Resolving a Dispute

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.nz domain name disputes

The Domain Name Commission (DNC) manages the .nz domain name space. The DNC administers an independent Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) for disputes about the registration of .nz domain names, which operates under the .nz Dispute Resolution Service policy

The Domain Name Commission suggests it may be helpful to take legal advice before making a complaint. Both parties are encouraged to give evidence to support any submissions they make.

To succeed a complainant must show on the balance of probabilities that:

  1. The complainant has rights in a name which is identical or similar to the domain name in the dispute; and
  2. The registration of the domain name by the current registrant is unfair

Once a complaint is lodged, the current registrant is able to respond to the complaint. The complainant may then reply to this response. Whenever the current registrant responds to a complaint, the dispute goes to mediation. Mediation services are provided by a panel of mediators appointed on a ‘first cab off the rank’ basis from those listed at the .nz Domain Name Commission. If the dispute is not resolved at mediation, or there is no response (and therefore no mediation) then the complainant can choose to pay a fee for referral to an Expert for a decision.

The DRS uses an online process for registering complaints, responses and replies. The online forms and more information about DRS can be found at https://www.dnc.org.nz/drs.

Fees for referral to an Expert are specified in the policy, and are currently set at NZD$2,000 + GST ($2,300). Parties can appeal an Expert decision within 10 days of the date of the decision. The fee for an appeal is NZD$7,200 + GST ($8,280).

The DNC publishes all expert determinations and appeals on its website.

More information about the DNC is available at https://www.dnc.org.nz/.