Website Domain Disputes

7th Sep 2018

With the ever increasing size and importance to companies of marketing on the internet, thousands of domain names are being registered each week. It’s inevitable that some businesses will clash with others, as they are unhappy that other internet sites may impact detrimentally on their company, for whatever reason.

In many cases the issue will be relating to a trademark or passing off issue, as a new company tries to harness the goodwill and reputation of an established, better known company, by using a similar domain name to cause confusion with consumers.

When we are approached by clients to help them with the problem, we are able solve the issue for them swiftly and decisively. It is vital that we act to remove the site from the internet as the quickly as possible – delays can end up causing innocent companies substantial sums of money in lost orders together with reputational damage.

We have access to specialist companies who can offer mediation and adjudication to ensure that the desired outcome is reached.

A complaint can be submitted to a specialist in domain disputes via their Online Services account. A copy of the complaint is then to the offending website and if applicable, the end user of the domain name. The respondent has a set time frame to submit a response – this is then sent to the Complainant, who can comment on it.

If there is a response, the Complainant and Respondent have the facility to use a free mediation service to try and settle their dispute. Trained mediators will help the parties discuss how they could do this – they will be completely neutral, and won’t judge the case. Mediation is always confidential.

If there was no response, or if the case couldn’t be settled by mediation, the Complainant has the option of paying a fee to appoint an independent adjudicator to make a binding decision about what should happen to the domain name.

In cases where there was no response, the Complainant can pay a fee for the Expert to make a summary decision on the case.

If the parties failed to come to a settlement during mediation, an Expert decision costs £750 plus VAT. The Expert will explain the cases put forward by both the Complainant and the Respondent.

If the Expert awards a transfer, cancellation or suspension of the domain name, arrangements can be made to make the required changes to domain name registration records.

Our litigation team have a wide experience and knowledge when dealing with trademark and passing off disputes together with all Intellectual Property Rights, database and confidential information protection. We also assist on employment covenants and have considerable experience dealing with covenants in the High Court. We understand the issues and problems that impact on a company who have to deal with the potential damage that these issues create.

We can offer the rapid support and guidance needed to help navigate what could be a very difficult problem

If you need help you can contact us on ph@rogers-norton.co.uk or 01603 675639.