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How Domain Conflict Resolution Works for the .CO Top-Level Domain

Table of Content

What is the .CO Domain?

What is Cybersquatting?
What is Typo Squatting?
What Other Types of Conflict are There?
How Often do Conflicts Occur?
What is the UDRP?
Who Handles .CO Domain Conflict Resolution?
How to Navigate Domain Conflict Resolution for a .CO Domain
How to File a Complaint
Who is Eligible to File a Complaint?
What do I need to file a complaint?
Do I Need a Lawyer?
How to file a .CO Domain Name Complaint: Our 7-step guide



The surge in domain name dispute cases in 2023, especially those relating to .co domains, underscores the growing issue of registering domains with the intent to profit from established trademarks or brands. This practice, known as Cybersquatting, poses a significant risk to businesses aiming to protect their brand identity.

As the .co domain has gained popularity and recognition among businesses and individuals worldwide, it has also become a prime target for cybersquatting activities. Recognizing and addressing such instances is vital to maintaining the integrity of your brand in the digital landscape. This proactive approach is crucial to maintaining trust, credibility, and visibility in the digital marketplace, particularly within the context of the growing digital economy.

In this blog, we will delve into how domain conflict resolution works specifically for the .co top-level domain. We'll explore the key steps involved in identifying and addressing instances of domain name abuse targeting .co domains, as well as the options available for businesses and trademark owners to protect their brand identity. Understanding the mechanisms of domain conflict resolution is essential for businesses to navigate the complexities of online brand protection and safeguard their digital assets effectively.

What is the .CO Domain?

The .co domain is a top-level domain (TLD) that was originally designated for Colombia. However, it has gained global recognition and is now widely used by businesses, organizations, and individuals worldwide. The .co domain is often associated with "company" or "commerce," making it popular among businesses looking for a short, memorable, and relevant domain extension. It offers a professional and credible online presence, making it a preferred choice for many websites, especially in the commercial and entrepreneurial sectors. Since 2010, the .co domain, has been available globally through .co Domain Registration. This inclusivity allows anyone, whether they're a small business owner, a multinational corporation, or an individual with a passion project, to secure a .co domain for their online presence.

What is Cybersquatting?

If you've ever faced the frustration of discovering your trademark held hostage as a domain name, you might be a victim of cybersquatting. This deceptive practice involves enterprising individuals snagging well-known company names as domain names, with the aim of selling them back later, or using a domain name to profit from someone else's brand reputation. Cybersquatters often prey on well-known companies, hoping to sell back these domains at inflated prices. While opportunities for cybersquatting are dwindling, it's still a threat, particularly with the .co domain.
The dual status of .co as both a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) and a generic top-level domain (gTLD) can significantly impact the number of domain name dispute cases. This unique status expands its reach and appeal globally, making it a prime target for cybersquatting activities across various jurisdictions.

What is Typo Squatting? 

Typo squatters are individuals or entities that register domain names that are slight misspellings or variations of popular or well-known domain names. They do this with the intent to capture traffic from users who make typographical errors while entering website addresses. Typo squatters often use these domains for various purposes, such as displaying ads, phishing, or redirecting users to other websites for profit. They are particularly fond of Colombia's top-level domain, .co, because of its similarity to the most widely used TLD, .com.

What Other Types of Conflict are There?

In recent times, domain name disputes have evolved beyond traditional "cybersquatting" to encompass a broader range of malicious activities. These include combating fraud, malware, and phishing attempts through domain names, along with dealing with counterfeit products and unlicensed pharmaceuticals. Many businesses are grappling with multiple infringements on their trademark rights, of which cybersquatting is just one facet of brand abuse.

How Often do Conflicts Occur? 

In 2023, WIPO saw a 7% rise in cybersquatting cases. Although .com domains accounted for 80% of complaints in WIPO's 6,192 UDRP filings, in terms of the number of complaints, the .co domain leads by a considerable margin over other ccTLDs such as .cn, .mx, .au, and .ai.

Figure 1. Number of Dispute Cases by Domain Name. Source: WIPO 2023.

