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Corresponding to Trademarks, But Nonactionable Claims for Cybersquatting

The threshold for an actionable claim under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a trademark in which complainant has rights. "Rights" means a trademark that could have been newly minted a moment before filing the complaint. This is different from the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) in which trademark owners must have a "mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name." The difference is important... more»

8 Facts About 3-Member Panels in UDRP Cases

Proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) can be heard by either a one- or three-member panel. Here are eight important facts that every complainant (trademark owner) and respondent (domain name registrant) should consider when deciding whether to select one or three members... Either party - complainant or respondent - has an opportunity to select a three-member panel... more»

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»