Domain name disputes

You can challenge the registration of a domain name under .eu or its variants in other scripts via the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure or in a regular court if you believe that:

  • You have a prior right to the domain name. For example, you hold a trademark on the name.
  • The current holder registered or uses the name for speculative or abusive purposes.

What is an ADR procedure?

ADR is the alternative way to settle disputes about domain names. Most people choose to settle their disputes via ADR because it is generally faster and more convenient than a regular court proceeding.

ADR cases:

  • Are overseen by the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC), an independent body in Prague, the Czech Republic
  • Are conducted online and by email, so you will not need to travel
  • Are resolved by independent panellists, not judges. The panellists are often intellectual property experts
  • Are usually held in the language of the domain name holder (as shown in the WHOIS) unless agreed otherwise. As a complainant, you can request a change to another official EU language. This request may be granted at the panellists' discretion, but certain fees may apply.
  • Take four months to resolve on average
  • Represent a more financially viable option than a regular court proceeding.

ADR costs

Costs vary depending on the number of panellists you select and the number of registrations you dispute. For the complete list of fees, please see eu.adr.eu.

How to start an ADR procedure

There are three steps to starting an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure.

1. Register

To start a case or procedure, you have to register on the ADR website, eu.adr.eu.

2. File the complaint

Once you have registered, you can file your complaint. During this process you have to provide the details of the complaint and the arguments that prove your case. You will also get the chance to electronically attach any relevant evidence.

3. Select panellists

Once your complaint has been drawn up you will be asked to choose whether you want one or three panellists to preside over your case.

If you choose one, the court will select the panellist on your behalf. If you choose three, you will select one panellist, your opponent will select the second and the court will select the third. When ruling on your case they will have to reach a simple majority. Most people opt for one panellist.

ADR cases take four months to resolve on average. You can follow the developments in your case on the official ADR website, eu.adr.eu.

What happens after the ADR?

If you win your case:

  • If you are eligible to register domain names under .eu or its variants in other scripts, the domain name's registration will be transferred to you after a 30-day appeal period.
  • If you are not eligible to register domain names under .eu or its variants in other scripts, the registration will be deleted and the name will be made available for registration again after a 40-day quarantine period.

If you lose your case:

  • ADR rulings are legally binding, unless you, as a losing party, choose to appeal the decision through a conventional court of law within 30 calendar days.

Contact a domain name holder

If you want to contact the holder of a particular domain name, you can get their contact details from the WHOIS database.

Just click the Whois tab in the menu, and search for the specific domain name.

Search results for companies versus private persons

If the holder is a company or organisation, you will see their physical address, email address, telephone and fax numbers.

If the holder is a private person you will only see their email address and preferred language.

For more information, please check our WHOIS policy.

Requesting personal details

If you need more contact details than those provided via the WHOIS database, you can request them from us, provided that the current registrant is a private person. If the registrant is an organisation or a company, all available contact details are displayed in the WHOIS database. The request for personal data disclosure must explain why you need the holder's contact details and how you will use them.

Complete the request form and email it to info@eurid.eu or fax it to +32 2 401 27 51.

Personal data disclosure is managed on the basis of the WHOIS policy.