Nominet, the .uk domain name registry, has launched a consultation on the way it handles disputes over the ownership of .uk Internet domain names. The not-for-profit company would like to hear from the legal community and those in charge of protecting companies’ online identities about proposed changes to its Dispute Resolution Service (DRS).

The legal community can have its say by visiting Nominet’s online survey at www.nominet.org.uk/policy/consultations/updatedrs/. Following the consultation, Nominet will analyse the results and propose a revised policy and procedure to be adopted.

Nominet operates the DRS to handle the 0.1 per cent of.uk domain name registrations that cause someone to make a complaint. The court system can prove costly in terms of money and time, so Nominet provides the DRS as a fast way of dealing with these disputes.

The proposed changes will ensure the service remains quick, simple, fair and approachable for all who use it while keeping it abreast of changes in the industry. The consultation process will help Nominet shape its policies, allowing the legal community to effectively manage intellectually property and protect brands online.

This will be achieved by looking at how Nominet handles descriptive terms in domain names that are dealt with by the DRS. Other proposed changes to the DRS include new guidelines on what is or is not an abusive registration of a .uk domain name and how fees are paid.