Neustar, who run the backend registry operations for .us and others, announced yesterday that the .us ccTLD will be adopting the URS from July 1st 2014.
The URS is a shorter and cheaper method of lodging a domain name dispute than the UDRP. Of course it’s .us, so the terminology is a little different. In .us land a UDRP is a usDRP and a URS is a usRS.
Unlike with gTLDs most ccTLDs don’t allow their dispute mechanisms to run via multiple channels, so in the case of usRS NAF has been chosen.
That Neustar would go down this route isn’t terribly surprising, as their own Jeff Neuman was involved in the URS for gTLDs as a member of the IRT. (Yes, it’s acronym soup day!)
The driver behind the URS is to deal with “slam dunks” ie. cases of blatant infringement:
Under the usRS, the complainant must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that:
The domain name(s) in question are identical or confusingly similar to one of its trademarks,
The registrant has no legitimate right or interest in the domain name(s), and
The domain name(s) were registered or are being used in bad faith.
The costs of a URS are lower that a full dispute:
The costs of filing a usRS range from $375, for complaints involving up to 14 domains, to $500. Additional fees will apply for reexaminations or appeals. NAF will issue usRS decisions no later than five calendar days following the submission of a response or the expiry of the fourteen-day response period
Interestingly the .us ccTLD doesn’t have a particularly high volume of disputes. Based on a document published by CIRA they average under 30 per year, which is relatively low compared to other domain name spaces.