EU domain name dispute

If your domain name dispute concerns a .eu domain, then you might be able to obtain transfer of the domain name through an ADR procedure to deal with "speculative and abusive registrations" set up by the domain authority EURID in accordance with European Commission Regulation 874/2004.

Proving your case under .eu ADR

To succeed with a .eu ADR complaint, you have to prove the following:

First, that you have rights recognised within the EU in a name which is identical or confusingly similar to the domain name. This includes a registered trade mark as well as (in the UK at least) "common law rights" based on reputation and goodwill built up through use of the name. Frequent pitfalls in .eu ADR complaints include reliance on a registered trade mark which isn't in fact in the complainant's name (eg owned by a group company). Also, not providing sufficient detail and supporting evidence to justify a claim based on an unregistered trade mark.

Second, that the registrant / respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name or that the domain name was registered or is being used in bad faith. European Commission Regulation 874/2004 sets out some non-exhaustive examples of both lack of rights or legitimate interests and of registration or use in bad faith. The wording of the Regulation in fact makes it much easier for complainants to recover domain names than under the UDRP But nonetheless you still have to provide sufficient information and evidence to prove your case. Otherwise the .eu ADR complaint will fail.

Appeals under .eu ADR

There is no provision for appeals within the .eu ADR procedure. The only option is to go to court if you have a legal basis to do so. It's critical therefore to get the complaint right first time as you won't be able to have another go (other than in exceptional cases eg something material occurs after the .eu ADR complaint was filed).

.eu ADR providers and fees

The Czech Arbitration Court is the currently accredited provider of .eu ADR cases.

Timescale for .eu ADR complaints

The timescale for resolution of .eu ADR cases tends to be eight to twelve weeks.

Outcome of .eu ADR complaints

If you are a successful .eu ADR complainant, you will generally be awarded transfer of the domain name in dispute - usually the main objective of those filing .eu ADR proceedings. Neither damages nor costs are available.

.eu ADR versus court

An alternative to .eu ADR is to issue legal proceedings in court based on a legal cause of action such as passing off or trade mark infringement. But the .eu ADR procedure has the advantage of being far quicker and cheaper than undertaking legal proceedings.

How can we help with .eu domain disputes?

We have used the .eu ADR procedure to recover a range of .eu domain names including five.eu and bookings.eu. Adam Taylor of Adlex is a .eu panellist and therefore very familiar with the policy and procedures involved. That said, we also try to achieve a satisfactory resolution of .eu domain dispute cases without the need for .eu ADR proceedings. For a free initial chat and more information about our expert domain name legal help, call Adam Taylor of Adlex Solicitors on +44 (0) 207 317 8404 or email.

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