WIPO to provide dispute resolution services for .EDU domain

October 28, 2002

Geneva, 25 Oct 2002

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and EDUCAUSE, the administrator of the .edu top level generic domain, have signed an agreement which makes WIPO the sole dispute-resolution service provider for the .edu domain. The .edu domain is restricted to regionally-accredited, American degree-granting institutions of higher education - and is one of the original generic top level domains (gTLDs), along with .com, .org, and .net.

WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Center will apply the .edu Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (eduDRP) - a modified version of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) - a low-cost and speedy alternative to litigation, in the drive to resolve "cybersquatting" disputes arising in the .edu domain. The WIPO Center is the leading dispute-resolution service provider for the UDRP and related domain name policies.

Once a dispute is filed with WIPO, the Center checks that all formalities are correct, appoints a panelist from a list of leading American legal specialists, and notifies the decision of these independent panelists. For a panelist to find in favor of a complainant, the latter must prove that the disputed domain is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark, that the other party does not have a legitimate interest in the domain name and that the respondent registered and used the domain name in bad faith.

A feature of the agreement between WIPO and EDUCAUSE is that the panelists who are deciding the cases must be American. WIPO's evolving list of international panelists includes the names of some 102 American lawyers who are specialists in arbitration, mediation, trademark law, Internet law or other areas related to the field.

For more information about the WIPO Center's arbitration and mediation services, please consult: http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/index.ht ml. For more about EDUCAUSE, please consult http://www.educause.edu/edudomain/index.asp.

Background
The eduDRP is a modified version of the UDRP, which is applicable to generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and those country code top level domains (ccTLDs) that implement it, and was adopted by the technical co-ordinator of the gTLD space, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), on August 26, 1999. The UDRP establishes a uniform and mandatory administrative dispute-resolution system to address cases of bad faith, abusive registration of domain names. Using this system, panels of one or three experts, appointed by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, apply streamlined, quick and cost-effective procedures to review claims and eliminate clear abuses of trademark holders' rights. The WIPO Center's Domain Name Dispute Resolution Service has been established specifically to administer domain name disputes and is supported by electronic case filing facilities and a well developed case administration system. To date, more than 4,280 UDRP cases have been filed with the Center, of which more than 95% have been resolved, each in a period of around 50 days. The total of all cases received by the Center under all domain name policies, as at September 2002, is 19,763.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations & Public Affairs Section at WIPO:

Tel: + 41 22 338 8161 or 338 9547;
e-mail: publicinf@wipo.int.

World Intellectual Property Organisation
http://www.wipo.int

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