The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) for .CN and .中国 (China) country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD), the first non-Chinese entity to do so. Previously, the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Online Dispute Solution Center (CIETAC ODRC) or the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center (HKIAC) were authorized by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) to handle domain name disputes for these domains. The .CN and .中国ccTLD is among the largest in the world with over 22 million registered domain names.
The WIPO UDRP for .CN and .中国 ccTLD is only applicable to .CN and .中国domain names that have been registered for less than three years. In contrast to the conventional UDRP, the Chinese UDRP applies to domain names that are identical or confusingly similar, not only to a mark, but to any “name” in which the complainant has civil rights or interests.
The complainant must prove that either registration or use of the disputed domain name is in bad faith, but not both as in the traditional UDRP. Examples of bath faith provided by WIPO include:
- The purpose for registering or acquiring the domain name is to sell, rent or otherwise transfer the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the name or mark or to a competitor of that complainant, and to obtain unjustified benefits;
- The disputed domain name holder, on many occasions, registers domain Names in order to prevent owners of the names or marks from reflecting the names or the marks in corresponding domain names;
- The disputed domain name holder has registered or acquired the domain name for the purpose of damaging the Complainant’s reputation, disrupting the Complainant’s normal business or creating confusion with the Complainant’s name or mark so as to mislead the public;
- Other circumstances which may prove the bad faith.
The language of proceedings will be in Chinese unless otherwise agreed by the parties or determined by the Panel. More information is available at WIPO’s site.