This increase mirrors the worldwide trend towards digital commerce and online transactions as our preferences for online shopping continue to grow. However, the exact number of cybersquatting cases that remain unresolved remains uncertain, given the increasingly complex challenges businesses encounter in safeguarding their brand identities in the digital realm.

What is the UDRP? 

The UDRP, or Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy acts like an online mediator for domain name disagreements. If someone registers a domain name similar to your trademark, the UDRP helps resolve the issue fairly without going to court. It looks at whether the domain is too close to your trademark, if the owner has a valid reason for having it, and if they registered it in bad faith. If everything checks out, you might get the domain transferred to you. 

The UDRP aims to protect the rights of trademark owners while also considering the legitimate interests of domain registrants. It does this by outlining 3 main factors where domain owners may be required to take action:

  • Is the domain name too similar to your trademark?

  • Does the owner have a good reason for owning it?

  • Did they register the domain in bad faith? 

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) are essential in shaping the UDRP. They ensure disputes are resolved systematically and fairly, maintaining fairness and transparency in the digital world, benefiting both sides involved.

Who Handles .CO Domain Conflict Resolution? 

While ICANN oversees domain name systems globally and manages policies related to domain registrations and disputes for many domains, specific ccTLDs such as .co have their own designated dispute resolution providers. For .co domains, disputes are typically handled by accredited providers such as the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) or the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC). Additionally, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) is another recognized entity involved in domain name dispute resolution. These providers work in collaboration with ICANN to ensure fair and efficient resolution processes for domain-related conflicts.
It's advisable to consult with legal experts specializing in domain name law to navigate .co domain disputes effectively, to understand your rights, options, and the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of the .co domain conflict.

How to Navigate Domain Conflict Resolution for a .CO Domain 

Resolving a domain conflict related to a .co domain typically involves several steps and options: 

  1. Initial Assessment: The first step is to assess the nature of the conflict. Determine whether it involves cybersquatting, trademark infringement, or other issues related to the use of the .co domain.

  2. Gather Evidence: Collect evidence to support your claim. This may include proof of your trademark rights, evidence of bad faith registration or use of the domain, and any correspondence or communications related to the domain conflict.

  3. Contact the Domain Owner: Reach out to the owner of the .co domain. You can use WHOIS lookup tools to find contact information. Try to resolve the issue amicably through negotiation or mediation. In some cases, the domain owner may be willing to transfer the domain voluntarily.

  4. Dispute resolution mechanisms: If negotiation fails or if the domain owner is unresponsive, you can consider formal Dispute resolution mechanisms. The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a common method for resolving domain disputes. It provides a streamlined and cost-effective process for addressing cybersquatting and trademark-related conflicts. Filing a UDRP complaint requires meeting specific criteria, such as proving bad faith registration and use of the domain.

  5. Legal Action: If the dispute cannot be resolved through UDRP or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms, legal action may be necessary. This can involve filing a lawsuit in a relevant jurisdiction to seek domain transfer, damages, or other remedies based on applicable laws and regulations.

How to File a Complaint 

Dealing with a domain name conflict involving a .co domain can be a daunting task but knowing the steps to file a complaint can empower you in protecting your brand. Here’s a simplified guide on how to navigate through this process: 

To file a UDRP complaint effectively, follow these key steps: 

  1. Choose a UDRP Provider: Select an approved UDRP provider such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the National Arbitration Forum (NAF), or the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Center (ADNDRC). Each provider has its own procedures, but all adhere to the UDRP policy's guidelines.

  2. Review the UDRP Policy: Familiarize yourself with the UDRP policy available on your chosen provider's website. Ensure your case aligns with the policy's requirements for domain dispute resolution.

  3. Prepare Your Complaint: Create a detailed written complaint outlining the disputed domain name, the respondent (current domain owner), and the reasons for your complaint. Include any supporting evidence that strengthens your claims. Consider seeking advice from a trademark lawyer for optimal legal strategy.

  4. Pay Filing Fees: Prepare to pay the required filing fees outlined in WIPO's Schedule of Fees. Keep in mind that once a complaint is registered, administrative fees are typically nonrefundable. Familiarize yourself with the fee structure to avoid surprises during the process.

