Disputes Lodged With National Arbitration Forum Fall Per Domain; New Cheaper, Faster URS Launched

National Arbitration Forum logoThe National Arbitration Forum (NAF) announced yesterday that domain name disputes lodged with it in 2012 passed 20,000 for the year, while the number of cases dropped to 2060 from the 2011 figure of 2082.

The NAF is one of the two main providers of dispute resolution services, the other being WIPO, approved by ICANN, under policies like the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

Like the WIPO results for 2012, the NAF figures show a drop in the disputes lodged when compared to the total number of domain names registered globally. The total number of domains for which disputes are lodged seem hard to discover on the NAF website, however it appears they only edged up slightly as actual cases declined (each case can involve more than one domain name).

And with this slight change it should be noted that global domain name registrations increased by 11.8 percent in 2012, according to the Verisgn Domain Name Industry Brief.

In 2012, The FORUM was approved as a UDRP Provider for disputes involving .pw, the recently relaunched ccTLD for Palau. Also in 2012, the FORUM bid on ICANN’s Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS), an inexpensive and rapid means of suspending domain names registered in generic top level domains (gTLDs) launched after January 1, 2013.

“We were thrilled to be announced as the first URS Provider,” said Kristine Dorrain, National Arbitration Forum’s Director of Internet and IP Services. “We believe our years of experience handling tens of thousands of UDRP cases, along with our commitment to utilisation of technology and fair decision-making, contributed to our selection. We’ve been working hard to build and enhance the online filing and case management technologies to ensure a fast, hassle-free URS.”

The URS was billed as cheaper and faster than the UDRP, which typically sees decisions in around 45 days at a price of approximately $1,300. The FORUM plans to offer the URS, which can obtain a suspension in around 20 days, for $375. The FORUM will be posting the Supplemental Rules, FAQs, and demonstrations at domains.adrforum.com, as they become available.

UDRP and URS cases filed with the National Arbitration Forum are heard and decided by Dispute Resolution Panelists who specialise in domain name, trademark, copyright and/or e-commerce law. Panelists are located around the world and can conduct proceedings in several languages including Dutch, English, French, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Korean.

While the UDRP applies to domain names registered in new or existing gTLDs, the URS will only apply to domains registered in new gTLDs as well as select country-code TLDs that elect to adopt it.