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EXAMINERS’ VIEWS OF URS PROCEDURE AND RULES

Introduction The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) is one of three rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) implemented in 2013 by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to protect rights holders from abusive registration of domain names with new gTLD extensions. ICANN states on its website that the URS “complements the existing Uniform Domain […]

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Opting for UDRP Over URS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) implemented the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) in 2013 together with three other rights protection mechanisms for trademarks. It “is not intended for use in any proceedings with open questions of fact, but only clear cases of trademark abuse” (URS Procedure 8.5). It was designed to […]

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What Domain Names Get Transferred: Why and Why Not?

Think of trademarks situated on a continuum with famous and well-known at one end and less well-known or unrecognized by average consumers at the other. On one end there is certainty of infringement, Koppers, Inc., Koppers Delaware, Inc. v. Jorge Villalva, D2018-0764 (WIPO May 10, 2018) () as well as other well-known marks such as […]

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Making a Strategic Decision: URS or UDRP?

A discussion is presently underway about the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) (and in Phase 2 next year of the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP)), whether it is performing as intended. The URS is less than 5 years old and there are not an overwhelming number of decisions. Since 2013, rights holders have filed […]

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The Spontaneous Development of the Domain Name Market

Panel Talk at the Fordham International IP Conference, New York City April 6, 2018 If we traveled back in time we would discover that unauthorized squatting on someone else’s property is an ancient tort, but in cyberspace it dates from the mid-1990s. Its emergence brought together governments and intellectual property stakeholders to demand a rights […]

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What Is the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) and What is it Good For?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) launched the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) (2013) in anticipation of the marketing of new gTLDSs that became available from November 2013. It is one of four new rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) designed to combat cybersquatting. It is not intended for legacy gTLDs, and for new […]

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Why Getting Awards Wrong Undermines the Integrity of the UDRP

The integrity of any legal system depends on the quality of mind of those appointed to administer it. There are expectations that the one judging the facts and applying the law knows what the facts are and what law to apply. Panels appointed to adjudicate disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) […]

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Parsing Predatory and Parasitical from Innocent and Good Faith Registrants

When the World Intellectual Property Organization began deliberating in 1998 and 1999 about creating an arbitral regime  that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers transformed into the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy the curse words of choice were “predators” and “parasites” to describe cybersquatters. (In an early UDRP decision a Respondent who […]

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Tracking the Line that Separates Cybersquatting from Trademark Infringement

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a rights protection mechanism crafted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for trademark owners to challenge the lawfulness of domain name registrations. Cybersquatting or abusive registration is a lesser included tort of trademark […]

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Trademarks vs Domain Names: Dictionary Words, Common, Combinations, and Arbitrary Letters

The typical daily accounting of decisions filed in disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) may include an award or two dismissing complaints (three is particularly noteworthy: <weddingfleamarket.com>, <dme.com>, and <scheduleflow.com> from the Forum for January 20, 2018), but overwhelmingly complaints are granted not dismissed. Let us imagine a trademark or service […]

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The Rise of a Secondary Market for Domain Names: A Tale of Competing Interests

This essay appeared in Bright Ideas, a publication of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association in its Winter 2017 Edition, published January 2018. Introduction The Trademark Act of 1946 defines trademarks and service marks to include “any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof.”[i]  Marks composed of […]

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In Memoriam: UDRPsearch.com

I have hesitated in writing this memorial for <udrpsearch.com> because I did not want to announce a demise that may not be true, or the fear that my saying it will make it so. The website went dark for a short period in 2017, before being restored after a brief shutdown, and (I thought) it […]

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Lawful Registrations of Domain Names

Doug Isenberg notes in a recent circlid.com essay that two records in domain name disputes were broken in 2017, namely number of cybersquatting claims (3,036 in 2016, 3,073 in 2017) and number of domain names implicated (5354 in 2016, 6370 in 2017). (John Berryhill reminds me in a twitter after this essay was posted that […]

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The Emergence of Consensus in the UDRP

The modus operandi of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is achieving consensus. This also holds true for the principal rights protection mechanism that emerged from a two-year round of debates organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that ICANN implemented in 1999 as the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy […]

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So, You Claim to Have an Unregistered Mark! Is there Cybersquatting?

Complainants have standing to proceed with a claim of cybersquatting under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) if the accused “domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights” (4(a)(i) of the Policy). Quickly within the first full year of the Policy’s implementation […]

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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) […]

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Long-held Domain Names Transferred to Complainants

There has lately been a number of long-held investor registered domain names transferred to complainants under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Two of the domain names were registered 23 years ago. This has provoked several commentators to complain that the UDRP is tilted in favor of mark owners and trademark-friendly panelists expressing […]

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Vulnerabilities of Weak Marks and Uncurated Websites

Dictionary words, alone, combined as phrases, modified by other parts of speech, and single letters that function as marks also retain in parallel their common associations that others may use without offending third-party rights. As a rule of thumb, generic terms are not registrable as marks until they perceivably cross a threshold to suggestive and […]

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Losing a UDRP Case: Questionable Decision or Questionable Submission?

Complainants naturally want to prevail on their claims of alleged infringing conduct and respondents (when they appear) naturally do their best to resist having their domain names taken from them in proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), but their success depends on their submitting the right constituents of fact and proof. […]

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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; […]

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