Network Solutions Announces Revision Of Domain Name Dispute Policy

Dan Kohn (
Thu, 15 Aug 1996 07:18:47 -0700

[* It seems to me like NS takes a lot of crap for every decision they
make, but that they really do try to strike a balance of fairness. The
key sentence mentions the cooperative agreement with the NSF, under
which NS operates. - dan *]

Network Solutions Announces Revision Of Domain Name Dispute Policy

Source: PR Newswire

HERNDON, Va. Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ via Individual Inc. -- Effective
September 9, 1996, Network Solutions, Inc.,
internationally known as the Domain Name Registrar for InterNIC, will
implement a revised Domain Name Dispute Policy. This
marks the second time that the policy has been revised since it was
published in July, 1995. The policy revision was accepted
by the National Science Foundation in accordance with the cooperative
agreement with Network Solutions, Inc.

The policy represents the leadership position Network Solutions has
taken in the new frontier of "cyberlaw," where there is
neither legislation nor case law addressing the relationships between
Internet domain names and trademarks. The revised policy
maintains and strengthens a balanced position between the competing
demands of trademark owners and domain name
registrants. In doing so, the policy makes it clear that Network
Solutions provides a domain name registration service without
any interest in the person or organization that registers the domain
name. When disputes over a name occur, Network Solutions
emphasizes that the two parties must resolve their dispute and agree to
be bound by either a negotiated settlement or a court

The revised policy removes confusion surrounding trademark owners'
challenges to domain name registrations. In particular, it
clarifies that the only "evidence" Network Solutions will consider under
the policy is the trademark owner's certified copy of a
federal registration certificate. And, it more clearly explains the
situations in which Network Solutions will place a domain name
in a "Hold" status. As a result, no one will be able to use the name,
pending resolution of the dispute.

Also under the revised policy, challengers will be less likely to submit
a complaint against a domain name registrant without
sufficient grounds. The policy requires the trademark owner to give
unequivocal and specific notice to the domain name
registrant that its registration of use of the domain name violates the
legal rights of the trademark owner. Such notice must occur
before the trademark owner asks Network Solutions to take action
pursuant to the policy. In fact, the policy provides that
Network Solutions cannot take any action unless it receives both a
certified copy of the federal registration certificate and a
copy of the notice sent to the domain registrant.

The revised policy also precludes domain name registrants from obtaining
a last minute, instant trademark to use as prima facie
evidence of their legal right to the domain name. The policy clearly
states that Network Solutions can only accept a certified
copy of a federal registration from a domain name registrant if that
trademark was registered before the domain name registrant
received a complaint that its domain name violates the rights of a third

Furthermore, the revised policy explicitly states that if a trademark
owner or a domain name registrant files suit against the other
regarding the registration or use of the domain name, Network Solutions
will deposit control of the domain name into the
registry of the court and will abide by all court orders.

Network Solutions is the Domain Registrar for the InterNIC under a
cooperative agreement with the National Science
Foundation. The company provides worldwide registration, online
services, database maintenance, and help desk support
pertaining to the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and names within the
.com, .org, .edu, .net and .gov domains. Network
Solutions also manages the allocation of limited IP address space on the

The full revised policy is available on the Internet at either or at

SOURCE Network Solutions

/CONTACT: David Graves of Network Solutions, 703-742-4884/

[08-14-96 at 12:30 EDT, PR Newswire]