Deal profile | Gadens acts for domain name owner in inaugural application to auDA
26 April 2018
Gadens has acted on behalf of Mr Jim Stewart, CEO of StewArt Media, and Search Global Pty Ltd (together, the Applicant) in the first application to be dealt with under the Registrant Review Panel Rules (the Rules) administered by the governing body of .au domain names, the .au Domain Administration (auDA).
In February this year, Mr Stewart was given notice that the Applicant business’ primary domain name, stewartmedia.com.au (the Domain Name), would be deregistered on the basis of an alleged breach of auDA’s published policies (in this case, due to the body noted on the record as the registrant being a deregistered company). Following unsuccessful internal review of the decision by auDA, the Applicant engaged Gadens to apply for review of the decision by an independent panel (the Panel) appointed under the Rules.
On 23 April 2018, the Panel found in favour of the Applicant and set aside auDA’s decision to deregister the Domain Name. The application clarifies who can be the “Registrant” for the purpose of making an application under the Rules, and what constitutes sufficient evidence of an intention to transfer a domain name.
Firms involved: Gadens
Deal area: Intellectual Property & Technology
Practice groups: Intellectual Property & Technology
Key players: Gadens partner Antoine Pace led the matter, with the assistance of Alida Vandewiele (Lawyer)
Decision significance: Despite the Panel review process being available since 2012, this is the first application made under the Rules. In making his decision, the Panel Chair not only set important precedent as to the interpretation of the Rules, he also recommended auDA consider making various changes to its own policies (including the Rules).
In its news release on 23 April 2018, auDA acknowledged the decision and foreshadowed that it is “currently examining the [decision] to identify whether any changes are required to existing policies”.
We believe the decision is an important precedent for the domain name industry and future applicants under the Rules.
The full decision is available on auDA’s website here.