The most recent source for .im domains dispute policy can be found at: www.nic.im/pdfs/disputeresolution.pdf
IM Dispute Resolution Procedure
26 June 2006
1. Process Overview
Dispute Resolution Steps:
1 â The Complainant initiates a Complaint in accordance with section 8 below and with reference to the evidence of abusive registration section 3 below.
2 â We check the complaint is compliant with the DRP and notify the Respondent in accordance with section 9.
3 â The Respondent has 15 days to provide a written response in accordance with section 10 below and with reference to section 4 demonstrating why it is not an abusive registration.
4 â A dispute resolution case is opened and we submit the complaint documents to the Designated Official.
5 - The Designated Official may request further statements in accordance with section 12.
6 â The Designated Official reaches a decision in accordance with section 15 and informs us who notifies both parties.
7 â The dispute resolution case is then closed.
1 â Either party has 10 days to raise an appeal in accordance with section 14, which must be accompanied by an appeal fee payment of Â£500 from the initiating party and evidence supporting the appeal.
2 â We submit the appeal to the Designated Official.
3 â Any new information presented is considered by the Designated Official in conjunction with the original case notes. The Designated Official makes a final binding decision and notifies us.
4 â We notify both parties.
5 â The appeal is closed.
2. Dispute Resolution Procedure
A. A Respondent must submit to proceedings under the IM DRP if a Complainant asserts to the Designated Official, according to the IM DRP, that:
i. The Complainant has Rights in respect of a name or mark which is dentical or similar to the Domain Name; and
ii. The Domain Name, in the hands of the Respondent, is an Abusive registration.
B. The Complainant is required to prove to the Designated Official that both elements are present on the balance of probabilities.
C. We recommend that both Parties use our guidance, which includes the IM Rules and help information, which can be found on our website.
3. Evidence of Abusive Registration
A. A non-exhaustive list of factors which may be evidence that the Domain Name is an Abusive Registration is as follows:
i. Circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or otherwise acquired the Domain Name primarily:
a. for the purposes of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the Domain Name to the Complainant or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent's documented out-of-pocket costs directly associated with acquiring or using the Domain Name;
b. as a blocking registration against a name or mark in which the Complainant has Rights; or
c. for the purpose of unfairly disrupting the business of the Complainant;
ii. Circumstances indicating that the Respondent is using the Domain Name in a way which has confused people or businesses into believing that the Domain Name is registered to, operated or authorised by, or otherwise connected with the Complainant;
iii. The Complainant can demonstrate that the Respondent is engaged in a pattern of registrations where the Respondent is the registrant of domain names (under .im or otherwise) which correspond to known names or trade marks in which the Respondent has no apparent rights, and the Domain Name is part of that pattern;
iv. It is independently verified that the Respondent has given false contact details to us; or
v. The Domain Name was registered as a result of a relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent, and the Complainant:
a. has been using the Domain Name registration exclusively; and
b. paid for the registration and/or renewal of the Domain Name registration.
B. Failure on the Respondent's part to use the Domain Name for the purposes of e-mail or a web-site is not in itself evidence that the Domain Name is an Abusive registration.
C. There shall be a presumption of Abusive registration if the Complainant proves that Respondent has been found to have made an Abusive registration in three (3) or more IM DRP cases in the two (2) years before the Complaint was filed. This presumption can be rebutted (see paragraph 4 (C)).
4. How the Respondent may demonstrate in its response that the Domain Name is not an Abusive Registration
A. A non-exhaustive list of factors which may be evidence that the Domain Name is not an Abusive registration is as follows:
i. Before being aware of the Complainantâs cause for complaint (not necessarily the 'complaint' under the IM DRP), the Respondent has
a. used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name or a Domain Name which is similar to the Domain Name in connection with a genuine offering of goods or services;
b. been commonly known by the name or legitimately connected with a mark which is identical or similar to the Domain Name;
c. made legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the Domain Name;
ii. The Domain Name is generic or descriptive and the Respondent is making fair use of it;
iii. In relation to paragraph 3(A)(v); that the Registrant's holding of the Domain Name is consistent with an express term of a written agreement entered into by the Parties; or
iv. In relation to paragraphs 3(A)(iii) and/or 3(C); that the Domain Name is not part of a wider pattern or series of registrations because the Domain Name is of a significantly different type or character to the other domain names registered by the Respondent.
