Pilot Program FAQ's
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I obligated to participate?
The Domain Name Commission is seeking to resolve conflicted names, as in 2020, the .nz Advisory Panel advised that an end date for resolving these disputes should be introduced.
You aren’t obligated to participate but we strongly recommend that all parties participate in this pilot to reach a resolution on conflicted domain names.
I’ve received an email, what is this about?
We have launched a pilot program to try and resolve conflicted names before the decision is made on the release of these. We strongly recommend all parties with rights to a conflicted name participate in the conflicted names ODR process.
More information regarding the conflicted names process can be found here
How much is this going to cost me to participate?
Our Online Dispute Resolution Platform is a free platform for you to use to resolve disputes and conflicted domain names.
What is e-negotiation?
For the DNCL CNP pilot, e-negotiation is a tool parties can use to determine at what price parties are prepared to obtain or acquire the conflicted domain name. This could be used as a starting point for parties in reaching an agreement or, if prepared, an agreement itself to resolve the conflicted domain name.
I don’t want to go into a bidding war?
You do not need to get into a bidding war in order to resolve a conflicted domain name. This is why there is the option to do mediation as well as the option for e-negotiation.
How long does the other party have to accept the invitation?
We do continue to try and engage both parties, which can be frustrating if you are the person trying to find a resolution.
If the parties that have rights are unable to resolve the conflicted domain name through this pilot, then the domain name will - until such time as a policy change is implemented - remain conflicted.
What happens if we can't reach a resolution?
If the parties that have rights are unable to resolve the conflicted domain name through this pilot, then the domain name will - until such time as a policy change is implemented - remain conflicted. Parties will need to keep their current domain name registration
What do I do if I am no longer interested?
If you do not wish to participate in the ODR process you will need to change your preference here
It is important to note that changing your preference will not affect your current registration.
Who is Immediation?
Immediation have powered our Online Dispute Resolution Platform. You can find out more about Immediation here.
What happens if the other party chooses not to participate?
We do continue to try and engage both parties, which can be frustrating if you are the person trying to find resolution.
If the parties that have rights are unable to resolve the conflicted domain name through this pilot or do not participate, then the domain name will - until such time as a policy change is implemented - remain conflicted. Parties will need to keep their current domain name registration
What do I do if my token has expired?
Reach out to us here and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible with a new token.
Conflicted Domain Names
What happens after I have participated in the DNCL ODR Pilot?
If the parties that have rights are unable to resolve the conflicted domain name through online dispute resolution, then the domain name will remain conflicted until the parties resolve it.
They will need to keep their current domain name registration to remain part of the conflict, if the registration passes, then they will be removed from the conflict set.
It is important that that the registrant of conflicted domain names keep their registrant email address up to date.
The other party doesn’t appear to be using their conflicted .nz domain name. Why can’t I automatically get the shorter name?
In the .nz domain name space, registrants are under no obligation to ‘use’ a domain name they’ve registered - e.g. for a website or email address. This includes those involved in a conflict set.
Until a conflicted name is resolved – that is, when all those involved have lodged their preference at www.dnc.org.nz for who should get the shorter name – it will be unavailable for registration or use.
I hold a trade mark registration in my name, why can’t I get the conflicted name automatically?
Within the .nz domain name space no preference is given to people who have rights in a name (such as a company or trademark owner).
However, anyone who believes they have rights to a .nz domain name that someone else has registered can use the free-to-file Dispute Resolution Service (DRS). Information about this service can be found here.
I hold a .nz name but it is not showing as one of the names eligible to take part in the conflicted name process. Why is that?
Only names registered before 30 May 2012 are eligible to take part in the conflicted name process.
You registered your .nz domain name first, why can't you automatically get the conflicted name?
For reasons of fairness, where there is more than one Registrant competing for a .nz domain name to be registered directly at the second level DNCL does not believe preference could be given to the oldest registration.
