A brief look at the new option for trademark enforcement on the internet

Brand owners have a second option to add to the current UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution) proceeding to seek rapid relief for the most clear-cut cases of infringement – the Uniform Rapid Suspension Systems (URS).  The URS system is designed for the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). A URS complaint cannot be filed against a domain that is part of any active UDRP proceeding. It is an alternate procedural option, not a second bite at the apple. The URS system incorporates penalties for brand owners deemed to have filed abusive complaints including a permanent bar from utilizing the URS system in certain cases. Filing fees for a URS complaint are non-refundable. If a compliant is found to be deficient, it will be dismissed and the initial filing fee is lost. A new complaint must be filed, along with a new filing fee. While the new URS system may not be optimal in all domain name disputes, it does offer brand owners another tool in their fight against “cyber squatters.”

The UDRP procedure allows a brand owner to either cancel or request the transfer of the domain name registration. The URS system can only suspend a domain name for the current registration period. It does not provide permanent relief, only a temporary relief, especially where domain name registrants only opted for a one-year or other short registration term. Brand owners may want the UDRP option of owning and ultimately controlling the domain.