B. Fair use may include sites operated solely in tribute to or in criticism of a person or business.
C. If paragraph 3(C) applies, to succeed the Respondent must rebut the presumption by proving in the Response that the registration of the Domain Name is not an Abusive registration.
5. Without Prejudice
Documents and information which are 'without prejudice' (or are marked as being 'without prejudice') may be used in submissions and may be considered by the Designated Official except that the Designated Official will not consider such materials if the Designated Official believes that it is in the interests of justice that the document or information be excluded from consideration.
6. Submission to the Designated Official
All complaints will be submitted to the Designated Official when the Respondent has made a response or a period of 15 days has elapsed after notifying the Respondent in accordance with paragraph 10 below . The Designated Official will come to a written decision.
A. We will send a complaint to the Respondent by using, in our discretion, any of the following means:
i. sending the complaint by first class post, fax or e-mail to the Respondent at the contact details shown as the registrant or other contacts in our Domain Name register database entry for the Domain Name in dispute;
ii. sending the complaint in electronic form (including attachments to the extent available in that form) by e-mail to;
iv, if the Domain Name resolves to an active web page (other than a generic page which we conclude is maintained by an ISP for parking Domain Names), to any e-mail address shown or e-mail links on that web page so far as this is practicable; or
v. sending the complaint to any addresses provided to us by the Complainant so far as this is practicable.
B. All written communication to a Party or a Party's representative under the IMDRP shall be made by fax, first class post or e-mail.
C. Communication shall be made in English. E-mail communications should be sent in plain text so far as this is practicable.
D. During the course of proceedings under the IM DRP, if either Party wishes to change its contact details it must notify us of all changes.
E. Except as otherwise provided in this IM DRP or as otherwise decided by us or the Designated Official, all communications provided for under this IM DRP shall be deemed to have been received:
i. if sent by facsimile, on the date transmitted; or
ii. if sent by first class post, on the second Day after posting; or
iii. if sent via the Internet, on the date that the communication was transmitted;
iv. and, unless otherwise provided herein, the time periods provided for under the IM DRP shall be calculated accordingly.
F. Any communication between:
i. us and any Party shall be copied by us to the other Party and the Designated Official, below; and
ii. a Party to another Party shall be copied by the sender to us and we will copy such correspondence to the Designated Official.
8. The Complaint
A. Any person or entity may submit a complaint to us in accordance with IM DRP. In exceptional circumstances, we may have to suspend our ability to accept complaints. If so, we will post a message to that effect on our web-site which will indicate when the suspension is likely to be lifted.
B. More than one person or entity may jointly make a complaint. Where this occurs the joint Complainants must:
i. all sign the hard copy of the complaint (or have it signed on their behalf);
ii. specify one of the Complainants, or a single representative, who will be the 'lead Complainant' who will receive correspondence on behalf of all the Complainants and is entitled to act on behalf of them all and
iii. specify which Complainant the Complainants wish to become the sole registrant of each Domain Name(s) which are the subject of the complaint if the Complainants are successful (this does not bind the Designated Official).
C. The Complainant may send the complaint to us in hard copy or in electronic form. Electronic submissions are preferred. The Complainant shall:-
i. not exceed 2000 words;
ii. specify whether the Complainant wishes to be contacted direct or through an authorised representative, and set out the e-mail address, telephone number, fax number and postal address which should be used;
iii. set out any of the Respondent's contact details which are known to the Complainant;
iv. specify the Domain Name which is the subject of the dispute and the name or mark which is identical or similar to the Domain Name and in which the Complainant asserts it has Rights;
v. describe in accordance with the IM DRP the grounds on which the complaint is made including in particular: what Rights the Complainant asserts in the name or mark; why the Domain Name should be considered to be an Abusive registration in the hands of the Respondent; and discuss any applicable aspects of paragraph 3 above as well as any other grounds which support the Complainantâs assertion;
vi. specify whether the Complainant is seeking to have the Domain Name transferred, suspended or cancelled;
vii. tell us whether any legal proceedings have been commenced or terminated in connection with the Domain Name which is the subject of the complaint;
viii. state that the Complainant will submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Isle of Man courts with respect to any legal proceedings seeking to reverse the effect of a decision requiring the suspension, cancellation, transfer or other amendment to a Domain Name registration, and that the Complainant agrees that any such legal proceedings will be governed by Manx law;
ix. agree that its claims and remedies concerning the registration of the Domain Name, the dispute, or the dispute's resolution shall be solely against the Respondent and that neither we nor our directors, officers, employees or servants nor any Designated Official shall be liable for anything done or omitted in connection with any proceedings under the Dispute Resolution Service.