Similarly, DNCL does not believe one-second level should have preference over any other. For example, the Registrant of anyname.co.nz should not be treated differently to the Registrant of anyname.school.nz.
When does a conflicted domain name stop being a conflicted domain name?
Conflicts stop when all parties to the conflict have reached agreement on who will have rights in the name. If a conflict isn't resolved, the name will be unavailable for registration.
What happens if you are conflicted and the person you are conflicted with stops their registration?
If the person you're conflicted with stops the registration of their existing domain name and that name lapses, you will no longer be conflicted and may then be able to register the shorter version of your name direct at the second level.
Am I allowed to contact those I am in conflict with?
Yes. This is helpful because you can find out what they might want to do and try to work out any issues there might be if more than one of you wants the name.
You can also engage with each other using the DNCL Conflicted Name Process by using our platform’s e-negotiation tool or mediation process once you receive our invitation email. To find out more about this, visit our Conflicted Names ODR Hub.
How do you find out who you are conflicted with?
If you would like to find out who owns the other domain name conflicted with yours, you can perform a WHOIS search using the conflicted domain name here. The search result will include yours and the other party(ies)'s domain names and a link to both registration records.
What is the process for conflicted domain names?
We are inviting conflicted domain name parties to participate in our ODR platform to either engage with the e-negotiation tool or determine who will change their preference through mediation. Once it has been determined who will register the conflicted name, the other party will change their preference.
Preparation for using ODR
What things should I be preparing before an online mediation?
Before beginning online mediation it is useful to ensure that you have a quiet, confidential space to participate effectively. For a smooth live conference, you will need a reliable internet connection. More than having a comfortable space and reliable technology, however, is knowing whether you are able to make the decision that day or if you need to consult with someone first.
More information can be found via our getting ready for e-negotiation and online mediation page.
Should I provide evidence when asked?
What should I do if I’m unsure of the other party’s contact details?
The contact details of the domain name holder are available through the WHOIS registry. We have put together a guide on how to find these details
How do I decide who I should name as the applying party (me personally or the business that I am submitting the complaint on behalf of?)
A: There are a couple of things to consider when determining who the party is.
- Will the domain name registration be in the name of an entity/organisation/company?
- Who is the person who has the authority to negotiate/mediate and settle. You should consider taking legal advice on this issue if you are unsure.
Understanding ODR functionality
What do you do with my information?
Do I have to do ODR? Why can’t I do it on the papers or face-to-face?
The DNCL ODR platform is in a way a combination of submitting complaints on papers and face-to-face resolution. The DNCL ODR pilot is running for six (6) months before we review our dispute resolution service moving forward, we would be keen to hear your feedback on why ODR doesn’t suit your needs. Another option to resolve your domain dispute is the expert determination process as well. Find out more about how the expert determination process
How long do I have to mediate?
We allow ten (10) business days to resolve matters and discussions. All instructions and information that you need is available via our How Mediation works page.
What if my matter is subject to legal proceedings but I’ve already submitted a domain dispute application?
The matter is suspended as soon as DNCL is informed of the court action. This is regardless of the state of the matter. DNCL will advise all parties of the court action and advise that the case is suspended until it has been resolved or withdrawn.
How do I commence resolving a domain dispute through mediation?
With DNCL’s Pilot Online Dispute Resolution platform, resolving a domain dispute through mediation is made easy. You only need to sign up on the platform to create an account or, if you have an account, to sign in. If you are the first participant, creating a matter is as easy as filling out a form and answering a series of questions to outline what the dispute is about. During this application process, you are able to choose to either go through the e-negotiation process or through the mediation process. For more information, head to our Domain Name Disputes ODR Hub
How can I be confident that the other party can’t see my bids?
Immediation ensures that confidential information is secure. To understand more about their platform security, click here.
How many rounds of bidding in e-negotiation can I do?
