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What Do UDRP Panels Look for in Assessing Parties’ Rights to Disputed Domain Names?

Panels appointed to adjudicate domain name disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) have written in the region of 50,000 decisions involving over 75,000 domain names (minuscule of course when measured against the number of registered domain names). What may surprise some parties, their representatives, and counsel is that these publicly accessible […]

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Limitations, Delays, and Laches as Defenses to Cybersquatting Claims

In passing the baton for combating cybersquatting to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recommended that “claims under the administrative procedure [should not] be subject to a time limitation” (Final Report, Paragraph 199). ICANN agreed and the UDRP contains no limitation period for making a claim. […]

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Challenging UDRP Awards in Federal Court: Recent Outcomes

Challenging UDRP awards in actions under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) is infrequent though steady. There are currently a number of court filings in U.S. district courts that are in the early stages, most notably the ADO.com case reported on in an earlier essay and several others have either been referred to mediation (the […]

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What’s Abusive in Registering Domain Names, and the Reverse?

The two major providers of arbitration services for adjudicating cybersquatting complaints under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Forum, issue daily lists of decisions. In approximately 90% of those disputes the registrations cannot be described as anything less than mischievous in acquiring second level domains incorporating […]

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Short Strings of Alphabet Letters in Domain Names: Random to Some, Identifiers to Others

What is the intrinsic (as opposed to trademark) value of short string domain names? It depends, of course. Rights holders have been willing to challenge domain name registrants even if they have no actionable claim for cybersquatting. Delbert R. Terrill Jr. v. Domain Admin / Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org), FA1803001775784 (Forum April 2, 2018) (<snn.com>). […]

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Combinations of Dictionary Words in Domain Names: Common vs. Distinctive Phrases

The lexicon of domain names consists of letters, words, numbers, dots, and dashes. When the characters correspond in whole (identical) or in part (confusingly similar) to trademarks or service marks and their registrations postdate the first use of marks in commerce registrants become challengeable under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) as cybersquatters. […]

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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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Noteworthy Domain Name Decisions for 2018

Noteworthy Domain Name Decisions is a running collection of annual decisions that taken together provide insight into the jurisprudence applied in UDRP disputes. More detailed analytical discussions of decisions can be found in recent and archived essays posted on the website and republished on circleid.com. Noteworthy Domain Decisions for 2015 can be found here, 2016 […]

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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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