Note: These instructions summarize certain portions of the Department of Commerce's usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (usDRP), usDRP Rules, and the FORUM's usDRP Supplemental Rules that concern the filing of a Complaint. This summary is not a substitute for reading and understanding the Rules governing this proceeding.
File usDRP Complaints Properly
Parties interested in filing a usDRP Complaint must do so according to the usDRP Rules and the FORUM’s usDRP Supplemental Rules. Please read and review these rules prior to filing your Complaint.
If you would like to file your Complaint online, prepare the information for steps 1-18 below and proceed to our Online Filing for usDRP Complaints page.
If your Complaint involves one or more Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), please proceed to our Internationalized Domain Names page for additional filing instructions.
Prepare Your usDRP Complaint
A model Complaint form is available online in MS Word rich text format. You may download this form to assist you as you proceed through these instructions.
- Excluding attachments, the Complaint shall not exceed ten (10) pages. National Arbitration Forum Supplemental Rule (hereinafter "Supp. Rule") 4(a).
- Include a request that the Complaint be submitted for decision in accordance with the usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy and Rules. Rule for usTLD Resolution Policy (hereinafter "Rule") 3(c)(i).
- Include the name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone and facsimile numbers of the Complainant. The Complaint must also include the name of the representative who is authorized to act for the Complainant in the proceeding. Rule 3(c)(ii).
- Specify the preferred method for communicating with the Complainant. This shall specifically state the person to be contacted, the medium for contact and the address information. The Complaint shall include this information for electronic transmission and hard copies. Rule 3(c)(iii).
- Designate whether the Complainant requests a single-member or three-member Panel.
- If the Complainant requests a single-member Panel, the Complainant shall submit three (3) copies of the Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum, unless the Complaint is submitted via fax. Supp. Rule 4(b). If the Complaint is submitted by fax, only one (1) copy is needed. Supp. Rule 4(d).
- When a single-member Panel is requested, the National Arbitration Forum shall appoint a neutral and impartial Panelist. Rule 6(b).
- If Complainant opts for a three-member Panel, the Complainant must provide names and contact information for three (3) candidates, one of whom will serve as a Panel member. These candidates may be chosen from any Department of Commerce approved provider's list of potential Panelists. Rule 3(c)(iv). The other two Panelists shall be selected in accordance with Rule 6(e).
- If the Complainant requests a three-member Panel, the Complainant shall submit five (5) copies of the Complaint, unless the Complaint is submitted via fax. For three-member Panels requested by the Respondent, the Complainant may be asked to submit additional copies of the Complaint. Supp. Rule 4(b). If the Complaint is submitted by fax, only one (1) copy is needed. Supp. Rule. 4(d).
- Provide the name of the Respondent (domain name holder), including the postal address, e-mail address, telephone and facsimile numbers, and any other contact information available to Complainant which will allow the National Arbitration Forum to send the Complaint in compliance the Rules. Rule 3(c)(v). (Contact information may be found at a "Whois" database such as: http://www.whois.us/.)
- Specify the domain name that is the subject of the Complaint. If more than one domain name held by the same Respondent is in dispute, all may be included in one Complaint. Rule 3(c)(vi).
- Identify with whom the domain name(s) are registered at the time the Complaint is filed. Rule 3(c)(vii). (To identify the current domain Registrar, go to a "Registry Whois" database such as: http://www.whois.us/.)
- Specify the trademark(s) or service mark(s) upon which the Complaint is based. For each mark, the goods and services with which the mark is used must be described. Rule 3(c)(viii).
- Describe the grounds on which the Complaint is made. In particular, the Complaint must describe:
- The extent to which the domain name(s) is/are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights, and
- Why the Respondent (domain name holder) should be considered as having no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Complaint, and
- Why the domain name(s) should be considered as having been registered or used in bad faith. Rule 3(c)(ix).
- For elements (2) and (3) above, the description should include a discussion of the "usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy" (http://www.us/policies/docs/usdrp.pdf) (hereinafter "usDRP") paragraphs 4(b) and 4(c), if applicable. Rule 3(b)(ix).
usDRP paragraphs 4(b) and 4(c) provide as follows:
- Mandatory Administrative Proceeding.
- Evidence of Registration or Use in Bad Faith. For the purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration or use of a domain name in bad faith:
- Circumstances indicating that you 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
- You have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name; or
- You have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
- 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.
- How to Demonstrate Your Rights to and Legitimate Interests in the Domain Name in Responding to a Complaint. When you receive a Complaint, you should refer to the Rules in determining how your Response should be prepared. Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(ii):
- You are the owner or beneficiary of a trade or service mark that is identical to the domain name; or
- Before any notice to you of the disputed, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
- You (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
- You are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
- Specify the remedies sought. The usDRP limits the remedies available to cancellation of the domain name or transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant. Rule 3(c)(x); usDRP Paragraph 4(i).
- Identify any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated in connection with or relating to any of the domain names that are the subject of the Complaint. Rule 3(c)(xi).
- State that a copy of the Complaint, together with the "Complaint Transmittal Cover Sheet" (available on the National Arbitration Forum's web site), has been sent or transmitted to the Respondent in accordance with Rule 2(a) & (g) and to the Registrar(s) in accordance with Supp. Rule 4(e). Rule 3(c)(xii).
- State that the Complainant will submit to the jurisdiction of the courts in one specified jurisdiction, if any challenge is made to a decision in the arbitration proceeding, by including the following statement:
"The Complainant hereby designates [identify precisely the court jurisdiction] as the Mutual Jurisdiction, for the purposes of challenges to a decision in the administrative proceeding to cancel or transfer the domain name."
Rule 3(c)(xiii); Rule 1.
- Conclude with the following statement followed by the signature of the Complainant or its authorized representative:
"Complainant agrees that its claims and remedies concerning the registration of the domain name, the dispute, or the dispute's resolution shall be solely against the domain-name holder and waives all such claims and remedies against (a) the National Arbitration Forum and Panelists, except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, (b) the registrar, (c) the registry administrator, and (d) the Department of Commerce, as well as their directors, officers, employees and agents.
Complainant certifies that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of Complainant's knowledge complete and accurate, that this Complaint is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Complaint are warranted under these Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument."
- Attach any documents or other evidence applicable to the domain name(s) in dispute and any trademark or service mark registration upon which the Complaint relies, including a copy of the usDRP, together with a table of contents of the evidence. Rule 3(c)(xv).
- Include the appropriate fee in accordance with the Forum's Supplemental Rules and Fee Schedule (Supp. Rule 17). Rule 19.
File Your usDRP Complaint
Pursuant to Supp. Rule 4(d), you may file your Complaint online or send the Complaint, along with any other attached evidence, the Complaint Transmittal Sheet, and a copy of the usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Complaint and attachments should be in Microsoft Word, PC format.
You must also send us three “hard copies” of your Complaint, along with any other attached evidence, the Complaint Transmittal Sheet, and a copy of the usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy by either fax or mail using the addresses and numbers below:
Regular US Post:
National Arbitration Forum
PO Box 50191
Minneapolis, MN 55405
FedEx, UPS, or Overnight Mailings:
National Arbitration Forum
6465 Wayzata Blvd. #470
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Toll-free Fax: 866-743-4517
Contact us via email or call (800) 474-2371.