x. state that the information contained in this complaint is to the best of the Complainantâs knowledge true and complete, and that this complaint is not being presented in bad faith and the matters stated in this complaint comply with the Procedure and applicable law.
xi. agree that if the Designated Official orders a transfer of the Domain Name(s) to be bound by our Terms and Conditions for the Registration of Domain Names, and in particular the provisions relating to our processing of personal data.
xii. by submitting a complaint agree to be bound by the conditions of this clause (8).
xiii. where a hard copy is sent attach two copies of any documentary or other evidence on which the Complainant relies including correspondence and any trade mark registration and/or evidence of use of or reputation in a name or mark, together with an index of the material attached.
D. The complaint may relate to more than one Domain Name, provided that those Domain Names are registered in the name of the Respondent.
9. Notification of Complaint
A. We will check that the complaint complies with the IM DRP and, if so, we will forward it to the Respondent together with our explanatory coversheet.
B. If we find that the complaint does not comply with the IM DRP, we will promptly notify the Complainant of the deficiencies we have identified. The Complainant shall have three (3) Days from receipt of notification within which to correct the deficiencies and return the complaint to us, failing which we will deem the complaint to be withdrawn. This will not prevent the Complainant submitting a different complaint to us.
C. Proceedings under the IM DRP will commence on the earliest date upon which the complaint is deemed to have been received by the Respondent.
10. The Response
A. Within fifteen (15) Days of the date of commencement of proceedings under the IM DRP, the Respondent may submit a response to us.
B. We will forward the response to the Complainant and the Designated Official.
C. The Respondent must send the response to us in hard copy and (except to the extent not available for attachments) in electronic form to us at the addresses set out in our explanatory coversheet. The response shall:
i. not exceed 2000 words;
ii. include any grounds the Respondent wishes to rely upon to rebut the Complainantâs assertions including any relevant factors set out in paragraph 4 above;
iii. specify whether the Respondent wishes to be contacted direct or through an authorized representative, and set out the e-mail address, telephone number, fax number and postal address which should be used;
iv tell us whether any legal proceedings have been commenced or terminated in connection with the Domain Name which is the subject of the complaint;
v. conclude with the following statement followed by the signature of the Respondent or its authorized representative:- "The information contained in this response is to the best of the Respondent's knowledge true and complete and the matters stated in this response comply with the IM DRP and applicable law."; and
vi. attach three copies of any documentary or other evidence on which the Respondent relies including correspondence and any trade mark registration and/or evidence of use of or reputation in a name or mark together with an index of the material attached.
D. If the Respondent does not submit a response, we will notify the Parties that the Designated Official has been requested to review the complaint and come to a judgment based on the submissions received.
11. Communication Between Parties and the Designated Official
A Party and the Designated Official may not communicate directly. All communications between a Party and the Designated Official must be via us.
12. Further Statement
In addition to the complaint, the response and appeal, the Designated Official may request further statements or documents from the Parties. The Designated Official will not be obliged to consider any statements or documents from the Parties which he or she has not received according to the Policy or this Procedure or which he or she has not requested.
13. In Person Hearings
No in person hearings (including hearings by conference call, video conference and web conference) will be held unless the Designated Official determines in his or her sole discretion and in exceptional cases, that such a hearing is necessary to enable him or her to come to a decision.