  5. Submit Your Complaint: Once you've compiled all necessary details and evidence, it's time to submit your complaint. WIPO provides a Model Complaint that you can tailor to your specific case. You can either submit it through their Online Form or via email. Remember to also send a copy of the complaint to the domain Registrar as listed in ICANN's Accredited Registrars directory. 

By following these steps, you’re taking proactive measures to address domain conflicts effectively and protect your brand's integrity in the digital realm.

Who is Eligible to File a Complaint?

Before filing a complaint for a .co domain under the UDRP, it's essential to understand who is eligible to file:

  • Trademark Owners: The primary eligibility criterion is being the owner of a trademark that corresponds to the disputed domain name. This includes registered trademarks or common law trademarks with sufficient rights and evidence of prior use.

  • Rights Holders: In some cases, entities or individuals with legal rights associated with the domain name, such as licensees or authorized representatives of trademark owners, may also be eligible to file a complaint.

What do I Need to File a Complaint? 

To file a complaint for a .co domain under the UDRP, you will need to gather several key elements: 

  1. Trademark Information: If you are a trademark owner, you should have detailed information about your trademark, including registration details, jurisdiction, classes covered, and evidence of prior use if applicable.

  2. Domain Details: Collect comprehensive details about the disputed domain name, including its registration date, current status, ownership information (if available), and any relevant history or context related to the domain.

  3. Grounds for Complaint: Clearly outline the grounds for your complaint, such as how the domain name infringes upon your trademark rights, evidence of bad faith registration or use, and any other violations that warrant UDRP intervention.

  4. Supporting Evidence: Gather supporting evidence to substantiate your claims. This may include screenshots of the domain's website, correspondence with the domain owner (if any), evidence of confusion or harm caused by the domain, and any relevant legal documents.

  5. Filing Fee: Be prepared to pay the required filing fee as per the guidelines of your chosen UDRP provider. Familiarize yourself with the fee structure and payment methods accepted by the provider.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

While it's not required to have a lawyer to file a complaint under the UDRP for a .co domain, having legal assistance can be beneficial. A lawyer specializing in intellectual property and domain name disputes can review your case, provide strategic advice, and ensure that your complaint meets the necessary legal standards. They can also offer guidance on complex issues, enhance the credibility of your complaint, and represent your interests effectively during the resolution process. Consider consulting with a lawyer for valuable support and expertise in navigating domain conflicts.


Navigating domain conflict resolution, especially concerning .co domains, requires a comprehensive understanding of the processes involved and the options available. The surge in domain name disputes, particularly in the context of cybersquatting, underscores the importance of proactive brand protection measures in the digital landscape. By familiarizing yourself with the UDRP policy, consulting legal experts when needed, and leveraging accredited UDRP providers, you can effectively address domain conflicts and safeguard your brand's integrity online. Remember, staying informed and taking timely action are key steps in protecting your digital assets and maintaining trust and credibility in the ever-evolving digital marketplace.

How to File a .CO Domain Name Complaint: Our 7-Step Guide 

1. Filing a Complaint: Trademark owners can submit a complaint to the UDRP service provider.
Timeframe: Can be filed at any time.
2. Compliance Check: The UDRP service provider checks the complaint for administrative compliance and verifies domain information with the registrar.

Timeframe: Acknowledgement within about 24hrs of filing.
3. Commencement: The provider forwards the complaint to the respondent and registrar, officially starting the UDRP process.

Timeframe: Within 3 days of receiving the filing fee.
4. Filing a Response: Respondents must submit a response to the complaint, addressing the allegations.

Timeframe: Within 20 days.
5. Panel Appointment: The service provider appoints a panel to review the case and make a decision.

Timeframe: Within 5 days of receiving a response (or the response deadline if no response is filed).
6. Decision: The panel reviews the case and issues a decision based on UDRP guidelines.

Timeframe: Within 14 days of panel appointment unless exceptional circumstances apply.
7. Implementation: If the decision is to transfer the domain, the registrar implements the decision after 10 business days.

Timeframe: After 10 business days if decision is to transfer the domain.


Figure 2. Stages in Filing a UDRP complaint. Source: WIPO.