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What is “Genuine” Criticism and When Is It Accepted as a Defense to Abusive Registration?

Paragraph 4(c)(iii) of the Policy recognizes the free speech defense but this is one of the blurry areas of domain name jurisprudence. The WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition describes two views on criticism. View 1 states that “The right to criticize does not necessarily extend to registering and […]

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Standards of Proof, URS (Clear and Convincing) and UDRP (Preponderance of the Evidence)

In the hierarchy of standards “beyond a reasonable doubt” (criminal intent) is higher than “clear and convincing” (URS) which is higher than “preponderance of the evidence” (UDRP). The UDRP sets forth in general terms conduct that violates a trademark owner’s rights and respondent’s defenses of fair use and registration but to understand the fine points […]

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Giving Complainant the Benefit of the Doubt; Why?

The standard of proof for abusive registration is preponderance of the evidence. In lay terms the evidence must be sufficient to answer the question, Is it more likely than not respondent registered the domain name with knowledge of the complainant’s trademark; that respondent had the complainant’s trademark “in mind”? If the trademark did not exist […]

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Time and Expense Consequences for Sitting Out Sunrise and Landrush Periods

Sunrise refers to a stipulated period during which trademark owners may defensively preregister domain names in new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) prior to the registrar accepting registrations from the general public. This initial period is followed by the connotatively rich “Landrush” in which anyone (for a premium) can register domain names on a first-come-first served […]

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Losing Control of a Domain Name to a Party with Equal Right to It

Registrants hold domain names for a term and have renewal rights without end, and in this respect they can be thought of as being “owned” rather than “leased,” but they can be irrecoverably lost through inadvertent lapse. Loss by lapse can be thought of as comparable to loss of trademark registration, although with trademarks there […]

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