National Arbitration Forum Approved as First ICANN Rapid Suspension Provider

Feb 26, 2013, 06:37 ET from National Arbitration Forum

New Online Process is Faster and Easier to Use than Existing UDRP Process

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- – The National Arbitration Forum (FORUM), an international provider of dispute resolution services, today announced that it has agreed to provide rapid dispute resolution services for ICANN's new generic top level domain (gTLD) program. The FORUM is the first appointed provider of ICANN's Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS).

The URS has been included in the Rights Protection Mechanisms portion of the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook for several years, and has undergone many revisions by the community, specialized working groups, and ICANN staff. The document outlines a dispute resolution process remarkably similar to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which the FORUM currently administers. 

The URS will be an entirely online dispute resolution procedure that will meet the community's need for a quick takedown process for domain names that clearly infringe trademark rights. The FORUM's bid achieved the cost target set forth by the community.

The FORUM has been a UDRP provider for more than twelve years and, in that time, has handled more than 19,000 domain name disputes. The FORUM has developed technology that makes online complaint and response filing more efficient; a secure portal for its panelists to access their cases; and an interactive portal for parties to access case documents, upload documents, and pay fees.

"The URS allows the FORUM to deploy its strong technological and workflow management assets to build a robust, intuitive dispute resolution program," said Kristine Dorrain, National Arbitration Forum's Director of Internet and IP Services. "We are uniquely positioned to offer a combination of innovative technology, years of dispute resolution experience for ICANN programs, and a solid panel of intellectual property lawyers to serve as panelists."

The URS differs from the UDRP process in several key ways: the domain names in dispute are not transferred to a prevailing complainant, respondents can respond even after a determination is made against them, there are penalties for abusive filings, and there is an appeal process. The URS is designed for clear-cut cases of cybersquatting and, therefore, the burden of proof is higher and fewer submissions are allowed. Complainants who do not pass this "quick look" process can still file complaints under the UDRP or in a court of competent jurisdiction.

The FORUM's online technology permits complainants to file their complaints, upload evidence, request stays, withdrawals, and extensions, and receive their decisions, without inbox-clogging emails or the slowness of mail. Respondents are able to perform all of the same functions. Panelists will make all determinations online, with decisions instantly uploaded to the users' portals. The FORUM is able to offer pricing within bounds set by ICANN as a result of FORUM's experience administering cases through these innovative online systems. In late 2011, the FORUM was asked to administer a similar program for ICM Registry and is using the experience gained in that process to enhance the URS program. 

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The FORUM is available for consultation and can provide customized dispute resolution policies for start up new gTLD registries that wish to offer additional protections for intellectual property or other rights. Please contact Director of Internet and IP Services, Kristine Dorrain for more information.

About the National Arbitration Forum (FORUM)
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, the National Arbitration Forum is an approved provider of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Since 1999, more than 19,000 domain name disputes worldwide have been filed through the National Arbitration Forum's state-of-the-art case management system. For more information, visit

SOURCE National Arbitration Forum