Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
 
A: Sunrise Dispute Resolution Process
1. What is the policy and rules covering Sunrise Dispute Resolution Process disputes?
 
Donuts and Rightside have developed their own policy and rules, which reflect the requirements of the ICANN Applicant Guidebook.
2.  When will I know the outcome of Sunrise registration allocations?
Donuts and Rightside are operating an end-date Sunrise process, meaning that Sunrise allocations will only be made at the end of the Sunrise period.  For more information, please see Donuts’ or Rightside’s website.
3. Who can bring a complaints under the Sunrise Dispute Resolution Process, or Domains Protected Marks List disputes?
 
Any person may bring a complaint.  There is no strict requirement to show “standing” (ie a threshold to raise a complaint).  However, there is a provision allowing the Panellist or Donuts/Rightside’s discretion to refuse to handle vexatious complaints.  The Policy sets out non-exhaustive indicators of what may be a vexatious complaint.
 
4. What are the grounds for challenging under the Sunrise Dispute Resolution Process?
To prevail in the Sunrise Dispute Resolution Process, a complainant will have to show that it satisfies one of the following criteria:
a)  at the time the challenged domain name was registered, the registrant did not hold a trademark registration of national effect (or regional effect) or the trademark had not been court-validated or protected by statute or treaty;
b)  the domain name is not identical to the mark on which the registrant based its sunrise registration;
c)  the trademark registration on which the registrant based its sunrise registration is not of national effect (or regional effect) or the trademark had not been court-validated or protected by statute or treaty;
d)  the trademark registration on which the domain name registrant based its sunrise registration did not issue on or before the effective date of the Registry agreement and was not applied for on or before ICANN announced the applications received;
e)  the Sunrise registrant does not meet the “in-use” standard;
f)  the SMD File used to complete the Sunrise registration was fraudulently obtained and/or submitted; or
g)  a registry process error occurred that resulted in an incorrect Sunrise registration.
5. How do I defend a case brought against me?
To defend a case successfully, you will need to show that the Complainant has failed to make out the ground(s) on which it relies (NB the standard of proof).
6.What is the standard of proof?
Panellists will apply the criminal standard of proof (“clear and convincing evidence”).
B. Domains Protected Marks List Dispute Resolution
1. What is the policy and rules covering Domains Protected Marks List disputes?
 
Donuts and Rightside have developed their own policy and rules, which reflect the requirements of the ICANN Applicant Guidebook.
2.  When will I know the outcome of Sunrise registration allocations?
Donuts and Rightside are operating end-date Sunrise processes, meaning that Sunrise allocations will only be made at the end of the Sunrise period.  For more information, please see Donuts’ or Rightside’s website.
3. Who can bring a Domains Protected Marks List dispute?
 
Any person may bring a complaint.  There is no strict requirement to show “standing” (ie a threshold to raise a complaint).  However, there is a provision allowing the Panellist or Donuts/Rightside discretion to refuse to handle vexatious complaints.  The Policy sets out non-exhaustive indicators of what may be a vexatious complaint.
 
4. What are the grounds for challenging a registration under the Domains Protected Marks List dispute Policy?
To prevail in a DMPL dispute, a Complainant must prove by clear and convincing evidence that any of the following grounds apply:
a)  at the time the challenged domain name was blocked, the DPML block applicant did not hold a trademark registration of national effect (or regional effect) or the trademark had not been court-validated or protected by statute or treaty);
b)  the trademark registration on which the DPML applicant based its DPML block is not of national effect (or regional effect) or the trademark had not been court-validated or protected by statute or treaty;
c)  the trademark registration on which the DPML applicant based its DPML block did not issue on or before the effective date of the Registry agreement and was not applied for on or before ICANN announced the applications received;
d)  the DPML block otherwise does not meet Donuts/Rightside requirements for DMPL eligibility (e.g. the blocked domain name label is not an Identical Match or does not contain an Identical Match of the domain name label in the SMD File); or
e)  a registry process error occurred that resulted in an incorrect DPML Block.
5. How do I defend a case brought against me?
To defend a case successfully, you will need to show that the Complainant has failed to make out the ground(s) on which it relies (NB the standard of proof).
6.What is the standard of proof?
Panellists will apply the criminal standard of proof (“clear and convincing evidence”).
C PROCESS
1. I would like to challenge the outcome of a Domains Protected Marks List decision.  What should I do?
There are some preliminary steps you should take first:
2. Consider the Trademark Clearinghouse’s processes
If your challenge relates to the way that the Trademark Clearinghouse handled a particular case, then you should make use of the Trademark Clearinghouse’s own dispute resolution mechanisms.
3. Internal Review by the Registry
First of all, you should contact Donuts or Rightside (as appropriate).  There are various mechanisms incorporated in the Domains Protected Marks List service which may apply in your case.  For example, the “override” process.
If you believe that Donuts or Rightside (as the case may be) has made an administrative or technical error in the handling of the Sunrise process or Domains Protected Marks List, please contact Donuts or Rightside direct, and they will seek to resolve the issue free of charge.
In the event that Donuts or Rightside (as appropriate) is unable to resolve the issue through their Internal Review, then you should raise a complaint with Synetergy, as appointed provider for Domains Protected Marks List disputes.
4.  What time limits apply?
 
a) Sunrise complaints must be filed with the Provider within ninety (90) days of the date of registration of the relevant domain name(s).
b)  DPML complaints may be filed at any time the applicable DPML block is in effect.
 
5. What sort of evidence do I need to provide?
You will need to provide your name (individual or organisation), full contact details, and details of any trademark registrations or Trademark Clearinghouse Signed Mark Data file (SMD file).
You should annex relevant evidence, for example a trademark registration, and one example of evidence of use if appropriate.
The Policy provides a relatively cheap, quick, mechanism for resolving complaints arising from the Sunrise period or operation of the Domains Protected Marks List.  It is not a substitute for court proceedings.  The complaint and response are proforma based on the criteria set out in the Policy.  There is an opportunity to enter free text up to 500 words.  Care should be taken in selecting annexes.  As a rough guide no more than 20 pages of annexes should be sufficient.
6. How do I lodge a complaint?
Complaints are to be made in writing, in PDF format and sent by email to dispute@synetergy.com
7.  How much does it cost?
It costs £250 (exclusive of VAT) to raise a complaint under the Policy.  Payment needs to made in full, upfront at the time of filing.
To make a payment, please contact dispute@synetergy.com
8. How long will it take?
 
From the formal initiation of a complaint (ie following administrative checks) the process should take approximately 3 months or less.  Time limits for each step are set out in the Policy.

© Synetergy 2013