Site Map    

SEARCH

ONLINE TOOLS

 

  
Home / Frequently Asked Questions
   close

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the National Arbitration Forum (FORUM)?

A: The National Arbitration Forum (FORUM) is a national and international administrator of alternative dispute resolution services including domain name dispute resolution. We provide parties with an opportunity to resolve disputes with the assistance of a legally trained expert or panel of experts, referred to as Panelists.  Our staff coordinates the dispute resolution process: we answer parties’ questions, schedule hearings, and manage the flow of information between the parties and their Panelist(s) until a case is decided or dismissed.

Back to top


Q: What is a domain name?

A:  A domain name is a string of letter and number characters used to help people find places they want to visit online.  Domain names are comprised of multiple levels, with the levels reading from right to left.  The first level, which is the farthest right of the most right-hand “dot”, is known as a “top-level domain” or TLD.  Examples of a TLD include “com,” “net,” and “org.” A second-level domain is the string just to the left of the first “dot”.  It is this portion of the domain name that is the subject of domain name disputes. 

Back to top


Q: What is ICANN?

A: ICANN stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and was formed in 1998. ICANN is responsible for managing and coordinating the Domain Name System to ensure that every address is unique and that all users of the Internet can find all valid addresses. More information about ICANN can be found here.  ICANN approves registries for generic top level domains (gTLDs) and helps countries manage their own country code top level domains (ccTLDs).

Back to top
 
Q: What authorization does the FORUM have to resolve domain name disputes?

A: The FORUM has been accredited by ICANN to administer disputes that arise from the registration of domain names having generic top level domains (e.g., .com, .net, or .org), and restricted or sponsored top level domains (such as .name, .mobi, and .pro).  The FORUM has been accredited by NeuStar to administer disputes that arise from the registration of domain names in the .us (ccTLD), and .biz top level domains.  If a top level domain participates in a dispute resolution process, the registration agreement for each domain name will include a dispute resolution clause, informing domain name registrants of their agreement to the relevant policy. The Complainant who is claiming trademark infringement agrees to the process when they file their Complaint.

Back to top
 


Q: How does the domain name dispute resolution process work?


A: The dispute resolution process was designed to be a fast method of settling disputes over trademark rights to domain names.  The process begins when a Complaint is filed with the FORUM by a party.  Upon a Complaint being filed, each party will have an opportunity to submit documents and information on their behalf.  A Panelist(s) will be assigned by the FORUM and the Panelist(s) will review the case, along with all documents submitted, and issue a final decision.  A general outline of the domain name dispute process can be found on the FORUM’s website.

Back to top


Q: Are there rules governing the domain name dispute resolution process?

A: Yes, each generic top-level domain (and many others) is governed by a dispute resolution policy; the most common is the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).  A complete list of Policies the FORUM administers can be found on the FORUM’s website.  

Back to top

 


Q: What is the UDRP?


A: The UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) is the original domain name dispute policy. It was adopted by ICANN on August 26, 1999.  The UDRP applies to domain names ending in the following generic TLDs: .aero, .asia, .biz, .cat, .com, .coop, .info, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .name, .net, .org, .pro, .tel and .travel, as well as to various country code top level domains (ccTLDs), such as .co, .ws, and .tv.

Back to top

 


Q: What is a Registrar?

A: A domain name Registrar is an entity that handles the registration of unique domain names.

Back to top



Q: I would like to file a domain name dispute with the FORUM, how do I start?

A: Parties interested in filing a Complaint must do so according to the appropriate Policy, its accompanying Rules, and the FORUM’s Supplemental Rules.  Complaint forms and information on filing can be found on the FORUM’s website


Back to top


Q: Is a lawyer needed in the domain name dispute resolution process?

A:
Parties participating in the domain name dispute resolution process may be represented by legal counsel if they so desire, although it is not mandatory.

Back to top



Q: How much does it cost to file a domain name dispute with the FORUM? Who pays these fees?

A: A filing fee is required when submitting a domain name dispute with the FORUM.  The filing fee amount varies for each policy.  Please refer to the fee schedule located in the appropriate FORUM Supplemental Rules for more information on costs.  The Complainant who files the domain name dispute is responsible for paying the filing fee unless the Respondent elects a three member panel, where permitted.

Back to top


Q: What type of payment methods does the FORUM accept?


A: The FORUM accepts credit card and check payments for fees due.  Credit cards may be used when filing online or information may be submitted via email to the case coordinator or by fax to the FORUM at 612-235-3355.  To pay by check, contact your case coordinator.

Back to top


Q: Who can I talk to at the FORUM about my case?


A: Each case is assigned a case coordinator to direct it through the process.  Coordinators are available by phone or email.  The case coordinator can answer procedural questions but cannot provide any legal advice.  If you have a general question and do not yet have an active case, please send your question to domaindispute@adrforum.com.

