Introducing an Alternative Process to Dispute Resolution

by David Curtin
09 May 2019

A new process provided by the IE Domain Registry will make it faster and more affordable for Irish SMEs to dispute registration and use of .ie domains

IE Domain Registry’s “alternative dispute resolution process” will be introduced on 1 July 2019

New process, which focuses on independent, neutral mediation, will make it easier, faster and more affordable for parties to dispute a .ie domain

Burden of proof will be on the complainant, as .ie registrants will have already met criteria for .ie domain registration

IE Domain Registry CEO says new process built on principles of “fair play and a fair hearing”.

IE Domain Registry, the company that manages Ireland’s country domain name, will introduce a new dispute resolution process for contested .ie domains on 1 July 2019.

Currently, those who wish to dispute the registration or use of a .ie domain must initiate formal legal proceedings or engage with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), which mediates global domain name disputes. Both can be costly and time-consuming.

IE Domain Registry’s new “alternative dispute resolution process”, introduced following a policy development process by stakeholders within its Policy Advisory Committee, will give individuals and organisations, particularly SMEs, an easier, faster and more affordable way to dispute the registration or the use of a .ie domain.

The process will accommodate a wide variety of dispute types, including online impersonation, domain disputes between competing businesses, website content-scraping, defamation, rights-based complaints, and others.

How the process works

Those who wish to use IE Domain Registry’s alternative dispute resolution process will be initially encouraged to use the new optional mediation service. A qualified specialist will give their opinion on the dispute and either uphold or dismiss the complaint.

If the complaint is upheld, the complainant can then request that the disputed domain is either transferred or deleted.

Because .ie registrants will have already met the criteria for a .ie domain (namely a provable connection to Ireland and agreement to the terms of service), the burden of proof will be on the complainant. The complainant, like the registrant, must also have a provable connection to Ireland.

The new process will be operated by Net Neutrals EU, an accredited dispute resolution body under the European Union (Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes) Regulations 2015. Net Neutrals EU was selected by the IE Domain Registry’s Policy Advisory Committee following a competitive tendering process.


David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry, said the alternative dispute resolution process has been built on several core principles: fair play and a fair hearing, the use of industry best practice, an appeal process, and an independent, neutral service provider.

“It’s important that Irish citizens, businesses and organisations have access to a dispute resolution process that is transparent, affordable and straightforward,” said Mr Curtin.

“IE Domain Registry’s new, alternative dispute resolution process provides those qualities, and we believe it will help to solve issues in a timely and fair manner. Ultimately, however, we believe that the number of complaints will be low, as registrants will have already met the criteria for .ie domain registration. The burden of proof will be on the complainant, and this will help to reduce the number of spurious or malicious claims.

“Brand owners and holders of intellectual property rights will also be able to continue using the existing, formal dispute resolution process, which is independently operated by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).”

Read the news coverage in Irish Tech News  (1/5/19)

Note to editors:

Further information on the alternative dispute resolution process can be found on the IE Domain Registry website: https://www.iedr.ie/adrp/

For media enquiries, contact:

Nuala Ryan | nuala@pr360.ie | 01 637 1777 | 083 421 2733

Nicola Forde | nicola@pr360.ie | 01 637 1777 | 087 205 5541

About IE Domain Registry

IE Domain Registry is the national registry for .ie domain names and is responsible for the management and administration of Ireland’s official internet domain, .ie, in the interest of the Irish and global internet communities. It operates the domain name system (DNS) for the .ie namespace, facilitates an independent dispute resolution service with WIPO, and operates a public Whois lookup service for .ie domains.

The company’s mission is to provide unique, identifiably Irish domain names, along with registry and related services to the local and international internet community. Currently, there are over 262,000 registered .ie domain names.

It is committed to being a digital advocate for the SME community. Through the OPTIMISE Programme and stakeholder engagement initiatives, the company works with, and supports, SMEs to improve their online presence and e-commerce capabilities.

IE Domain Registry produces fact-based research for the business community and policymakers, such as the annual SME Digital Health Index, which provides key insights into the digital health of SMEs.

The company is focused on providing excellence in customer service through its ongoing customer experience (CX) innovation and improvement programmes. Since March 2018, it is now easier and faster to register a .ie domain name.

The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) operates the 10-step Policy Development Process for the .ie namespace. Minutes of its meetings are published on the website at Here

Based in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, IE Domain Registry employs 22 people.