Saudi Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedure

Version 1.0 (01/04/2021 AD - 19/08/1442 AH)
Notice: This Procedure is translated into English for reference only. The Arabic version is the definitive and official one.

Introduction

This Saudi Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedure (the “Procedure”) was issued to outline the detailed procedures that the Provider and the dispute parties should follow in accordance with the Saudi Domain Names Dispute Resolution Rules. The Provider shall develop its supplemental procedures provided that they don’t contradict with this Procedure, the Rules, and Saudi Domain Names Registration Regulation. It is worth mentioning that the complainant has the right - according to Article 6 of the Rules - to utilize the mediation services provided by SaudiNIC before starting this procedure.


1. Definitions

1/1 The terms and expressions defined in the Saudi Domain Name Dispute Resolution Rules shall have the same meaning when used in this Procedure. In addition, the terms and expressions set out in this Procedure shall have the following meanings assigned to them:

  1. SaudiNIC: Saudi Network Information Center in Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC).
  2. A Dispute Resolution Provider or a Provider: an entity accredited by CITC to resolve Saudi domain names disputes.
  3. Panelist: The person appointed as a member of an Administrative Panel by the Provider.
  4. Party: Refers to the Complainant or the Registrant.
  5. Resolution Rules or The Rules: The Saudi Domain Name Dispute Resolution Rules.
  6. Supplemental Procedures: Additional procedures developed by the Provider.

2. Communications

2/1 All correspondence referenced in the Rules and this Procedure shall be conducted electronically as specified by SaudiNIC or the Provider in the Supplemental procedures.

2/2 Upon notifying the Registrant of the existence of a complaint, and any relevant attachments or annexes, filed against the Registrant, the Provider bears the responsibility of ensuring to use all available means to notify the Registrant. The Provider will be deemed to have satisfied this obligation in the event of a confirmation of receipt of the notification, or by achieving the following actions:

  1. Sending the complaint and any attachments electronically by email to: a. The email addresses of the Registrant, the Administrative Contact, the Technical Contact and the Billing Contact, which can be acquired by a mechanism determined by SaudiNIC. b. Any email address appearing on a website to which the domain name refers, provided that the domain name does not point to a generic website developed by a Registrar or hosting provider, which may be used for marketing purposes.
  2. Sending the complaint and any attachments to any email address, which the Registrant has informed the Provider to use for correspondence purposes, in addition to all email addresses, which the Complainant has submitted to the Provider, as per Article 3.1 of this Procedure.
  3. In the event of the Provider being unable to deliver a notification to the Registrant, it must seek assistance from SaudiNIC in order to facilitate communication with the Registrant.

2/3 For the purpose of proceeding with this Procedure, any Party is permitted to determine any other contact information by notifying the Provider as well as SaudiNIC.

2/4 Unless otherwise specified in this Procedure, or otherwise determined by the Administrative Panel, all correspondence referenced in this Procedure are deemed to be issued on the actual dates they were sent, provided that these dates can be verified if possible.

2/5 Unless otherwise specified in this Procedure, all periods calculated under this Procedure begin on the first day on which correspondence has been issued, as per Article 2.4 of this Procedure.

2/6 All correspondence sent after accepting the complaints by:

  1. The Panel to any Party must include copies being sent to SaudiNIC, the Provider and the other Party.
  2. The Provider to any Party must also include copies being sent to SaudiNIC and the other Party.
  3. Any Party must include copies being sent to the Panel and the Provider. 2.7 The sender bears the responsibility of maintaining records which substantiates the fact and circumstances of the correspondence, and it should be made available for the purpose of inspection by SaudiNIC or the Provider as needed. 2.8 In the event that the sender is notified of a delivery failure of any correspondence, the sender must then immediately notify the Administrative Panel (or the Provider in the event that an Administrative Panel has not been appointed) of the delivery failure. Under any such circumstances, the procedures governing correspondence and responses are determined at the discretion of the Panel (or the Provider).

