The report shows the estimated £6.97m was saved in .uk domain name legal costs by using the DRS in the last year, which involved a total of 712 complaints relating to 783 domains. The report summarises its Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) activity throughout 2017, highlighting some of the most notable cases and brands, as well as the number of complaints and how they were resolved.
Complainants brought cases from 29 countries, while Respondents came from 34 countries. Among the prominent brands using DRS last year were Jaguar Land Rover, Virgin Enterprises Limited, Moncler S.p.A., "Dr. Martens" International Trading GmbH and the Sony Corporation, Gumtree, Victoria’s Secret and Clydesdale Bank. Nick Wenban-Smith, General Counsel at Nominet commented ‘The increase in disputes relating to .uk second level domains is an interesting point. The Right of Registration that some .co.uk Registrants hold over the corresponding .uk domain name comes to an end on 10 June 2019. In the next two years this could lead to a further increase in the number of .uk domain names being subject to disputes as more and more potentially desirable names are made available to be registered on a first-come first-served basis. To avoid such a dispute, it’s important for .co.uk owners to review their options and act sooner rather than later.’
Nominet’s DRS was established in 2001 to offer an efficient and transparent method of resolve disputes relating to .UK domain names, and has since handled almost 13,000 complaints. It seeks to settle disputes through mediation or independent Expert decision. The complaints represents just 0.0065% of the domain names on the register, with over half of the complaints (55%) in 2017 resulting in a domain transfer. By comparison, there were 703 complaints in 2016, 53% of which resulted in a domain transfer. The year also saw an increase to 15% in the number of disputes resolved with the domain name being voluntarily transferred to the Complainant by the Respondent upon receipt of the complaint. In 2016, 10% of complaints were resolved in this way.