You are able to make as many rounds as you think is suitable to resolve your matter. You may, however, hear from us after three (3) rounds of bidding to suggest another avenue, such as mediation. This is because we believe three (3) rounds of bidding is a reasonable amount of time to hone in on an amount based on what the parties have inputted into the platform.
How does the DNCL ODR e-negotiation tool work?
The e-negotiation tool works differently depending on whether this is a domain dispute or conflicted name matter.
After bids are placed, the e-negotiation tool generates an automated outcome that the parties can either accept or decline. The figures generated by the e-negotiation tool takes into account both party’s bids. There are a number of rules used to generate the most appropriate outcome. The automated outcome generated is determined in light of whether the figures entered by the parties show an overlap or a gap in the party’s positions.
Remember that Automated bidding is a ‘summary’ tool and you can move to a more time-intensive option of direct chat, email or mediation in the ODR platform.
How am I invited to a conflicted name on the ODR platform?
For conflicted domain names, you will be invited by email to participate. Emails will be sent to the registrant email address.
You only need to sign up on the platform to create an account. You will be guided through the platform and emails prompting you to take the next step.
During your onboarding, you will be asked to choose e-negotiation process or go through the mediation process. For more information, head to our Conflicted Domain Name ODR Hub.
All you need to know about mediation
How do I get appointed a representative?
Representatives are appointed by the parties themselves. You would need to be approached or asked by the parties.
What is a representative and do I need one for the ODR platform?
A representative is someone a party involved in the matter can bring to act or speak for them. Representatives on DNCL’s list of representatives can be found here.
Can I request more mediation?
If you or the other party change your mind, or the other party does, either of you can request more mediation. A second round of mediation is possible if the resources are available and DNCL agree a second round is worthwhile. The mediator is able to slightly extend the mediation time frame, if they believe that resolution is close.
What can I do if I think mediation isn’t working?
In the first instance, speak with your mediator. Both parties have the right to withdraw from the process, at any time, after consultation with the mediator. If you abandon the process notice to anyone, this can be taken into account elsewhere. Remember: cooperation is key.
Can I withdraw from Domain Dispute mediation at any time?
Both parties have the right to withdraw from mediation at any time, after discussing this with the mediator. Any mediation or negotiation discussions are confidential. This means that where the disputed matter is a domain name dispute and it goes on to expert determination, the nature of the discussions can’t be disclosed to the expert unless both parties agree to share that information.
How are mediators appointed?
The Commission has a panel of mediators that it is able to call on who are independent, with experience in mediation and sometimes, courts and legal proceedings. Generally, we recruit new mediators when existing ones resign or retire. Mediators are appointed to a matter on a first cab of the rank basis. Conflicted names are referred to our in-house mediator.
What is included in an Agreement to Mediate.
Here is a PDF copy of the settlement agreement you can expect to sign up to before mediation
What do mediators do and don’t do?
The mediator facilitates discussion - they do not make a decision.They help you and the other party find your own resolution about your domain dispute or conflicted names and help you make a workable agreement.
As they work, mediators:
- help parties communicate and understand each other point of view
- identify shared interests and needs
- develop options;
- assist partes to identify their own solutions
Mediators will not
- provide legal or professional advice;
- make a decision;
- suggest or impose an outcome.
Mediators can’t be called as witnesses at court, because mediation is without prejudice and the mediation process is completely confidential.
Can DNCL/mediator/coach give me legal advice?
Mediators and coaches are neutral and impartial. They cannot provide you with any legal advice.
What are standards for mediation?
Our mediation service has the following standards.
- Voluntary — You have to opt into mediation.
- Mutual — Both parties have to agree to the process and to the outcome. Any agreements must be in writing to be legally binding. People do reach verbal agreements sometimes.
- Confidential — What happens in mediation stays in mediation. Neither party discusses it with others, verbally or in writing.
- Mediation is ‘without prejudice’ — ‘Without prejudice’ is a legal term meaning that words, actions, and evidence presented in mediation can’t be relied on in a court of law.
- Impartial — The expert we appoint for mediation is independent from the Domain Name Commission.
