The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of disputes regarding the registration of internet domain names. The UDRP currently applies to all generic top level domains (.com, .net, .org, etc...), some country code top-level domains, and some older top level domains in specific circumstances.
When ICANN was first set up, one of the core tasks assigned to it was "The Trademark Dilemma", the use of trade marks as domain names without the trademark owner's consent. By the late 1990s, such use was identified as problematic and likely to lead to consumers being misled. In the United Kingdom, the Court of Appeal described such domain names as "an instrument of fraud".
One of ICANN's first steps was to commission the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to produce a report on the conflict between trademarks and domain names. Published on 30 April 1999, the WIPO Report recommended the establishment of a "mandatory administrative procedure concerning abusive registrations", which would allow for a "neutral venue in the context of disputes that are often international in nature." The procedure was not intended to deal with cases with competing rights, nor would it exclude the jurisdiction of the courts. It would, however, be mandatory in the sense that "each domain name application would, in the domain name agreement, be required to submit to the procedure if a claim was initiated against it by a third party.
The WIPO Report sets out the now familiar three stage test of the UDRP.
Following adoption by ICANN, the UDRP was launched on 1 December 1999, and the first case determined under it by WIPO was World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc v. Michael Bosman, involving the domain name worldwrestlingfederation.com