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URS procedure – Figures since 2013

The URS procedure (Uniform Rapid Suspension) is an extra-judicial procedure implemented since the second semester of 2013, under the initiative of ICANN. It is applicable: - For the new Gtlds (.club, .site, .online, .maison, .wang, .vin …) which are progressively launched since October 2013; - For certain “legacy” Gtlds (.pro, .xxx, .cat, .jobs, .travel, .mobi…) ; - For ccTLD .pw.

This procedure is faster (around 20 days) and cheaper than the UDRP . On the other hand, the URS applies a stricter standard of proof for right holders and only allows for the domain name suspension for the duration of the domain name registration.

The first URS decision dates from early November 2013. It seems appropriate, after nearly 3 years and a half, to dress a quick summary of the URS figures so far:

From November 9, 2013 till March 23, 2017: - 722 URS cases were handled, involving more than 1200 domain names; - On these 722 URS cases, there were 612 decisions of suspension, involving a total of 1085 domain names; - On the 612 suspension decisions, 432 were decided “by default”, without a response from the domain name owner; - 43 complaints were withdrawn before a decision was rendered; - 42 complaints were rejected.

The vast majority of the URS complaints were filed before the ADR Forum (formerly National Arbitration Forum). It is the first center which was accredited for URS procedures by ICANN in 2013, a few months before the ADNDRC, based in Hong-Kong, also accredited in 2013.

It should be noted, however, that a European dispute resolution center was accredited in 2015: it is the MFSD, based in Milan and also accredited, among others, for extra-judicial procedures involving .it domain names.

In terms of volume of complaints, those figures may appear low, notably if they were to be compared to the volume of UDRP complaints: more than 3000 in 2016 before the WIPO arbitration center alone ( source ). It should be kept in mind, however, that compared to the UDRP, the URS procedure is still recent, has a different purpose and a narrower jurisdiction (see above). Indeed, at this stage the URS does not apply to .com and .net domain names, which represent more than 50% of domain names registered across the world ( source ). The “biggest” new Gtld in terms of registrations is the .xyz with more than 5.300.000 registrations. In comparison, the .com boasts more than 128.300.000 registrations up to this day.

It will be interesting to monitor the evolution of the URS procedure adoption in the following years. Some registry agreement renewals (.com and .net notably) should be watched closely, as the enlargement of the URS jurisdiction to other legacy Gtlds appears to be a credible hypothesis.

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