- Expert — The mediator has experience and specialist knowledge in mediation and has been admitted to our panel of approved experts. Mediators must apply to join the mediation panel.
- Remote — The mediation process takes 10 working days. It takes place remotely, via email, phone and teleconference, rather than in person.
- Inexpensive — The mediation service is free for people to use. We don’t charge participants a fee for mediation. We pay for the mediator’s time and expenses.
What are my responsibilities during mediation?
If you are a party in mediation, you need to:
- respond in a timely way
- co-operate with the mediator and with the other party
- provide information when requested
- be respectful.
Mediation works best when all parties co-operate. Please:
- be respectful, timely, reasonable, and constructive
- participate fully and in good faith
- comply with reasonable requests and directions from the mediator.
If parties are not responsive or in contact, the mediator can end (terminate) or escalate the dispute.
Can a mediator terminate mediation?
After consulting both parties, the mediator can terminate the mediation if they feel unable to help the parties resolve their issues.
What is a settlement agreement?
You need to sign a written settlement agreement if you want the agreement to be legally binding. A signed agreement can be enforced against the parties and should only be signed if you intend to comply with it. You may want to take legal advice before signing it.
Parties can enter into their own settlement agreement that they agree on but, unless the standard terms are used, it is unlikely that DNCL can assist with any enforcement. If the parties use the standard platform settlement agreement, they are empowering DNCL to take certain steps to enforce the agreement.
Specifically, DNCL has the authority to enforce a conflicted name change of preference by changing the preference in the conflicted names database, but will only take that action where any agreed payment has been paid.
If the dispute is a domain name dispute, DNCL has authority to enforce a transfer at the Registry, but will only take that action where any agreed payment has been made. Regardless of whether DNCL has authority to enforce, DNCL may at its absolute discretion decline to enforce agreements in which case the parties may look at other options including going to court to enforce the agreement.
How is the settlement agreement finalised?
Parties who reach an agreement receive a written version of the agreement for signing electronically. Verbal agreements are possible, but they’re not legally binding. One of the conditions in the written agreement will be that the parties acknowledge that the Domain Name Commission has the authority to enforce the agreement, but with specific limitations.
This clause empowers DNCL in ways that verbal agreements do not.
The parties must read, agree, and electronically sign the Settlement Agreement. Before signing, read the agreement in full. Signing the agreement means you will abide by the agreement, so make sure it meets your needs. If you need a change to the agreement, discuss it with your mediator.
What other options do I have outside of the DNCL ODR platform?
If your matter is a domain dispute and you find that your dispute was not resolved using either the e-negotiation tool or mediation, you are free to lodge a complaint regarding the domain name. Find out more about submitting a complaint here.
What is included in the domain disputes/ conflicted names settlement agreement?
What happens after the agreements are signed?
The parties are responsible for making the things they agreed to happen. This includes making sure the correct amount is paid, if money is included in the agreement, or making sure to action something in the required time frame.
If the parties have any issues regarding performance they may need to contact each other about performance. The platform remains open for a time and the correspondence function may be used for a follow-up where necessary and where the matter remains open.
Will DNCL transfer or hold funds?
No. Parties need to make their own private arrangements for any payments.
Who implements the agreed change of preference or transfer of domain name?
The parties are responsible for fulfilling the agreed outcomes. The party responsible for transferring will need to transfer the domain name to the other party. If you want to learn more about transferring domain name registrations read our guide here. If an agreement provides for a change of preference, learn how to do so here.
Does DNCL enforce settlement agreements?
If a party fails to uphold a signed written settlement DNCL can assist - at DNCL’s absolute discretion - if the following conditions are met:
- DNCL is provided with a copy of the settlement agreement, and
- DNCL receives evidence that payment has been made by a paying party as per the agreement,
- The non-performing party had agreed to perform a transfer or change of preference.
