What about Australian Domain Name Disputes?

Has someone been cyber-squatting on your desired Internet address? Is someone else's Internet address so similar to yours that your customers are being confused? Help is now at hand. For a one-off payment of $A1500, you may have your dispute arbitrated by a one-person tribunal. There is normally no oral hearing, and the award will be handed down within 14 days of appointment, and may be published on the Internet. The arbitrator's decision is binding on the relevant Registrar, and is usually in the form of an instruction to the Registrar either to cancel a domain name or to transfer it to the successful party. The arbitrator's award is final, unless appealed to a court under certain limited conditions. Each party bears its own costs.

From 1 August 2002, a new procedure for resolving disputes between parties over the rights to Australian Internet domain names has been implemented.

This procedure only applies to disputes between two or more members of the public over the rights to domain names. If you have a dispute with, for example, your Registrar over aspects of your desired Internet address, the auDRP does not apply, and you will have to look to the terms of your agreement with your ISP or Registrar in order to resolve that type of dispute.

All public 2LDs (second-level domains) are now administered by auDA. The five 2LDs currently available to the public are:

At present, these are all administered by the new Registry, ausregistry, through ten Registrars, including such well-known bodies as MelbourneIT.

Previously, any disputes between competing claimants to an Internet domain name had to be referred to arbitration by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) or to litigation in the courts. From 1 August 2002, a new, low cost scheme for Australia has been available through auDA and its four approved dispute resolution service providers. The dispute resolution policy (auDRP) and the names of the service providers are listed at auDA's website.

Further information on the procedure, including rules for the conduct of cases and reports on decided cases, can be found at:

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