Information about UDRP, URS, RDNH, Domain Name Dispute Resolution

Editor's note: the resources and references on this page are for general information only, and may not be the latest or updated resources or information available. Always verify and seek more information from the sources indicated, and from your own legal counsel, and other professional advisers, as may be appropriate.

ICANN's UDRP Policy and ICANN's UDRP Rules and ICANN's URS
As of July 31, 2015 updated UDRP Rules and WIPO Supplemental Rules are in effect. These updates impact complaint filing modalities, model pleadings, registrar "locking" of domain names during pending UDRP proceedings, and party settlement practices. A summary of these updates is available on the WIPO website. Also note that an updated Model Complaint and Model Response are also available. (sources: WIPO and ICANN)

WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, (“WIPO Jurisprudential Overview 3.0”)

Keeping track of domain name jurisprudence | wipo.int | www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains

see also Domain Mondo's pages on Links and Resources

UDRPs / Domain Name Dispute Resolution:

Stop UDRP abuse! Defend Your Domain Name: consult / retain an attorney
ICANN no longer maintains an official, central repository of all UDRP decisions. UDRP service providers publish their own search page:
  • Hall of Shame --RDNH--Reverse Domain Name Hijacking:  a trademark owner attempts to secure a domain name by making false cybersquatting claims against a domain name’s rightful owner [domain name registrant]. (source: Wikipedia)
See Three Kinds of UDRP Disputes and Their Outcomes | IPLegalCorner.com and Overreaching: Priority of Rights to Domain Names | IPLegalCorner.com"Complainants whose trademarks postdate domain name registrations continue to misunderstand the law as it applies to their rights under both the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) ... Both the UDRP and ACPA are dedicated to evicting squatters, but not all holders of domain names corresponding to trademarks are squatters. Priority of right or legitimate interest is a significant factor in determining whether there is an actionable claim for cybersquatting under either regime ... if Complainant now (foolishly) decides to commence a federal action it will be exposed to statutory damages up to $100,000 [for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH)]." (read more at the link above). See also @gmlevine

WIPO Domain Name Decision: D2015-0131: ".... the Panel finds that the Complainant has not made out its case that the Respondent had no rights or interests in the disputed domain name and the Complaint fails under this element of the Policy... This is not one of those cases where the disputed domain name contains a very well reputed mark and even though it has been used passively is likely to have been registered with knowledge of that mark for the purpose of later sale, or for potential use contrary to the trade mark owner's interests. The Complainant has characterized the Respondent's registration as use in bad faith by "parking" the disputed domain name and in this manner disabling it from being identified by search engines. However in circumstances that the Respondent clearly did not register the disputed domain name in bad faith and has merely been holding it passively pending the determination of its strategy, the Panel fails to see how this could amount to disrupting the Complainant's business and therefore to use in bad faith. In this light the Complainant's case seems to the Panel to be contrived and entirely without merit. The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name has neither been registered nor used in bad faith and that the Complaint fails under the third element of the Policy. 7. Decision: For the foregoing reasons, the Complaint is denied. In the Panel's view findings of reverse domain name hijacking should be reserved for circumstances where a complaint amounts a clear abuse of the Policy. This Panel usually prefers to give complainants the benefit of the doubt in this regard, but this is not such a case. For the reasons set out above, it seems to the Panel that this Complaint is without merit at all and was entirely contrived in order to obtain a domain name that someone else had bona fide registered many years prior to the commencement of the Complainant's business. Following the initial refusal of the Complainant's offers for purchase of the disputed domain name the Complainant thought that it could force the position by filing a complaint under the Policy. Even after the Respondent's indication that it would now be prepared to sell the disputed domain name, the Complainant insisted upon proceeding in any event. The Complainant, coming from Yorkshire, should have known that this is not "cricket"The Policy is intended to alleviate cybersquatting and not as a tool for commercial bullying. The Panel considers that this Complaint is an abuse of the Policy and that the Complainant should have known better, particularly in circumstances that it had legal representation. Accordingly, the Panel makes a finding of reverse domain name hijacking in this case. --Alistair Payne, Sole Panelist, Date: March 14, 2015"

WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0")"Decision-making authority under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and Rules (UDRP) lies exclusively with the appointed panels. To assist awareness of their views on certain questions that commonly arise in proceedings under the UDRP, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center has produced the following update and extension of its informal overview of panel positions on key procedural and substantial issues. This WIPO Overview 2.0 includes new decision references supporting each line of opinion, with over 380 decisions (formerly 100) from over 180 (formerly 80) different UDRP panelists now listed. Reflecting the evolution of the Domain Name System and UDRP jurisprudence, the number of issues included in the WIPO Overview has doubled. While some of these issues arise only infrequently, all of them are, or are perceived to be, relevant to the operation of the UDRP. On most of these issues, consensus or clear majority views have developed. Certain other questions attract a diversity of views. The WIPO Center's identification of questions and careful and conservative evaluation of opinions is based on some 20,000 UDRP cases it has administered through March 31, 2011. Detailed information on all views is available from the WIPO Center's online Legal Index of WIPO UDRP Panel Decisions, its full text decision search facility, and the full posting of all decisions..."

The Rise of a Secondary Market for Domain Names: A Tale of Competing Interests (pdf) by Attorney Gerald S. Levine.

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control: Lessons from the ICANN Dispute Resolution Process by Elizabeth G. Thornburg | ssrn.com--Journal of Small & Emerging Business Law, Vol. 7, 2001, by Elizabeth G. Thornburg, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law--Abstract"Some people have argued that the uniform dispute resolution process [UDRP] used by ICANN to resolve domain name disputes would be a good model for internet disputes generally. This article argues the opposite: the UDRP teaches sobering lessons about the consequences of privatized dispute resolution processes. The lessons include: the questionable legitimacy of privately-adopted substantive standards; the danger of unprincipled choice of law decisions to fill in the gaps in that private law; unreconciled splits among arbitrators as to the meaning of the standards; and a tendency to expand beyond the narrow jurisdictional limits of the policy. The UDRP also demonstrates that procedural choices can exacerbate substantive ones when private processes are imposed without true consent, when procedural rules have uneven impact on the parties, and when procedures designed primarily to be fast are allowed to frustrate other due process values. The failures of the ICANN process show that government still needs to play a role in the world of otherwise private dispute resolution. Private systems are only useful if the applicable law is legitimate and the applicable procedures are actually fair. Unfortunately, in settings involving power imbalances, the systems that have been designed to date have not met the due process sniff test. Acceptable rules could be geared toward providing affordable access to the process, notice, a method for sharing relevant information, a reliable way of resolving factual disputes, the use of truly unbiased decision makers, process transparency, written reasoned opinions, and some kind of meaningful appeal. The system would balance cost and fairness in ways that impacted parties evenly. It would not be mandatory, but rather would have to attract parties who were not compelled to participate. The ICANN process does a poor job within its own limited sphere, and if allowed to expand into other areas would suffer from even more significant substantive and due process failures." (emphasis added)

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