Montenegro adopts UDRP for ‘.me’ disputes
Montenegro has adopted the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) for disputes involving ‘.me’ domain names.
Following the assignment of ‘.me’ as its country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) in June 2006, Montenegro submitted its application to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority for the delegation of the ‘.me’ ccTLD in December 2006. The delegation took place in September 2007.
In combination with the ‘.rs’ ccTLD, which was allocated to Serbia, the Montenegrin ‘.me’ replaced the Yugoslavian ‘.yu’ ccTLD (for further details please see “New '.me' country-code domain name launched” and “Serbia launches '.rs' ccTLD”). The ‘.me’ ccTLD can be used both for personalized web addresses and as catchy business marketing tools (eg, ‘touch.me’). Understandably, the extension has so far proved popular with English-speaking countries. Domain names such as ‘chatwith.me’ have recently changed hands for prices in the region of €10,000.
The introduction of ‘.me’ domain names was preceded by a sunrise period for trademark owners. Owners of trademarks applied for prior to June 28 2006 were eligible to apply for a second-level ‘.me’ domain name on a priority basis. This system was introduced to minimize the opportunities for cybersquatting.
If a dispute arises over a registered domain name, Montenegro will now use the UDRP. Many countries have adopted the UDRP or a variation thereof for the resolution of disputes under their own ccTLD. Cases brought under Montenegro's so-called ‘meDRP’ will be administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre.
- the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
- the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
- the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The continuing interest of ccTLD registries in the UDRP as a tool for providing the resolution of domain name disputes is evidence of its success.
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