CIRA Updates .CA Domain Name Dispute Rules

CIRA Updates .CA Domain Name Dispute Rules

Taylor Vanderhelm is a JD candidate at the University of Alberta.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has announced that it will be introducing changes regarding domain name disputes under the CIRA Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (CDRP). These changes will help bring the CDRP in line with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which is used for top-level domain names, as well as the resolution policies of other major ccTLD (country code top-level domain) registries. The changes will become effective August 22, 2011.

As a non-profit corporation, CIRA is responsible for managing Canada’s .CA domain extension. CIRA maintains a .CA WHOIS directory and is also responsible for executing and enforcing registrations of the .CA ccTLD. Additionally, they maintain a publicly accessible online summary of past CRDP decisions.

The new policy will deal with several issues, most notably, the meanings of “use,” “confusingly similar,” and “bad faith.” The alterations by CIRA can be seen as refinements as they will leave the meat of the current CDRP policy intact. The most significant modifications to the policy include: the removal of conditions involving the “rights” and “use” of a trademark; a clarification of the “confusingly similar” test to favour a narrow resemblance test in place of the broader traditional test for confusion; shifting the list of bad faith and legitimate interest factors to be non-exhaustive; the inclusion of a bad faith factor for using a domain name for commercial gain; and the elimination of a required use provision for generic domain names before a legitimate interest can be established.

Other less momentous updates to the CDRP policy also include: a clear definition regarding the date of registration; a shortening of the implementation of CDRP decisions from 60 to 30 days; an option for electronic filing of complaints and submissions (which will become mandatory after 1 year); an inclusion of terms now allowing CIRA to transfer a domain name during a dispute under certain circumstances; and finally, a separation of filing and panelist fees for complainants.

These modifications will enable CIRA to stay up-to-date with current best practices in ccTLD management and should help streamline the CDRP procedure for everyone involved. For more information, see the new CDRP Policy as well as the new CDRP rules.