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Rules for the suspension or cancellation of a domain name
How the DRS works
Using the DRS
Non .uk disputes




Stage One

Once the Complainant has formally invoked the DRS, Nominet will attempt to establish whether the parties can reach a mediated or commercial resolution to the dispute. The DRS team will:

  • Contact the Registrant of the disputed Domain Name, forwarding all correspondence submitted to Nominet by the Complainant.
  • Request the Registrantís response - the DRS team will usually discuss the complaint with them over the telephone.
  • Attempt to establish whether there is a possibility of the matter being resolved at this first stage, discussing the ways in which resolutions might be reached.
  • Remind the Registrant of the powers Nominet has under its Rules to suspend or cancel the registration of a Domain Name - these powers are incorporated in the contract for the registration of a Domain Name.
  • Ask the Registrant to confirm their position in writing and, where appropriate, respond to any of the claims made by the Complainant.

If mediation is not successful, the dispute will move to Stage Two.

Stage Two

Where a mediated resolution cannot be reached, Nominet will decide that mediation has been unsuccessful. Nominet will take a decision on whether the Domain Name should be suspended or cancelled and will provide a written copy of its decision to both parties.

Stage Three

If any party affected is dissatisfied with Nominet's decision then, at either party's request, the case can be referred to an independent expert for review.

Nominet has a panel of 12 independent experts from the field of intellectual property and IT law who are consulted on a rota basis. The expert will review the documentation relating to the case and may ask the two parties to submit further written evidence to support their claims. The expert will then issue a written recommendation to Nominet either to confirm or revoke the decision taken under Stage Two of the DRS.

This independent recommendation, together with the reasons for the decision, will be provided to Nominet and to the parties involved. It should be noted that Nominet is not required to accept the independent expert's recommendation.

Disputes can also be referred to an Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR) provided by the Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR), a non-profit making body whose aims are supported by the CBI, DTI and IOD. Further details can be obtained direct from CEDR or Nominet.

Both Complainant and Registrant retain the option to pursue the case through litigation at any stage of the process.