Where those conditions are met, DNCL may determine to activate a transfer at the registry or a change of preference. DNCL is not obliged to intervene in a transfer and may refer the parties to the Courts to enforce their agreement.
Expert Determination Process
What does the form mean by unfair registration?
This question is to understand how a continued registration by the current registered owner would be unfair to you, your business, or your rights. Some examples of unfair registration is when it is misleading, deceiving or confusing your customers, cyber or typosquatting.
What does the form mean by ‘rights in a domain name’?
This question is asking how you have rights to the domain name. This could be through a trade made registration, a license to the name, a term in an agreement, or an extensive usage so that you have built up a reputation or goodwill to that domain name - this is also known as a ‘common law right’.
What does the complaint form mean by “the name or mark which is similar to or identical to the disputed domain name’? Is that the domain name I own?
This is referring to the name or mark that you have rights to. This could be a trade mark that you have registered or a business name that you have built up a reputation for giving you what is referred to as “common law rights”.
What other options do I have outside of the expert determination process?
Our ODR platform is free for you to use and offers an e-negotiation tool and mediation. If you are not satisfied with the expert decision, you have the chance to appeal this. To find out more about appeals, click here. If you are wanting an outcome outside of DNCL policy, you can submit a claim to the courts.
Does DNCL decide on the outcome of my complaint?
The DNCL administers the dispute resolution service but does not decide on the outcome of the matter. We have a panel of experts that are responsible for this. To find out more about our expert panel, feel free to look through the list on our website
What are the fees involved in the expert determination process?
It is free to lodge a matter through our ODR platform. It costs $2,000 (plus GST) for an expert to decide on a matter and determine an outcome.
How long does an expert determination process take?
Once the Expert has received all the relevant information, they have 10 working days to finalize the decision. There is also 3 working days that the Domain Name Commission has to process the decision once received.
Can any costs be awarded by the expert?
No. The purpose of the DRS is to provide a quick and inexpensive means of obtaining redress regarding the domain name. If costs are sought then consideration should be made to court action.
How does the domain name change if the expert said it should?
If a decision to transfer the name has not been appealed within 10 working days, or if a transfer is the outcome of an appeal then DNCL makes the required changes to the domain name registration. This included the Registrant Contact Name and the registrar if required. Once this has been done DNCL informs all parties, Complaints, Respondent, and the relevant Registrars.
Do I need a representative to lodge a complaint to be decided by an expert?
No, you do not need a representative.
Can I request a different coach or mediator?
All mediators are accredited, independent professionals. A new mediator or coach will only be appointed under extreme circumstances or if a conflict of interest arises.
Can my lawyer/someone else engage in the process for me?
What is the role of the expert?
An expert is a lawyer specialising in civil disputes with a particular focus on intellectual property laws. A DNCL expert reviews and determines outcomes of domain name disputes submitted to the DNCL.
What is the role of the coach?
A coach is available to guide you through the ODR process. As trained facilitators, and experts in the DNCL ODR process they are there to create a smooth pathway.
What is the role of the mediator?
The mediator is there to assist you toward your own agreement. The mediator does not impose an outcome. Instead, they are focussed on helping you understand and focus on the important issues needed to reach a resolution, and breaking down barriers to agreement.
Through their training and experience, mediators are able to offer creative approaches and innovative solutions. We have a panel of accredited mediators available to assist you to reach a resolution.
What's the best browser to use? And what Internet Speed do I need?
To make sure you are ready for your video conferencing, here is the Immediation Pre-flight Checks which gives you a list of things to check.
Where can I find more information on technical manuals for the platform?
This sets up the most common technical issues and the recommended solutions for users.
This gives you a list of things to check to make sure you are ready for your video conference.
This has details for network and firewall changes to get the best experience with Immediation.
Where do I go to start an ODR domain dispute?
Check out our Domain Name Dispute ODR hub, it should have all the information that you need.
Where do I login back into my matters?
Who provides the platform?
We have worked with Immediation to create the DNCL ODR platform pilot.