The roll out of the new Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program brings with it a new domain name dispute procedure. This procedure is known as the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS). It is compulsory that each new gTLD operator have a domain name dispute system available. The URS is specifically designed to quickly resolve well-defined cases of cybersquatting. The URS is also aimed at being a less expensive alternative to the existing UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy). See our website page entitled Domain Name Disputes, where we discuss filing a UDRP Complaint.
There are some additional differences between the two systems. For example, the URS requires a heavier burden of proof by mandating that the elements must be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence. Moreover, the remedy available varies under the two systems. Under the UDRP a complainant may request to have the domain cancelled or transferred to it, while under the URS system a complainant may only request that the domain be suspended for the life of the registration. The URS system is being monitored to determine if once the suspension resolves will other cybersquatters register the same domain and will the cycle repeat. If this occurs, it will be problematic and will interfere with the objective of a speedy resolution. Moreover, further bad faith registrations of the same domain will show that the URS will not be an effective long term strategy.
The first complaint filed with the URS was filed by Facebook on August 21, 2013. The case commenced on September 11, 2013. The dispute involved the domain facebok.pw. The registrant did not respond to the complaint. Facebook was able to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent was a serial cybersquatter. The decision was rendered on September 27, 2013 and Facebook prevailed.