Nominet’s judgement is final on abusive domain registations, says High Court
The High Court has ruled that decisions made by Nominet’s dispute resolution service (DRS) may not be appealed in the courts, in cases concerning accusations of ‘abusive’ domain name registration.
The court held that the registration contract did not leave a role for the court, as “abusive registration” is a term that only has meaning within the context of the Nominet DRS and cannot itself be the cause of legal action before the courts.
This is despite the definition of abusive registration in the DRS policy
referring to “rights enforceable by the Complainant”.
The judgement overturns the ruling of the Patents County Court in a dispute between Michael Toth, who registered the domain name ‘emirates.co.uk’ in 2002, and the Emirates airline, which later sought and gained possession of the domain name through Nominet’s dispute resolution service.
Toth successfully appealed to the Patents County Court for a declaration that the domain name was not registered abusively. However, the case was subsequently appealed in the High Court, which last week ruled that the such cases cannot be appealed in the courts.
The DRS and Procedure put in place a regime in which the question of abusive registration is one for, and only for, the Expert appointed under the DRS.
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