Since 2002 auDA have been handling disputes over domain names (brands and individuals who believe they have the right to a domain/URL but are not the registered owner). Whilst some disputes appear to be clear cases of cybersquatting, others are just co-incidental making for an interesting debate.
VS Above: It’s not always cyber squatting. But if it is, auDA is here to save you* 🙂
“GIVE ME BACK MY URL!” In all about 160 cases are in the system which is not many considering this covers the last seven years. Although it’s a cost effective option (usually between $2000 and $4500 AUD) many companies still use a below the counter/direct approach and simply buy out a domain direct. Having been involved with quite a few of these direct URL ‘transfers’ there are sometimes good reasons to go direct – for instance if you lose the case at auDA, you may end up having to pay a LOT more as a result – so it pays to do your homework first to decide which route will work best.
Some interesting brands in the list below that have used auDAdrp: Facebook, Neilsen, BT, WhitePages, IBM, Telstra, Calvin Klein, Virgin, True Local, Hey Hey it’s Saturday (to name just a few). Current records show that roughly two thirds of cases were won by the complainant.
List of Domain Names that auDA have handled and resolved 2002-2009:
* UPDATE: Since posting this article I’ve had several people contact me complaining about auDA and its process. One person explained to me that they were told by auDA that their case (their registered business name taken) had been “investigated” and denied even though the domain had not been used in seven years, no trademarks, no business name, noe events etc. This person also claimed to have discovered a direct connection between the board of auDA and the holder of the domain. The following article “auDA a Law unto Themselves” goes into other issues with auDA.