UDRP

UDRP / Recently Commented

Domain Name Disputes Break Two Records in 2017

The year 2017 turned out to be a record-setting year for domain name disputes, in two ways: The number of complaints filed as well as the total number of domain names in those complaints. Specifically: The number of cases at WIPO crept up to 3,073 from 3,036 in 2016 (the previous record), a modest gain of just over 1 percent. Those cases included 6,370 domain names, up from 5,354 in 2016 (also a record-setting year), a spike of nearly 19 percent. more

‘Combosquatting’: New Attention for an Old Problem

A study (18-page PDF) from researchers at Georgia Tech and Stony Brook University has attracted attention to what it calls "combosquatting," but the practice has been around since the early days of domain name disputes. The study says combosquatting "refers to the combination of a recognizable brand name with other keywords (e.g., paypal-members.com and facebookfriends.com)." It adds that this practice differs from other types of cybersquatting "in two fundamental ways. more

Artful Misrepresentations of UDRP Jurisprudence

The jurisprudence applied in adjudicating disputes between mark owners and domain name holders under the Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is essentially a system that has developed from the ground up; it is Panel-made law based on construing a simple set of propositions unchanged since the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) implemented them in 1999. Its strength lies in its being a consensus-based rather than dictated jurisprudence. more

UDRPs Filed - Brand Owners Take Note

After being in the domain industry for over 15 years, there aren't too many things that catch me by surprise, but recently a few UDRP filings have me scratching my head. Both ivi.com and ktg.com have had UDRPs filed against them, and I have to say for anyone holding a valuable domain name, it's a cautionary tale and one that should have folks paying attention to the outcome of each. more

Reverse Domain Hijacking Where Complainant Knew but Did Not Disclose Geographic Significance of Mark

In the case of Oy Vallila Interior Ab v. Linkz Internet Services, a 3-member WIPO Panel denied the Complainant's efforts to have the disputed domain name vallila.com transferred because the Complainant did not prove that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Complainant is in the business of providing fabrics and interior design services and claimed trademark rights in its registered mark VALLILA in the European Union. more

Trademark Rights Paramount to Contract Rights for Domain Names

UDRP decisions come down from providers (principally from WIPO and the Forum) at the rate of 7 to 10 a day. Complainants mostly prevail; this is because in 90% of the cases (more or less that percentage) respondents have no plausible defense and generally don't bother appearing, although default alone is not conclusive of cybersquatting; there must be evidence of infringement. When complainants do not prevail, it is not because they lack rights... more

Where to Search UDRP Decisions

Searching decisions under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is important - for evaluating the merits of a potential case and also, of course, for citing precedent when drafting documents (such as a complaint and a response) in an actual case. But, searching UDRP decisions is not always an easy task. It's important to know both where to search and how to search. Unfortunately, there is no longer an official, central repository of all UDRP decisions that is freely available online. more

After 21 Years, Actor David Duchovny Wins His Domain Name

While plenty of UDRP decisions have made clear that a trademark owner's delay in bringing an action against a cybersquatter (often referred to as "laches") is typically not a defense, actor David Duchovny's decision to file a UDRP complaint nearly 21 years after the domain name davidduchovny.com was registered may set a record for the longest wait in a domain name dispute. more

Does ICANN’s UDRP Preserve Free Speech and Allow Room for Criticism?

The phenomenal growth of the Internet has resulted in a proliferation of domain names. The explosion of '.com' registrations coincided with an increase in domain name disputes, and with it the legal branch of intellectual property devolved into virtual mayhem. ICANN's Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) was created... The UDRP was brought into force in October 1999, and it can be said that it has contributed handily to the resolution of domain name disputes. However, deeper investigation into the UDRP paints a different picture. more

These Countries Have Adopted the UDRP

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is certainly the most frequently used tool to combat cybersquatting -- but, it is not always an option. Many countries have adopted their own domain name dispute policies -- or none at all -- in lieu of the UDRP. For example, domain names in the United Kingdom's .uk country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) are subject to Nominet's Domain Dispute Resolution Service, which applies a different test... more

Dot-Com is Still King - of Domain Name Disputes

Despite the launch of more than 1,200 new gTLDs, .com remains far and away the most popular top-level domain involved in domain name disputes. In 2016, .com domain names represented 66.82 percent of all gTLD disputes at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the only domain name dispute provider that publishes real-time statistics. And, as of this writing, the rate is even higher so far in 2017, with .com domain names accounting for 69.78 percent of all disputes. more

Commodifying Words and Letters in the .Com Space

Words (and by extension their constituent letters) are as free to utter and use as is the air sustaining life. No one owns them. There is no toll fee to be paid to dictionary makers who curate them. There are, however, two carve-outs from this public domain, namely words and letters businesses use as designations of origin for their marketplace presence, protected by trademark law; and words and letters arranged expressively by authors, protected by copyright law. more

A Lesson from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Domain Name Disputes

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been making news as the result of controversial changes brought about under the new Trump administration -- including the planned removal of "several agency websites containing detailed climate data and scientific information" -- the EPA also has generated some (lesser-known) domain name news: The agency won a decision under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) for the domain name noattacks.org. more

Passive Holding of Domain Names and the Argument for Bad Faith or Forfeiture

There is a misconception among some trademark owners and their counsel that passive holding of domain names alone or combined with lack of rights or legitimate interests supports abusive registration. Thus, Respondent's inactive use of the disputed domain name demonstrates bad faith. Respondent also had actual knowledge of Complainant's YOU ASKED FOR IT mark as Complainant has attempted to buy the domain from Respondent... more

When Two Trademarks Aren’t Confusingly Similar to One Trademark

As I've written before, domain name disputes involving multiple trademarks sometimes raise interesting issues, including whether a panel can order a domain name transferred to one entity without consent of the other. While panels typically have found ways to resolve this issue, one particularly troubling fact pattern arises when a panel denies a complaint simply because a disputed domain name contains trademarks owned by two different entities. more