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Proving and Protecting Rights to Domain Names

At their best, UDRP panelists are educators. They inform us about the ways in which parties win or lose on their claims and defenses. What to do and not do. In addressing this issue, I’m referring to less than 10% of cybersquatting disputes. For 90% or more of filed complaints, respondents have no defensible answer […]

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Noteworthy Domain Name Decisions for 2017

Mr. Levine is the author of a treatise on trademarks, domain names, and cybersquatting, Domain Name Arbitration, A Practical Guide to Asserting and Defending Claims of Cybersquatting under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. (Legal Corner Press, 2015) and Supplement and Update (2017). Learn more about the book and Supplement at Legal Corner Press. […]

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No Time Bar, No Laches under the UDRP

Two UDRP decisions posted this month involved domain names registered 20 and 21 years ago, David Duchovny v. Alberta Hot Rods c/o Jeff Burgar, FA1706001734414 (Forum July 4, 2017) (<davidduchovny.com>, 21 years) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Ravindra Patel, gbe, D2017-0807 (WIPO July 6, 2017) (<bankwest.com>) (20 […]

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Do Trade Names Qualify as Trade Marks for Purposes of the UDRP?

Naming is the first imperative. It as much precedes the launching of new lives as it does new businesses. Names secure a presence, and for businesses in the marketplace names can grow into trademarks, if they function like one. Are we not sometimes made aware that not all names are equally distinctive, and that some […]

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New Standard for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

UDRP Rule 1 defines RDNH as “using the Policy in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain name holder of a domain name” (further defined in Rule 15(c)).  There has been a mixed history in granting and denying this remedy for overreaching rights. Some Panels consider RDNH regardless whether it has been requested […]

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Building a Case for Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

A number of recent UDRP decisions remind trademark owners (and counsel) that cybersquatting cases have to be built from the ground up. Each stage has its evidentiary demands.  The first two demand either/or proof; the third, the most demanding, requires proof of unified or conjunctive bad faith registration and bad faith use of the accused […]

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Charting the Balance between Trademark Owners and Domain Name Holders: A Jurisprudential Overview

Efforts to combat cybersquatting began in earnest in 1998 when the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (at the request of the United States Government supported by all member states) began an extensive process of international consultations “to address cross-border trademark-abusive domain name registrations.” I’m quoting from WIPO’s newly released Third Edition of the Overview of […]

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Core Principles of Domain Name Law Created in UDRP Proceedings

When in the Fall of 1999 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) implemented the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy it did not come with a fully formed jurisprudence. Panelists were essentially on their own in creating it. They had some guidance from a lengthy and detailed report published by the World […]

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What It Takes to Prove Common Law Rights

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy now has  seventeen years of history. A high percentage of disputes are indefensible and generally undefended. As the history lengthens early registrants of dictionary words-, common phrases, and arbitrary letter-domain names have been increasing challenged in two circumstances, namely by businesses who claim to have used the unregistered […]

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Balancing Rights: Mark Owners, Emergent Businesses, and Investors

Is there any act more primary than naming? It comes before all else and makes possible what follows. For the most part names are drawn from cultural assets: collections of words, geographic locations, family names, etc. They can be valuable, which is why they are guarded, protected, and hoarded. The balancing of rights among those […]

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