 
Back to top


Q: Can one Complaint be filed that contains multiple domain name extensions (eg. .com, .us) as long as the Respondent is the same?


A: No, except for UDRP and RDRP, different Policies may not be combined.  Rules and standards are different for each Policy and therefore each Complaint must be specific to one Policy.

Back to top

 


Q: Where can a Complainant find contact information for the Registrar(s) for the domain name(s) in the initial Complaint?


A: The Whois record can provide information regarding the Registrar name and contact information.  Some third-party Whois providers include:

 

Upon identifying the Registrar, a search engine can be used to find the Registrar’s contact page.  Alternatively, a party can search the information ICANN provides on its Registrars.

 
Back to top


Q: What information should be provided in the initial Complaint for a Respondent who is using a privacy “shield”?


A:  Complainant should provide the available information listed in the Whois database. 

 
Back to top


Q: Does a copy of the Complaint need to be served upon anyone?


A: Yes, the Policies state that the Complainant must serve a copy of the Complaint upon the Respondent and certify that this was done in the Complaint. The FORUM’s Supplemental Rules also state that the Complainant must serve a copy of the Complaint upon the Registrar.

Back to top

 


Q: I received a domain name Complaint, how do I submit a Response?


A: Follow the instructions on the notice you received. If you are asked to submit a written response, complete the required steps in a timely manner while observing the “due date” printed on the notice.  If a Response is not submitted in accordance with the rules, the Panel will decide the dispute based upon the information before it.  The FORUM’s Overview of Policies page provides guide to the different Policies as well as links to instructions and forms that might be useful when composing a Response.

 
Back to top


Q: Does a copy of the Response need to be served upon anyone?


A: Yes, all information and correspondence sent to the FORUM, including the Response, must be provided to the opposing party.

Back to top

 


Q: Does the FORUM have sample forms available?


A: Yes, the FORUM has various forms available for each ruleset located on our website.

 
Back to top


Q: How should documents be submitted to the FORUM?


A: All documents should be submitted electronically, if possible. Under the UDRP, all documents must be submitted in electronic format.  Please see Annex A to the FORUM’s Supplemental Rules for the most current list of acceptable electronic file types.

Back to top 


Q: Does the FORUM administer cases in multiple languages?


A: Yes, the FORUM administers cases in many languages including: Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish.


Back to top

 


Q: What country code cases does the FORUM handle (e.g., .co, .tv, .ws, etc.)?


A: The FORUM handles any country code that has adopted the UDRP and has not otherwise specified specific providers. If you are unsure whether the FORUM handles a specific country code, please email the FORUM at domaindispute@adrforum.com.

 
Back to top


Q: Can a party use the resolution process if a domain name was stolen or hijacked?


A: The resolution process was created to address cybersquatting of trademarked domain names. Some Policies provide a resolution process for certain types of disputes with a domain name registrant (e.g., usTLD Nexus Dispute Policy).  If, after reviewing the Policies, Rules, and Supplemental Rules, a party believes the situation can be resolved using the resolution process, they may file a Complaint.  Additional information on this issue from ICANN can be found here.  

 

Back to top


Q: What if the parties want to settle the case?


A: The FORUM does not mediate settlements, though the parties are free to work out agreements amongst themselves.  If the parties reach an agreement, the parties may jointly request a Withdraw of the Complaint or a Stay of the proceedings.

 
Back to top


Q: Can a party pursue litigation instead of using the FORUM domain name dispute processes?


A: Yes, the FORUM is one option for dispute resolution.  If a lawsuit is filed during the domain name proceeding, the Rules require you to notify the FORUM.  It will be up to the Panel if the case will be dismissed, stayed, or continued.  If the lawsuit is filed within ten business days after the decision is issued please notify the FORUM.

 
Back to top


Q: What do the Parties need to do when a Complainant prevails in a decision?


A: The Complaint will need to contact and work with the Registrar to have them send information needed to transfer the domain name.  Not all Registrars handle the transfer process the same. The Respondent doesn’t need to do take any action.

Back to top


Q: What do the Parties need to do when a Respondent prevails in a decision?

A: The Parties do not need to take any action.  The domain name will remain in the Respondent’s account and the Registrar-Lock will be removed.

 
Back to top


Q: Are previously issued decisions available on the FORUM’s website?

A:
Yes, the FORUM posts decisions as required by the individual Policies and Rules.  All posted decisions can be found on the FORUM’s searchable case database

Back to top
 


Q: Can a decision be appealed?


A: Yes, the Policies provide for either party to bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction before, during, or after a domain dispute case. 

 
Back to top


Q: How is the FORUM different from other domain name dispute resolution providers?


A: The FORUM is a U.S. based domain dispute resolution provider.  With over 10 years of domain name dispute resolution experience, the FORUM is dedicated to providing quality dispute resolution services and is a leader in the domain name industry.

Back to top