3. The Complaint

3/1 The complaint and all relevant attachments and/or annexes are submitted electronically, and must include:

  1. A request to resolve the complaint, as per the Resolution Rules.
  2. The name and contact information of the Complainant (such as email address, telephone numbers, etc…), as well as any details pertaining to any representative empowered by the Complainant to act on his behalf throughout the Administrative Proceedings.
  3. The desired number of Panelists of the Administrative Panel (1 Panelist or 3 Panelists).
  4. In the event that the Complainant elects to have an Administrative Panel consisting of 3 Panelists, the Complaining must provide the names and contact information of three (3) candidates, one (1) of which will be selected to be a Panelist on the Administrative Panel.
  5. The name and contact information of the Registrant, which are known to the Complainant (including the email address and telephone numbers), or for any known representative of the Registrant, provided that this information includes details sufficient to enable contact with the Registrant by the Provider as per Article 2.2 of this Procedure.
  6. The domain name(s) (as per Article 3.2 of this Procedure) subject to the complaint.
  7. The name(s) of the sponsoring Registrar(s) of the domain name(s) at the time the complaint is submitted.
  8. The trademark(s), service mark(s) or trade name(s) involved in the complaint, provided that the products or services using the trademark, trade name or service mark are also included. The Complainant may also include any products or services intended for future use of the trademark, trade name or service mark.
  9. A description of the circumstances on which the complaint was based pursuant to the Rules, specifically what are mentioned in Article (7.1) of the rules.
  10. The Complainant’s choice of Remedy Option pursuant to Article 7.9 of the Rules. In the event of choosing transfer as remedy, the Complainant will be requested at the time of the implementation of the decision to provide evidence that it fulfills the registration requirements set out in the Saudi Domain Name Registration Regulation and Registration Rules, otherwise the only available remedy shall be the cancellation.
  11. Any ongoing or completed legal proceeding in connection with or relating to the domain name that is subject to the complaint.
  12. An affirmation that in the event of a disagreement or objection to an Administrative Proceeding concerning the deletion or transfer of the domain name, the Complainant commits to submitting the objection to a court of competent jurisdiction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  13. Adding the following two statements at the end of the complaint: “The Complainant declares that his complaint, and requested remedy option concerning the domain name registration or dispute or outcome of dispute resolution is directed solely at the Registrant, and that he declares no claim or remedy options directed at (a) the dispute resolution provider or members of the administrative panel, except in the event of intentional errors on their parts, (b) the Registrar(s), (c) SaudiNIC or (d) the CITC.” “ The Complainant confirms that the information provided in this complaint is, to the best of his knowledge, complete and accurate, and that the complaint has not been submitted in bad faith such as to harass another party, and that the complaint, in its current form or as it may be expanded upon in good faith, is justified and permitted as per this Procedure and the Rules and Regulations that govern them.”
  14. A signature of the Complainant or an authorized representative on the complaint.
  15. Any additional documents, materials or evidence relevant to the complaint.

3/2 The complaint may involve more than one domain name, provided that they are all registered by the same Registrant.


4. Notification of the Complaint

4/1 The Provider must review the complaint to ensure it meets the administrative requirements pursuant to the Rules, this Procedure in addition to the Supplemental procedures. In the event that the complaint is found to meet the requirements, the Complainant shall pay the due fees within a period no longer than 10 days. In the event that the due fees are not paid within this timeframe, the complaint shall be deemed to be cancelled.

4/2 In the event of the complaint being found to not meet the administrative requirements according to Article (3.1) of this Procedure, the Provider must notify the Complainant about the missing requirements. The Complainant shall have a duration of up-to 5-days to amend the complaint in order to provide the missing required elements. In the event of expiration of the duration without the missing required elements being provided, the complaint may be deemed to be cancelled by the provider.

4/3 Provided that a complaint is found to have satisfied the requirements by the Provider, and the due fees are paid by the Complainant, the Provider must notify SaudiNIC of the domain name subject to the complaint in order to grant the Provider access to the domain name’s registration data. Following the notification to SaudiNIC, maintenance of the domain name’s status-quo comes into effect (the domain name may not be cancelled, transferred, activated, deactivated, or have its status changed in any other way).

4/4 The Provider must, within 3 days of confirming the maintenance of the domain name’s status quo, send an electronic copy of the complaint as well as any attachments to SaudiNIC and the Registrant (in addition to including the appropriate references to the Saudi Domain Name Dispute Resolution Rules and Procedures and guidelines that clarify how to prepare a response to the complaint, and how to send it) pursuant to Article 2.2 of this Procedure.

4/5 The date in which the Administrative Proceeding commences is the date in which the Provider sends a copy of the complaint to the Registrant pursuant to Article 2.2 of this Procedure.

4/6 The Provider must notify the Complainant, the Registrant and SaudiNIC of the date of commencement of the Administrative Proceeding.

4/7 At any time during the course of this Procedure, and in the event that the complaint is canceled, the Complainant reserves the right to resubmit a complaint after addressing the reasons of the cancellation.


5. Response to the complaint

5/1 The Registrant must provide a response to the complaint within 20 days of the commencement of the Administrative Proceeding.

5/2 The response to the complaint and any attachments must be submitted electronically, provided that it includes the following:

  1. A detailed and specific response to the statements and allegations included in the complaint, clarifying the bases on which the Registrant seeks to retain the domain name subject to the complaint, or its use.
  2. The Registrant’s name and contact information (email, telephone number(s), etc…), as well as any details pertaining to a representative authorized to act on the Registrant’s behalf for the purpose of the Administrative Proceeding.
  3. The Registrant’s preference regarding the composition of the Administrative Panel; whether it consists of 3 Panelists in the event that the Complainant selects an Administrative Panel consisting of 1 Panelist.
  4. In the event that the Registrant (or the Complainant) selects an Administrative Panel consisting of 3 Panelists, the Registrant must provide the names and contact information of 3 candidates, 1 of which will be selected to be included in the Administrative Panel.
  5. Any ongoing or completed legal proceeding in connection with or relating to the domain name that is subject to the complaint.
  6. Adding the following statement at the end of the response, followed by the Registrant’s signature or the Registrant’s authorized representative: “The Registrant confirms that the information included in this response, to the best of his knowledge and belief, is accurate and complete, and that the response has not been submitted in bad-faith and that the objective of this response, in its current form or as it may expanded upon in good faith, is justifiable pursuant to applicable regulations and procedures.”
  7. Any documents, records or evidence referenced by the Registrant in the response.

5/3 In the event that the Registrant requests an Administrative Panel consisting of 3 members, the Registrant must pay half the due fees prior the responding to the complaint. In the event that the Registrant has not paid these fees, the dispute shall be resolved by an Administrative Panel consisting of 1 member.

5/4 Under extraordinary circumstances, the deadline to submit a response to the complaint may be extended upon a request submitted by the Registrant and accepted by the Provider.

5/5 In the event that the Registrant does not submit a response to the complaint, and in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, the Provider shall proceed with the Administrative Proceeding based on what is provided in the complaint and its annexes.


6. Appointment of the Panel

6/1 The Provider must publish a list of names of individuals qualified to serve as members of an Administrative Panel, along with their qualifications and language proficiency. The Provider must update this list periodically.

6/2 In the event that neither the Complainant nor the Registrant request an Administrative Panel consisting of 3 members, the Provider will appoint one Panelist from its list of Panelists within five (5) days of receipt of a response to the complaint, or following the expiration of the timeframe in which a response may be submitted. In such an event, the Complainant bears the responsibility of paying the full Administrative Panel fees.

6/3 In the event that the Complainant or the Registrant choose to have an Administrative Panel of three (3) members convened, the Provider shall appoint three (3) members to the Panel pursuant to the following procedures:

  1. In the event that the Registrant chooses to have an Administrative Panel consisting of three (3) members convened, the Provider will notify the complainant that the Panel will consist of three (3) members and the Complainant must provide the names and contact information for three candidates, one of whom will be selected for appointment to the Panel, and must pay the due fees within five (5) days of the notification date.
  2. The Provider shall appoint one Panelist from each of the list of candidates submitted respectively by the Complainant and the Registrant. In the event that neither Party has submitted a list of candidates, or if the Provider is unable to appoint any Panelist from the lists provided by the Parties within a five (5) days timeframe, pursuant to its own terms and conditions, the Provider shall appoint Administrative Panel members from its own published list of Panelists.
  3. The Provider shall select the third member of the Administrative Panel by submitting a list of five (5) candidates to the two Parties, from which each Party shall indicate its preferences. The Provider shall make its selection in a manner to guarantee a reasonable balance in the preferences of the two Parties. 6.4 Once the process to appoint members of the Administrative Panel is concluded, the Provider must inform the Parties of the names of the Panelists, in addition to the date on which the Administrative Panel shall offer its recommendations concerning the complaint, except if an extraordinary circumstances occur according to the Provider discretion and the parties must be notified. 6.5 Pursuant to Article 6.4 of this Procedure, once the Parties are notified of the names of the Panelists and the expected date on which the Administrative Panel shall offer its recommendations, the number of Panelists may not be amended.

7. Impartiality and Independence

7/1 A Panelist shall be impartial and independent and shall have, before accepting appointment, disclosed to the Provider any circumstances giving raise to justifiable doubt as to the Panelist’s impartiality or independence. If, at any stage during the administrative proceeding, new circumstances arise that could give rise to justifiable doubt as to the impartiality or independence of the Panelist, that Panelist shall promptly disclose such circumstances to the Provider. In such event, the Provider shall have the discretion to appoint a substitute Panelist.


8. Communications between the Panel and the Parties

8/1 All correspondence taking place between the Parties and the Panel, or the Parties and the Provider shall be specified in the Supplemental procedures, and carried out by a contact point appointed by the Provider. Each Party must include the other in any correspondence it holds with the Administrative Panel.


9. Submitting the complaint to the Administrative Panel

9/1 The Provider must submit all materials relevant to the complaint to the Panel directly following the appointment of a Panelist to an Administrative Panel consisting of only one (1) member, or after appointment of the final Panelist to an Administrative Panel consisting of three (3) members.


10. General Authorities of the Panel

10/1 The Panel must conduct the Administrative Proceeding in a manner it deems appropriate and without any contradiction with the Rules and this Procedure.

10/2 The Administrative Panel must ensure that in all cases, the Parties are dealt with equitably and provided with fair and sufficient opportunity to present each or their respective cases.

10/3 The Administrative Panel must ensure that it conducts the Administrative Proceeding within the relevant timeframes that are specified in this Procedure which are reletated to the work of the Panel. It may, under extraordinary circumstances, based on a request from one of the Parties, or of its own initiative, extend any of these timeframes.

10/4 The Administrative Panel shall determine to accept evidences or not and determine their suitability, relevance, and value to the complaint resolution or issuing the recommendation.

10/5 The Administrative Panel may consolidate multiple disputes following a petition from one of the Parties to do so, and pursuant to the Rules and this Procedure.

10/6 The Administrative Panel may, at its own discretion, request additional statements or documents (in addition to the complaint and the response to the complaint) from either Parties.

10/7 Unless extraordinary circumstances have been reported to and approved as such by the Panel, the Panel may pursue its mandate to issue a recommendation on the complaint, irrespective of whether the Parties have met required deadlines, or not.

10/8 The Panel may adopt any conclusions based on available evidence as it deems appropriate. It may do so notwithstanding any lack of compliance of any of the respective Parties to any provisions or requirements in this Procedure, or if the Parties have not complied with requests made by the Administrative Panel in the absence of extraordinary circumstances approved by it.


11. Language of the Administrative Proceeding

11/1 Arabic is the language of the dispute resolution unless the two parties agreed to use English or both languages together.

11/2 A Party may submit requested documents and information in the Arabic language or English language.


12. In-Person Hearings

12/1 There shall be no in-person or remote hearings, unless the Panel deems at its own discretion that an exception is necessary to resolve the complaint, provided that the Complainant consents to a hearing being held.

12/2 Unless the Registrant requests an extraordinary hearing for testimony to be submitted, the Complainant shall bear the additional costs of any such hearing.


13. Panel Recommendations and Settlement decision

13/1 The Panel examines the complaint based on evidence and testimony provided pursuant to the Rules, this Procedure and any applicable legal or regulatory rules and principles.

13/2 Except in the event of acceptable extraordinary circumstances, the Panel shall provide its written recommendations concerning the complaint to the Provider pursuant to the specified guidelines in the Supplemental procedures within fourteen (14) days of appointing the Panel’s members as required in Article 6 of this Procedure. The recommendations must include the following:

a. The recommendation, as adopted by the majority of the Panel members, in the event that the Panel consists of three (3) members.

b. The reasoning (or justification) behind the recommendations, including any specific reasons such as the following:

  1. If it becomes evident to the Panel that the complaint was submitted in bad faith, which constitutes an abuse of the Administrative Proceeding (including, but not limited to maliciously attempting to seize control of a domain name or to harass the Registrant).
  2. If the dispute does not fall within scope of Article 7.1 of the Rules.

c. An account of the dissenting opinion, if applicable and its justifications.

d. The date in which the recommendation is issued, in addition to the names of the Panelists.

13/3 The Provider shall inform SaudiNIC of the Panel’s recommendation within three (3) working days of receiving it. Subsequently, CITC shall issue a decision pertaining to Dispute Resolution.


14. Notification of Decisions to Parties

14/1 SaudiNIC shall inform each Party (the Complainant and the Registrant) as well as the Provider the details of the decision, attaching the Panel’s recommendation, and its implementation date pursuant to the Rules within three (3) working days of receiving the decision.

14/2 SaudiNIC may publish the decisions pertaining to Dispute Resolution on the Website.


15. Settlement or Other Grounds for Termination

15/1 If, before the Panel's recommendation, the Parties agree on a settlement, the Panel shall terminate the Administrative Proceeding.

15/2 If, before the Panel's recommendation is issued, it becomes unnecessary or impossible to continue the Administrative Proceeding for any reason, the Panel shall inform the Parties of its intent to terminate the Administrative Proceeding without issuing a recommendation, provided that the Parties are granted an opportunity to raise justifiable grounds for objection within a specified period of time.


16. Effect of Court Proceedings

16/1 In the event of any legal proceedings initiated prior to or during an Administrative Proceeding in respect of a domain name dispute that is the subject of the complaint, the Panel shall have the discretion to decide whether to suspend or terminate the Administrative Proceeding, while remaining compliant with Article 15.2 of this Procedure.

16/2 In the event that either of the respective Parties initiates any legal proceedings during the pendency of an Administrative Proceeding in respect of a domain name dispute that is the subject of the complaint, it must promptly notify the Administrative Panel and the Provider.


17. Fees

17/1 The Complainant commits to paying all fees to the Provider, except as otherwise required by this Procedure, and pursuant to the Supplemental Procedures. The Provider shall terminate the complaint in the event of non-receipt of the due fees within the required time.

17/2 The Complainant commits to paying the fees due to an Administrative Panel consisting of three (3) members, except if the chosen for a Panel consisting of (3) members was done by the Registrant, in such case the due fees will be divided between the Parties.

17/3 Unless otherwise required by this Procedure, the Complainant commits to paying all fees due to the Provider. The Provider shall reimburse the Complainant with any surplus fees remaining from the initial sum paid, as specified in the Supplemental Procedures.

17/4 The Provider at its discretion and after the coordination with the Parties and the Administrative Panel, may require additional fees to be paid following an agreement on who is to bear the burden of these additional fees.


18. Exclusion of Liability

18/1 Except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, neither SaudiNIC, the CITC, the Provider nor a Panelist shall be liable to a Party for any act or omission in connection with any Administrative Proceeding under this Procedure.


19. Amendments

19/1 This Procedure is subject to amendment from time to time by the CITC without prior notice, and remain obligatory for compliance by the Registrant. Amendments shall be deemed to be in-effect thirty (30) days following their publication on the Website. In the event that a complaint is submitted to the Provider, the version of this Procedure in-effect at the time of the complaint shall apply to the administrative proceeding commenced thereby, and until the dispute is resolved.