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Archive | 2019

Dead Ends: The Achievement of Consensus in UDRP Jurisprudence

Like the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is consensus driven; from the bottom up, not the top down. The result is a jurisprudence of domain names that develops in common law fashion through Panel decisions that over time and through “deliberative conversations” among panelists […]

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Recovering Domain Names Lost to Fraudulent Transfer

Domain Names composed of generic terms and combinations–dictionary words, random letters, and short strings–have achieved ascending values in the secondary market. DNJournal.com (Ron Jackson) reports on his year to date chart, for example (just a random sampling from the charts) in August 2019 <joyride.com> was sold for $300,000,  in June <voice.com> sold for $30 million, […]

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Satisfying the Evidentiary Demands of the UDRP

It continues to surprise that some counsel in proceedings under the Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) are unaware or oblivious of its evidentiary demands, by which I mean they file and certify complaints with insufficient evidence either of their clients’ rights or their claims. Because the UDRP requires conjunctive proof of bad faith registration […]

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The Question of Fairness in UDRP Decision-Making

In disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) parties should be able to rely on Panels delivering predictable, consistent, and legally reasoned decisions. In large measure, this depends on Panels analyzing the facts objectively through a neutral lens and applying principles of law consistent with the jurisprudence. But the results are not […]

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Words and Descriptive Phrases as Trademarks Registered as Domain Names

In a trademark context, who owns or controls, or would prevent others, from using words and phrases commonly available to speakers in a language community, is in persistent tension. While common words alone or combined may become protected from infringing uses under trademark law, their protection is contingent on factors such as linguistic choices and […]

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UDRP Complaint: Actually, a Motion for Summary Judgment

This essay expands a talk presented at the 27th Fordham International IP Conference on April 26, 2019. Trademark owners (and here I’m talking about those with U.S. registrations even if they are foreign entities) have a choice of forum for challenging alleged cybersquatting domain names. They can either sue in district court under the Anticybersquatting […]

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Credibility and Disbelievablity as it Affects Outcomes in UDRP Proceedings

“Credibility” in English comes through Middle French from a Latin word signifying trustworthiness and reliability in business and personal transactions (allegations, contentions, statements, promises, etc.). Where the goal is persuasion, exaggerating, embellishing, withholding, and falsifying evidence or accusing the adverse party of some heinous crime is not a winning strategy for proving claims or defenses. […]

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Dictionary Words Alone or Combined Functioning as Trademarks are no Less Dictionary Words

By definition “[a]ny word” or “any combination [of words]” can function as trademarks, but whether alone or combined for that purpose no use can overrule their ordinary meanings, support their removal from the public domain, or prevent speculation or use of identical or confusingly similar words by businesses other than rights holders. The fact is, […]

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Noteworthy Domain Name Decisions for 2019

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 this website and republished on circleid.com. Noteworthy Domain Decisions for 2015 can be found here, 2016 […]

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Prudential Settlements for Alleged Cybersquatting/Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Under the ACPA

Given the number of awards endlessly arriving from Panels appointed to decide cybersquatting disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) (ten to fifteen published daily) the sum total of grievants filing de novo challenges under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protect Act (ACPA) is remarkably small — one or two at most in any […]

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Typosquatting as Per Se Cybersquatting Unless Proved Otherwise

The quintessence of typosquatting is syntactical variation: adding, omitting, replacing, substituting, and transposing words and letters. Recent examples include <citizens1loans> (numeral for word), <shiippco.com> (double vowels), <airfrances.com> (pluralizing/possessive), and (reversing letters), and <amazøn.com> (look carefully at the letter following “z”).  Since these minor variations are mostly indefensible, respondents rarely respond to complaints, although as I […]

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