What is the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) procedure?
URS ('Uniform Rapid Suspension System') is a fast complaint procedure which is based on the existing UDRP ('Uniform Domainname Resolution Policy') but has a lower-cost and faster path to relief for rights holders in the most clear-cut cases of infringement. Most generic TLDs (like .com, .london and .email) support URS. A clear description of the procedures is in the attached URS procedures.pdf file, extended information in URS rules.pdf and URS technical requirements.pdf. Full information can be found on ICANN's website.
A rights holder can file a complaint with one of the URS providers (currently just three: FORUM, ADNDRC and MFSD). This can be done if three pre-conditions are met (all of them, not just a sub-set):
- the registered domain is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark
- the registrant has no legitimate right or interest to the domain name
- the domain name was registered and is used in bad faith (includes 'just for selling to trademark holder', domain hijacking, ...)
- Filing, locking and informing
- As an example, two PDF files that introduce a complaint to the registrar are attached to this article.
- The procedure starts with filing the complaint at a URS provider
- A complaint can be filed for multiple domains together; if this number exceeds 15 domains, the respondent needs to pay a fee as well.
- If the complaint is accepted, the registry is informed and the registry locks the domain ('server' locks). No modifications (including delete and transfer) can be done anymore.
- As soon as domain is locked, the URS provider informs the registrar by e-mail and the registrant (from whois data) by postal mail, fax and e-mail. The complaint is translated by the URS provider into the registrant's language.
- The registrant has 14 days (can be extended to maximum 21 days upon request) to respond electronically, in less than 2.500 words. The response should include:
- confirmation of registrant data
- for each of the grounds of the complaint a specific admission or denial
- any defense which contradicts the complainant's claims (examples of contradicting 'bad faith' are listed in URS procedures.pdf in 5.7, 5.8 and 5.9)
- a statement that the contents are true and accurate
- An independent examiner examines the response and decides
- If the decision is in favor of the registrant, the domain is unlocked again and returned to full control of the registrar and registrant
- If the decision is in favor of the complainant, the domain is redirected to an informative page of the URS provider and remains locked by the registry. The original whois data (except for the nameservers) does not change.
The registrant has 6 months (can be extended to 12 months) to file an additional response and ask for a new examination.
- Domain lifecycle
- If the decision is in favor of the registrant, the domain is handled like every other domain. If the decision is in favor of the complainant however, the domain remains locked until the end of the registration period, after which the domain is deleted. The complainant can once request a one-year renewal of the domain name, which will be charged by Openprovider to the complainant. After this additional year ends, the domain will be deleted.
As you can read in the above procedure, the domain name is just locked for changes and redirected to a landing page. At the end of its registration period the domain is deleted. The URS procedures do not lead to an order to transfer the domain to the complainant. If the complainant wants to get control over the domain name, he should file a regular UDRP complaint.
Where does Openprovider join the game?
Openprovider is no party in the complaint and response processes. Apart from being informed as stakeholder of the domain name (the registrar), we only can follow up a request from the complainant to renew the domain for one more year.