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Australian Domain Name Dispute Statistics

May 14, 2020

It seems the Australian domain name space is a relatively peaceful place when it comes to the number of disputes under the auDRP.

Australian businesses and organisations that feel they are victims of a "cybersquatter" can make use of the .au Dispute Resolution Policy (auDRP). This is an independent arbitration process that is a more rapid and cheaper alternative to normal  litigation proceedings. But it's not free - it can cost between $2,000 and $4,500 and of course the outcome isn't guaranteed to be in the complainant's favour.

So how much is the auDRP being used? For cases submitted in 2019, only 38 completed proceedings were noted, although some of the cases involved multiple domain names.

Of all the cases:

A decision was made in some cases in as little as a month, while others dragged on for some months. The domain names involved and full details of all the proceedings can be found here.

In 2020 so far, things have been fairly steady, with ten proceedings completed at the time of writing and four of those resulting in a name transfer. There are also currently three pending auDRP proceedings. So generally speaking, when you consider  more than 3.1 million Australian domain names are registered, there are comparatively few auDRP complaints lodged. 

The possibility of having an auDRP complaint filed is one of the reasons registrants need to be careful when choosing a domain name - it's wise to search for trademark and other potential conflicts before settling on a name. 

Not all cases involve conscious "bad faith" registrations; in some the party may be unaware they are infringing on a mark. In other cases, it can be an overreach by the party filing the complaint; but this usually comes out as the circumstances are studied. 

But if you're someone who feels they have been wronged by a cybersquatter (and can spare the cash to pursue it), further information on the .au Dispute Resolution Policy can be found here .

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