28 August 2018

WIPO issues UDRP guidelines in light of GDPR

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has updated its FAQ page on the impact that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

The GDPR, which came into force on May 25, 2018, was designed to standardise data protection law across all EU member states. The regulation also set out new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information.

“As stated by the European Commission, the overarching aim of the GDPR is to address privacy and data concerns, as measured against legitimate third-party interests such as addressing legal disputes,” said WIPO.

According to the organisation, the regulation is impacting aspects of domain name dispute resolutions under the UDRP.

In order to help provide some clarity on how the GDPR is impacting the UDRP, WIPO has produced a set of questions and answers in relation to the policy.

One of the issues that the new FAQs addressed is how a trademark owner can submit a UDRP complaint if Whois data does not provide the identity or contact details of the domain name registrant.

According to WIPO, the GDPR does not prevent a brand owner’s ability to file a UDRP case. The organisation said that if a complaint contains all available information about the registrant, it will still be accepted by WIPO for processing and compliance review.

Since its introduction in May, the GDPR has prompted other organisations to seek clarity on the regulation.

The same day that the regulation came into force, ICANN filed injunction proceedings against domain name registrar EPAG in Bonn, Germany, in an attempt to clarify how the regulation should be interpreted.

The Regional Court in Bonn declined to issue an injunction in May, before ICANN appealed.

This month, the Higher Regional Court in Cologne sided with the regional court and declined to issue an injunction against the domain name registrar.

This story was  first published on TBO.

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