Nominet, the nonprofit that behind .UK, released its the annual summary of domain name disputes bought before its Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) which is similar to the UDRP system.
A total of 726 complaints were made, up 8% on 2013.
However, 2014 also saw a 51% increase in the number of cases where people were able to come to an agreement themselves and with the help of a Nominet mediator, without needing to appoint an expert to make the decision.
55% of cases resulted in the domain name being transferred to the person making the complaint.
For the first time since the DRS was established in 2001, no decisions were appealed.
Brands such as John Lewis, Post Office, Vodafone, NatWest, BT, and National Express used the DRS in 2014.
Based on a conservative estimate of £15,000 per dispute in court costs and fees, the 500 cases that progressed to formal dispute resolution in 2014 add up to an estimated £7.5 million in avoided costs.
In 2014 there were 98 full decisions (where the respondent has defended the case) made. The most common industries were retail (18); automotive (7); banking and finance (6); food, beverages and restaurants (6); and internet (6).
The year saw cases bought by complainants from 35 different countries, led by the UK (549) followed by the US (64), Germany (15) and Lichtenstein (13). Respondents were even more widely dispersed, coming from 51 different countries. Again the UK leads with 545 respondents, but Saint Kitts and Nevis is in second place with 26.
Russell Haworth, Nominet’s Chief Executive, said: “2014 was a landmark year for Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service, as we marked its 10,000th case in October. To date, the DRS has saved an estimated £82 million in court costs. Whether you’re a supermarket giant, a Sussex motorcycle business, or a pop star embarking on a solo career, you can be confident that .UK will provide a safe, trusted platform to do business and promote your brand.”
Nominet established the DRS in 2001 to offer an efficient, transparent method of resolving disputes relating to .UK domain names. The DRS seeks to settle disputes through mediation and, where this is not possible, through an independent expert decision.
To make a complaint through the DRS, you need to have rights (such as a trademark) in a name which is the same as or similar to the domain name you are concerned about. The DRS can usually provide a quicker and cheaper resolution to disputes than going through the courts as this service is based on free, confidential mediation. In the event of deadlock, complainants can pay to appoint an independent expert from a panel to make a full or summary decision. All decisions are made public via Nominet’s website.””
Here is an infographic put out by Nominet: