Saudi Domain Name Dispute Resolution Rules

Version 1.0 (01/04/2021 AD - 19/08/1442 AH)
Notice: These rules are translated into English for reference only. These  rules in Arabic is the definitive and official version.

1. Introduction

These Saudi Domain Name Dispute Resolution Rules (hereby referred to as “ Rules”) were issued in accordance with Article 9 of the Saudi Domain Name Registration Regulation. These Rules set out the basis for the administrative procedures by which Saudi Domain Name disputes between a complainant and a registrant are resolved.


2. Definitions

The terms and expressions defined in the Telecommunication Act, its Bylaw, the Saudi Domain Name Registration Regulation, and the Registration Rules shall have the same meaning in these Rules. In addition, the terms and expressions set out in these Rules shall have the following meanings assigned to them:

  1. “Administrative Panel” or “Panel” means an individual or group of individuals appointed by the Dispute Resolution Provider to study and settle disputes submitted to the Provider based on these Rules and its procedures.
  2. “Administrative Proceeding” is a mandatory process to which the Registrant is subject to in the event that a complaint is filed by a third-party pursuant to these Rules. 3.“Complainant” is the party requesting dispute resolution over a domain name pursuant to these Rules.
  3. “Rules” means this Saudi Domain Name Dispute Resolution Rules as amended from time to time.
  4. “A Dispute Resolution Provider or a Provider” is an entity accredited by CITC to resolve Saudi domain names disputes.
  5. “Dispute Resolution Procedure” is the detailed procedural document for these Rules as amended from time to time.
  6. “The Regulation” refers to the Saudi Domain Name Registration Regulation as amended from time to time.

3. Rules Scope

3/1 These Rules establish the conditions under which a dispute concerning the registration or use of a Saudi domain name between any Registrant and any other party (not including an accredited registrar, SaudiNIC or CITC) may be resolved.

3/2 All Registrants, with the exception of government entities and any other entities associated with them, are subject to these Rules.


4. Warranties by Registrants

The Registrant acknowledges that it has reviewed and agreed to the Saudi Domain Name Registration Regulation, warranties and obligations contained therein, including in particular what set forth in Article 4.


5. Cancellations, Transfers and Changes

A Registrar or SaudiNIC will cancel or transfer a domain name, or make changes to a domain name’s registration data under the following circumstances:

  1. Upon receipt of a Service Request subject to Article 11 of these Rules.
  2. Upon receipt of a final court ruling or an order from a competent government entity.
  3. Upon receipt of a decision following a Dispute Resolution proceeding pursuant to these Rules.
  4. Upon a decision being issued by the CITC or SaudiNIC pursuant to authority granted to them as per the Saudi Domain Name Registration Regulation.

6. Mediation

In the event of a potential infringement on rights resulting from a registration or use of a domain name, a Complainant may submit a complaint directly to SaudiNIC via the means dedicated for this purpose as published on the Website prior to resorting to an Administrative Proceeding for dispute resolution. Within 10 business days, SaudiNIC will study the complaint, determine the appropriate methods of treatment, including negotiation and strive to reach an agreement by mutual consent between the parties. In the event that this is not possible, the Complainant has the right to initiate the implementation of the administrative procedure as defined in Article 7 of these rules.


7. Administrative Proceeding

This Administrative Proceeding will be conducted by any accredited Dispute Resolution Provider according to the following:

7/1 Acceptance of the dispute consideration:

The dispute shall not be considered unless the complaint meets all the following cases:

  1. The Registrant’s domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark, trade name or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
  2. The Registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
  3. The Registrant’s domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.

7/2 Evidence of registration or use in bad faith

For the purpose of case (3) of Article 7/1, the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found to be present, shall be evidence of registration or use of a domain name in bad faith:

  1. The Registrant has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of a trademark, a trade name or a service mark associated with the domain name, or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Registrant’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name.
  2. The Registrant has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark, trade name or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding Domain Name, provided that the Registrant has engaged in a pattern of such conduct.
  3. The Registrant has registered or used the domain name primarily for the purpose disrupting the business of another party.
  4. The purpose of registration or use of the domain name is to intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its website or other online location that will create illusion that it is under the supervision or care of the Complainant or has a relationship with it or any of its trademarks or trade names.

7/3 How to demonstrate a Registrant’s rights to or legitimate interests in the Domain Name in responding to a Complaint:

When a Registrant receives a complaint, the Registrant should refer to Article 5 of the Dispute Resolution Procedure in determining how its response should be prepared. For the purpose of addressing the alleged circumstances detailed in Article 7.1 (case 2, case 3) of these Rules, the Registrant may demonstrate its rights to and legitimate interest(s) in the domain name by providing evidence supporting the Registrant’s claim, including but not limited to one of the following:

  1. Before receiving any notice of the dispute, the Registrant’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
  2. The Registrant (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if the Registrant has acquired no trademark or service mark rights. 3. The Registrant makes a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the registered trade name, trademark or service mark at issue.

7/4 Selection of A Provider

The Complainant shall select the Provider, which shall conduct the dispute resolution service in a manner consistent with these Rules.

7/5 Initiation of proceeding and appointment of Administrative Panel:

The Dispute Resolution Procedure sets out the processes for filing a complaint and appointing an Administrative Panel.

7/6 Consolidation of Disputes:

In the event of multiple disputes subjects to these Rules between the Registrant and the Complainant, the Registrant or the Complainant may petition to consolidate the disputes. This petition shall be made to the first Administrative Panel appointed to hear a pending dispute between the parties. This Administrative Panel may consolidate before it any or all such disputes in its sole discretion.

7/7 Fees

All fees charged by the Provider in connection with any dispute before an Administrative Panel pursuant to these Rules shall be paid by the Complainant, except in cases where the Registrant elects to expand the Administrative Panel from one to three panelists as provided in Article (5.3) of the Dispute Resolution Procedure, in which case all fees will be split evenly between the Registrant and the Complainant.

7/8 Participation in Administrative Procedures:

Neither SaudiNIC, the CITC nor the Accredited Registrar will participate in the conduct of the work of the Administrative Panel or appear before it.

7/9 Remedy Options

When submitting a complaint according to these Rules, the Complainant can choose one of the following settlement options: a. Cancel domain name registration. b. Transferring the domain name to the Complainant.

7/10 Decisions pertaining to Dispute Resolution:

The Provider shall notify SaudiNIC of the Administrative Panel’s recommended decision in resolving a filed dispute. Then, CITC will issue the decision of the dispute resolution.

7/11 Notification and Publication: SaudiNIC shall notify all parties involved of the decision issued by CITC. Furthermore, the Provider may publish the recommendations made pursuant to these Rules. The publication may be a complete, summarized or redacted version.

7/12 Availability of court proceedings: These Rules shall not prevent either the Registrant or the Complainant from submitting the dispute to a court or arbitrator of competent jurisdiction for independent resolution of a dispute in Saudi domain names before the start of an administrative proceeding or after its completion.

7/13 Implementation of the Dispute Resolution Decision:

  1. SaudiNIC shall implement issued decisions in pursuant to these Rules after the lapse of (10) ten working days from the date of notification to all parties.
  2. As an exception to the previous section, in the event of SaudiNIC receiving official documents indicating the commencement of a court proceeding as per the laws governing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the Registrant against the Complainant, SaudiNIC shall refrain from implementing a decision that it has issued until it receives any one of the following:
  3. Evidence of the disputing parties reaching a settlement.
  4. Evidence that the court proceeding initiated by the Registrant has been rejected or withdrawn.
  5. A copy of a ruling on the dispute made as a result of the court proceeding.

8. All other Disputes and Litigation

All other disputes with a Registrant concerning the registration or use of a domain name that are not brought pursuant to the administrative proceeding provisions of Article 7 of these Rules must be resolved through procedures outside of the scope of these Rules, including any court, arbitration or other applicable proceeding of competent jurisdiction.


9. Involvement in Disputes

Neither SaudiNIC, the CITC nor an accredited Registrar will be party or assume any responsibility in any dispute, which may occur involving the Registrant and any other party, concerning either the registration or use of the domain name registered by the Registrant. The Registrant must not include SaudiNIC, the CITC or the accredited Registrar as a party, or identify them in any other capacity, in any such proceeding. In the event that either SaudiNIC, the CITC or the accredited Registrar are named as a party in any such proceeding, they each reserve the right to raise any and all defenses deemed appropriate, and to take any other action necessary to defend themselves.


10. Maintaining the Domain Name’s Status Quo

Neither the accredited Registrar nor SaudiNIC will delete, transfer, activate, suspend, lock, unlock or otherwise change the status or registration information of any applicable Domain Name pursuant to these Rules except as provided in Article 5 of these Rules.


11. Transfers During a Dispute

11/1 Transfer of a domain name to a new Registrant

The Registrant may not transfer a domain name to another party under the following circumstances:

  1. During a pending administrative proceeding brought pursuant to Article 7 of these Rules or for a period of fifteen (15) business days after such a proceeding is concluded.
  2. During a pending court proceeding or any similar proceeding commenced before a competent authority regarding the Registrant’s domain name unless the party to whom the domain name registration is being transferred agrees, in writing, to be bound by the decision of the court or arbitrator. SaudiNIC reserves the right to cancel any transfer of a domain name registration to another holder that is made in violation of this Article.

11/2 Transfer to a different accredited Registrar

  1. The Registrant may not transfer the domain name to another Registrar during a pending administrative proceeding brought pursuant to Article 7 of these Rules or for a period of fifteen (15) business days after such proceeding is concluded.
  2. The Registrant may transfer administration of the Registrant’s domain name registration to another accredited Registrar during a pending court action or arbitration, provided that the domain name Registrant continues to be subject to the proceedings commenced against the Registrant in accordance with the terms of these Rules.

12. Modifications

12/1 The CITC reserves the right to modify these Rules. Any modifications become effective following their publication on the Website.

12/2 Continued use of a domain name by the Registrant following modifications to these Rules shall be considered an acknowledgment of agreement to the modifications made to them. In the event that the Registrant objects to a change in the Rules, the Registrant must request cancellation of its domain name registration. The Registrant acknowledges that its sole remedy is to cancel the domain name registration, either by submitting a request to cancel the registration, or if the cancellation is conducted by SaudiNIC or the accredited Registrar upon the Registrant indicating non-acceptance of the modifications made. The Registrant will not be entitled to a refund of any fees the Registrant paid to the accredited Registrar.