14. Appeal, Repeat Complaints and Availability of Court Proceedings
A. Either Party will have the right to appeal a decision under the IM DRP.
B. A request for appeal must be submitted in writing within 10 days of notification of the decision. The request must be accompanied by:
i. A full response submitted in writing, not exceeding 1000 words which setsout in detail the grounds and reasons why the decision should be sent to appeal.
ii. A fee of Â£500 payable to "Domicilium (IOM) Limited"
C. The appeal will be considered by the Designated Official by review of the appeal response and any further information requested.
D. The decision after appeal will be final.
E. The operation of the IM DRP will not prevent either the Complainant or the Respondent from submitting the dispute to the Isle of Man courts.
15. Designated Official Decision
A. The Designated Official will decide a complaint on the basis of the Parties' submissions, the IM DRP.
B. Unless exceptional circumstances apply, an Designated Official shall forward his or her decision to us.
C. The decision shall be in writing and signed, provide the reasons on which it is based, indicate the date on which it was made and identify the name of the Designated Official.
D. If the Designated Official concludes that the dispute is not within the scope of paragraph 2 of the Policy, he or she shall state that this is the case. If, after considering the submissions, the Designated Official finds that the complaint was brought in bad faith, for example in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, the Designated Official shall state this finding in the decision. If the Complainant is found on three separate occasions within a 2-year period to have brought a complaint in bad faith, we will not accept any further complaints from that Complainant for a period of 2 years.
16. Implementation of Designated Official Decisions
A. If the Designated Official makes a decision that a Domain Name registration should be cancelled, suspended, transferred or otherwise amended, we will implement that decision by making any necessary changes to the Register. We will use the details set out in the Complaint form unless you specify other details to us in good time.
17. Transfers During a Dispute
A. A Respondent may not transfer a Domain Name registration:
i. once a Complaint has been passed to the Designated official; or
ii. whilst proceedings under the IM DRP are ongoing in relation to the Domain Name or for a period of ten (10) Days after their conclusion, unless to the Complainant as a result of a settlement reached between the Parties and approved by us; or
iii. whilst a court proceeding or arbitration in respect of the Domain Name registration is ongoing in a court of competent jurisdiction. We reserve the right to reverse any transfer of a Domain Name registration whichdoes not comply with this paragraph.
B. A Respondent may not without the Complainantâs consent (which the Complainant will not unreasonably withhold) transfer the hosting of a Domain Name to another ISP whilst proceedings under the IM DRP are ongoing in relation to the Domain Name or for a period of ten (10) Days after the conclusion of the IM DRP.
18. Settlement or Other Grounds for Termination
A. If, before a decision is made the Parties agree and notify us of a settlement which we approve we will terminate proceedings under the IM DRP.
B. If, before a decision is made, it becomes unnecessary or impossible to continue proceedings under the IM DRP for any reason, we will terminate proceedings unless a Party raises justifiable grounds for objection within a period of time which we will determine.
19. Effect of Court Proceedings
A. If legal proceedings relating to a Domain Name which is the subject of a complaint are issued in a court of competent jurisdiction before or during the course of proceedings under the IM DRP and are brought to our attention, wewill suspend the proceedings, pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.
B. A Party must promptly notify us if it initiates legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction in relating to a Domain Name which is the subject of a complaint during the course of proceedings under the IM DRP.
20. Notification and Publication
A. We will communicate a decision to the Parties according to paragraph 7 above and will publish all decisions in full on our web site.
B. Decisions may contain the contact details of the Parties.
21. Exclusion of Liability
A. Neither we nor our directors, officers, employees or servants nor any Designated Official shall be liable to a party for anything done or omitted in connection with any proceedings under the IM DRP unless the act or omission is shown to have been in bad faith.
22. Modifications to the IM DRP
A. We reserve the right to make reasonable modifications to the IM DRP at any time. We will only do so when we have good reason. Each such change will be published in advance (where practicable, 30 calendar days in advance) on our web site: http://www.nic.im and will become binding and effective upon the date specified therein.
B. The Respondent will be bound by the IM DRP which is current at the time the Complaint is passed to the Designated Official until the dispute is concluded.