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Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy Summary
Basic Philosophy: First Come, First Served
When an eligible cooperative claims a Domain Name, they are doing so guided by the desire to claim the name they have considered, planned for and perhaps committed to within their organization. While the dotCoop Operations Center's goal is to support the fair, balanced and efficient approval of eligibility and access to Domain Names, the experience of other TLDs suggests that disputes will arise, regardless of who selected a domain first.
ICANN's Basis for Legitimate Disputes
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has long recognized that disputes will arise. Experience has led to the development of a general policy which provides an avenue to fairly address and resolve naming disputes. The disputes that will arise are generally classified as registrations made in "bad faith." ICANN's guidelines defining "bad faith" are, as follows:
A trademark holder can initiate mandatory administrative proceedings by filing a complaint with an approved dispute resolution service provider. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has been selected to provide this service by dotCoop.
dotCoop will cancel, transfer, or otherwise make changes to domain name registrations as rendered by a WIPO ruling.
While these same Guidelines apply to dotCoop, some disputes may warrant informal facilitation and involvement of dotCoop Operations Center. The process and policy of .coop dispute resolution and escalation process are based on a five level process, of which dotCoop Operations Center are involved in two levels (Level 2 and Level 3). The process and policy are defined below.
dotCoop LLC and dotCoop Operations Center Rights
Under its license from ICANN, dotCoop LLC, has been conferred the right to require that cooperatives using the .coop TLD must use their licensed name in good faith. In accordance with the ICANN license, dotCoop LLC has an obligation to provide a dispute resolution policy and procedure. The dispute resolution policy and procedure must provide for a means to determine inappropriate licensing and use of the Domain Name (bad faith). The policy must also provide for a means whereby one .coop registrant may "dispute" the right of another to use or license a specific domain name.
In all matters related to disputes, dotCoop LLC will follow the formal guidelines established by ICANN as it relates to disputes and dispute resolution. Because dotCoop LLC believes disputes over name selection will be minimal within the cooperative community, its policies will be directed towards facilitating informal solutions to disputes, thus avoiding costly and time-consuming dispute resolution hearings or legal proceedings.
dotCoop Operations Center Dispute Resolution Policy
It is the role of the dotCoop Operations Center to, if at all possible and without undermining ICANN and dotCoop policies; work to avoid disputes that can escalate to the level of costly and time-consuming formal dispute resolution. It is anticipated that the levels of dispute will fall into the following categories. They are:
Level 1.Registrant applies for a Domain Name and it is unavailable. The registrant refers to the "WHOIS" directory and determines who has licensed the name. If so motivated, the registrant can contact owner and arrange for transfer under terms established between two parties. dotCoop Operations Center is not involved in these negotiations. No dispute has arisen.
Level 2. Registrant applies for it's own trade name, registered trademark, service mark or name to which it has a legitimate claim. The name is not available. The registrant refers to the "WHOIS" directory and determines who has licensed the name. The registrant contacts the owner and arranges for transfer under terms established between two parties. If successful, the dotCoop Operations Center is not involved.
Level 3. If registrant and licensee cannot establish a transfer agreement, it is the obligation of the registrant to contact the dotCoop Operations Center to file a Dispute Report. The Dispute Report lists the identification of both the registrant and the licenses. It details the dispute. The burden of proof supporting the Domain Name claim rests upon the registrant.
The dotCoop Operations Center will determine if the Dispute claim qualifies as a possible "bad faith" claim under the ICANN definition and is therefore eligible for its Dispute resolution facilitation services and escalation to Level 4.
The licensee of the name in dispute, as a condition of its continued claim on the Domain Name, is obligated to participate in the dispute resolution process. If the licensee chooses not to cooperate and respond to a formal response to the Dispute Report, the dotCoop Operations Center can, within 30 days, take back the Domain Name and deny the licensees' further use of the name. At that point, dotCoop LLC holds the right to the name and may, in its sole discretion, determine the future disposition of the Domain Name in dispute.
The dotCoop Operations Center personnel reviews the claim and contacts all parties in writing informing each that a dispute has been lodged and that, based on ICANN policy, it may represent a legitimate dispute. The dotCoop Operations Center details the process and provides information on the rights and obligations of the dispute. The content and details of all contacts between either or both parties will be kept on file at the dotCoop Operations Center. In the correspondence, both parties will be provided the ICANN rules governing disputes and a definition of "bad faith."
dotCoop Operations Center will make it clear in the Dispute Report and to both the registrant and the licensee that its role in the dispute resolution process is only as a facilitator of a solution that must be established and agreed to between both parties. The dotCoop Operations Center will inform parties that it will not require or recommend solutions. Its role is limited to facilitation and the suggestion of options that might be explored between both parties. Any final agreement between the parties must be formed independently of dotCoop Operations Center's direct involvement. All resolutions must conform to any applicable ICANN policies.
Neither the dotCoop Operations Center nor ICANN will be party to any administrative procedure or lawsuit that may arise at any time. dotCoop Operations Center will follow ICANN's policy guidelines as it relates to escalated disputes. If an informal solution cannot be established, the next step is:
Level 4. dotCoop Operations Center ends all involvement and contact with the parties in dispute on the specific matter, other than to facilitate any subsequent decision made by an administrative proceeding or court of law.
At their own expense, the parties may choose to move ahead with the dispute or the registrant may choose to end the dispute. If the registrant determines that it is in its best interest to move to the next level, dotCoop Operations Center will provide an introduction to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and will provide to both parties all relevant documentation on file.
WIPO conducts a formal, independent Administrative Proceeding in which the two parties present their respective views of a conflict to a neutral and impartial third party-the WIPO panel. The panel hears the parties' claims in conformity with ICANN's Policy, ICANN's Rules, and WIPO's Supplemental Rules. After both parties have had a fair chance to make their case, the panel, after deliberation, will issue a decision that is binding on the parties.
Level 5. If one or both of the parties disagree with the WIPO outcome, they will be referred to ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Process guidelines and a list of independent dispute service providers. At no time will dotCoop Operations Center or dotCoop LLC provide any guidance or support other than listed above to either parties involved in the dispute beyond escalation Level 3.
dotCoop Operations Center will make any changes, transfers or adjustments as have either been agreed to by both parties or ruled upon by formal dispute resolution bodies. Direction to take such action must be provided to dotCoop Operations Center in writing from officers of both organizations in dispute or by the presiding officer of the formal body that has made a binding decision in the dispute.
dotCoop Operations Center reserves the right to assess additional fees against the parties in the dispute based so as to cover the cost of lengthy or time consuming involvement in the dispute.
Outside resolution support.
dotCoop LLC and the dotCoop Operations Center rely on three sources for dispute resolution: the goodwill of the parties involved, the dispute resolution service provider WIPO and finally, ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
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