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Press Release PR/2000/211  

Geneva, March 24, 2000  


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and 
Mediation Center received its first domain name dispute involving a 
country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) this month. The case concerns 
the domain name "expedia.nu" - "NU" being the country code for the 
Pacific Ocean island nation of Niue. This is the first case received 
by the Center outside the system for resolving generic top-level 
domain name disputes (gTLD, such as .com, .net, .org). The Center has 
so far received just over 200 gTLD related-cases from parties in some 
40 countries.  

The .NU top-level domain is administered by .NU Domain Ltd. under 
agreement with the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) 
designated delegatee, the Internet Users Society- Niue (IUS-N) and 
has about 66,000 domain name registrations, a high number for a small 
territory as compared to the number of registrations in many other 
country-code top level domains. Desirous of discouraging trademark 
infringements, .NU Domain Ltd. recently decided to adopt the Uniform 
Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy of the Internet Corporation for 
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for all .NU registrations and 
retained the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center as one of its 
dispute resolution service providers.  

Mr. Francis Gurry, WIPO Assistant Director General and Director of 
the Arbitration and Mediation Center, welcomed the decision by .NU 
Domain Ltd. and IUS-N to adopt the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy. 
"As country-code administrators, they have recognized the value and 
relevance of the Policy for reducing intellectual property 
infringements in the country code-top level domains. We hope that 
others will follow," Mr. Gurry said.  

The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy, formulated on the basis of 
WIPO recommendations, was originally designed for disputes arising in 
the generic top-level domains, such as .COM, .NET, .ORG. However, as 
the types of disputes arising within ccTLDS often are similar to 
those occurring within the gTLDs, the policy is also relevant to 
country-code top-level domains, particularly where such domains are 
"open". This means that the domain names can be registered by any 
person living in any country of the world. The WIPO Arbitration and 
Mediation Center has been administering cases in the generic top-
level domains on the basis of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy 
since December 1999. At present, countries differ in the way they 
administer alleged cybersquatting disputes. However, any national 
domain names registrar can opt to apply the Uniform Policy.  

For additional information, please contact the Media Relations & 
Public Affairs Section at WIPO: 

     Tel.: +41 22-338 81 61 or +41 22-338 95 47 
     Fax: +41 22-338 88 10 
     Email: publicinf@wipo.int

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