Law / Featured Blogs

Understanding 'Reverse Domain Name Hijacking' Under the UDRP

"Reverse Domain Name Hijacking" (RDNH) is a finding that a panel can make against a trademark owner in a case under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)... While neither the UDRP nor the Rules provide any further details or guidance, the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition, provides some insight into the circumstances in which panels have found RDNH. more»

The Importance of Protecting Credibility: Claiming and Rebutting Cybersquatting

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is an online dispute resolution regime. While panelists technically have discretion under Rule 13 to hold in-person hearings if they "determine[ ] ... and as an exceptional matter, that such a hearing is necessary for deciding the complaint" no in-person hearing has ever been held. Rule 13 exists to be ignored. more»

The Future of Software Patents

What should we do with software patents? I've seen both sides of the debate, as I work a great deal in the context of standards bodies (particularly the IETF), where software patents have impeded progress on a community-driven (and/or community-usable) standard. On the other hand, I have been listed as a co-inventor on at least 40 software patents across more than twenty years of work, and have a number of software patents either filed or in the process of being filed. more»

Supplementing the Record in UDRP Proceedings; When Acceptable?

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) limits parties' submissions to complaints and responses; accepting "further statements or documents" is discretionary with the Panel (Rule 12, Procedural Orders), although the Forum (in Supplemental Rule 7) but not WIPO provides for supplementing the record with the proviso that "[a]dditional submissions must not amend the Complaint or Response." For some panelists, Rule 7 contradicts the Policy. more»

When 'Confusing Similarity' in UDRP Cases Gets Confusing

The first element of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) requires a complainant to prove that the disputed domain name "is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights." It's unusual for a complainant to fail on this first of three prongs, but one recent case demonstrates just how uncertain the UDRP can be sometimes. more»

Noncommercial and Fair Use in Rebutting Claims for Abusive Registration of Domain Names

The UDRP lists three nonexclusive circumstances for rebutting lack of rights or legitimate interests in domain names, which if successful also concludes the issue of abusive registration in respondent's favor. The third circumstance is "you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue." more»

A Record Year for Domain Name Disputes?

With just a little more than three months left in 2016, the number of domain name disputes filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) appears to be headed for a record year. According to public data published on the WIPO website, the current number of domain name disputes filed this year (as of this writing, September 27, 2016) is 2,228 - which would indicate that the total might reach 3,011 cases by December 31. more»

Filing Cybersquatting Complaints With No Actionable Claims

I noted in last week's essay three kinds of cybersquatting complaints typically filed under ICANN'S Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The third (utterly meritless) kind are also filed in federal court under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). While sanctions for reverse domain name hijacking are available in both regimes, the UDRP's is toothless and the ACPA's a potent remedy. more»

Benefits and Challenges of Multiple Domain Names in a Single UDRP Complaint

How many domain names can be included in a single complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)? Neither the UDRP policy nor its corresponding rules directly address this issue, although the rules state that a "complaint may relate to more than one domain name, provided that the domain names are registered by the same domain-name holder." more»

Three Kinds of UDRP Disputes and Their Outcomes

There are three kinds of UDRP disputes, those that are out-and-out cybersquatting, those that are truly contested, and those that are flat-out overreaching by trademark owners. In the first group are the plain vanilla disputes; sometimes identical with new tlds extensions (> and <>); sometimes typosquatting (<joneslang> and <>); and other times registering dominant terms of trademarks plus a qualifier (<> and <>). more»