B.C. organization now one of few global arbitrators of domain name disputes

The Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre is now handling disputes over domain names like .com and .org | Shutterstock

What happened: Newly created body based in Vancouver is now accepting disputes over domain names

What it means: The new centre may entice non-American parties wary of taking claims to U.S. arbitrators

Individuals, corporations and organizations riled up over the ownership of a domain name can now seek help from a Vancouver-based organization — one of just a handful in the world with the ability to resolve such disputes.

The Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre (CIIDRC) revealed Thursday (November 14) that it’s now accepting disputes over domain names with the launch of its website.

The CIIDRC got the nod to do so earlier this year from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the internet’s governing body.

The CIIDRC is a newly created division from the B.C. International Commercial Arbitration Centre (BCICAC) and is one of just two bodies in the Western Hemisphere with the ability to resolve domain name disputes.

The other organization is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but BCICAC interim chairman Leslie Maerov told Business in Vancouver in May that there was “skepticism” by non-American parties over disputes being resolved in the U.S.

“Canada has a well-earned reputation for being neutral where we respect the rule of law, so we see ourselves as a natural alternative to any of the other arbitration dispute resolution centres,” Maerov said at the time.

The BCICAC has long handled disputes over .ca domain names, while the CIIDRC will be handling cases involving top-level domain names like .com, .org and .net.

The CIIDRC is one of just six organizations in the world with that mandate.

"Disputes over the rightful ownership and use of domain names have been increasing and the value of website address can be very significant. With more than 350 million individual domain names now registered worldwide, conflicts unfortunately arise as the importance of e-commerce continues to increase," CIIDRC managing director Barry Penner said in a statement.

"We've developed a leading edge, online interactive platform that's available 24/7 to anyone wishing to make a domain name complaint, seeking information or looking for updates on their case including decisions."