet International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC). At the
conclusion of its work, the IAHC delivered a Generic Top Level Domain Memorandum of Understanding (gTLD-MoU)
which recommended the expansion of the number of gTLDs and states a set of six principles for their control. These recom-
mendations were directed at enhancing the administration and operations of these gTLDs and balancing concerns for stable
operations, continued growth, business opportunities and legal constraints.
However, no concrete solution was immediately reached, and the need remained to create a technical management and pol-
icy development body that was more formalized in structure, more transparent, more accountable, and more fully reflective
of the diversity of the world Internet community.
In January 1998, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) issued for comment a Proposal to Improve Technical Manage-
ment of Internet Names. However, the European Union was lukewarm in a reply about this green paper because it avoided
to make any reference to the gTLD-MoU and sought to retain US dominance over the Internet. As a result, a further pro-
posal closer to the recommendations of the IAHC and titled Management of Internet Names and Addresses (the US white
paper) was published in June 1998. This proposal received a positive response from the European Commission and led to
an agreement in October 1998 on the creation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN), a
non-profit, private-sector corporation incorporated under the law of California and formed by a broad coalition of the Inter-
net's business, technical, academic, and user communities throughout the world. The ICANN replaced the IANA in its task
of coordinating the technical management of the Internet's domain name system, the allocation of IP address space, the as-
signment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system.
In effect, the takeover of the role of IANA was achieved on 25 November 1998 by means of a Memorandum of Understand-
ing (MoU) and, subsequently, by a contract with the US DoC.
At the present time, a new reform of ICANN is being negotiated.


4) The technical aspects of the Domain Name System
The DNS can be defined as a hierarchical, distributed method of organising the name space on the Internet.


   a) A hierarchical process
   All computers work in the binary language (i.e. ones and zeroes). Networking them through the Transmission Control
   Protocol/ Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), it was necessary to find a way by which each computer can be specifically lo-
   cated in order they may exchange data. The solution is the Internet Protocol address (called IP address). IP addresses
   are sequences of 32 bits - or more precisely, of 4 bytes (groups of eight contiguous bits that are treated as a unit) - sepa-
   rated by dots.
   (Example of an IP address: "01010000.01010001.01100101.01110011")
   Owing to the fact that the decimal numbering system is more common and easier to remember than the binary number-
   ing system, decimal equivalents of octets are used by computer scientists as memory aids. They are always between 0
   and 255.
   (Example of an IP number: "80.81.101.115")
   Since human beings find it difficult to remember decimal IP numbers, it became necessary to translate them into an al-
   phanumerical format, easy to memorize for Internet users, corresponding to digital IP addresses. This brought domain
   names into being.
   (Example of a domain name : "ipr-helpdesk.org")
   When you type a domain name on your computer to find a website, you generally type www.<domainname>.<tld> .
   Please not that the "www" or World Wide Web (W3) is frequently used incorrectly when referring to "the Internet".
   However this is one of the many Internet-based communication systems (created by CERN) merging the techniques of


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                                The IPR-Helpdesk is a project of the European Commission DG Enterprise,
                               co-financed within the fifth framework programme of the European Community




computer networking and hypertext into a powerful and easy to use global information system. When an Internet user
inserts a domain name or clicks on a hypertext link, his or her computer asks a server computer to return to him or her a
document.


b) A distributed method
The DNS is a database split up among multiple computers scattered across the network. Each of these computers is
running a name server program which controls, or has authority over, a "zone" - i.e. a part of the database that the com-
puter contains. The information used by the DNS must be exchanged by name servers running smoothly and maintain-
ing current information in their areas of authority.




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