As of 14/04/2021
Saudi Arabia’s ccTLDs have agreed to join the World Intellectual Property Organization’s domain dispute redressal procedure. A report by Lexology claimed that domain extension .sa and السعودية. have chosen WIPO as their dispute resolver.
This is a big step as .sa and السعودية. are still very closed extensions. The domain names are provided only to persons and entities related to Saudi Arabia. Using an International arbitrator to settle disputes clearly indicates that these extensions want international entities to join them. Although it hasn’t been announced yet, it won’t be a surprise if the criteria for getting these domain names are relaxed in the near future.
The new procedures are similar to that of the UDRP. It contains the same conditions of: Complainant having Trademark of a confusingly similar name; Respondent having no rights and interests over the Domain Name and finally the domain name being acquired in ‘bad faith’. However the key thing to notice here is the closed nature of these extensions. Because their registration is so restricted the probability of a dispute is significantly lowered.
Saudi Arabia as a nation is going through a lot of changes economically. We are seeing a more Internationalized and Open Marketed approach to things. Does this step of joining a United Nations organisation point to that? Answer us in the comments.