UDRP / Featured Blogs

So, You Claim to Have an Unregistered Mark! Is there Cybersquatting?

Complainants have standing to proceed with a claim of cybersquatting under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) if the accused "domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights" (4(a)(i) of the Policy). Quickly within the first full year of the Policy's implementation (2000) Panels construed "rights" to include unregistered as well as registered marks, a construction swiftly adopted by consensus. more

'Combosquatting': New Attention for an Old Problem

A study (18-page PDF) from researchers at Georgia Tech and Stony Brook University has attracted attention to what it calls "combosquatting," but the practice has been around since the early days of domain name disputes. The study says combosquatting "refers to the combination of a recognizable brand name with other keywords (e.g., paypal-members.com and facebookfriends.com)." It adds that this practice differs from other types of cybersquatting "in two fundamental ways. more

Artful Misrepresentations of UDRP Jurisprudence

The jurisprudence applied in adjudicating disputes between mark owners and domain name holders under the Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is essentially a system that has developed from the ground up; it is Panel-made law based on construing a simple set of propositions unchanged since the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) implemented them in 1999. Its strength lies in its being a consensus-based rather than dictated jurisprudence. more

Domain Name Disputes Deja Vu: Panavision.com and Panavision.org

History, it has been said, repeats itself. The same can be said of domain name disputes, as demonstrated by a pair of cases involving the same trademark ("Panavision") filed more than 20 years apart with remarkably similar facts. I can't hear the name "Panavision" without thinking about the origins of domain name disputes, so a decision involving panavision.org - coming more than two decades after litigation commenced over panavision.com - immediately made me nostalgic. more

Long-held Domain Names Transferred to Complainants

There has lately been a number of long-held investor registered domain names transferred to complainants under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Two of the domain names were registered 23 years ago. This has provoked several commentators to complain that the UDRP is tilted in favor of mark owners and trademark-friendly panelists expressing hostility to the domain industry. I think we have to dig deeper than this. more

Vulnerabilities of Weak Marks and Uncurated Websites

Dictionary words, alone, combined as phrases, modified by other parts of speech, and single letters that function as marks also retain in parallel their common associations that others may use without offending third-party rights. As a rule of thumb, generic terms are not registrable as marks until they perceivably cross a threshold to suggestive and higher classifications. more

UDRPs Filed - Brand Owners Take Note

After being in the domain industry for over 15 years, there aren't too many things that catch me by surprise, but recently a few UDRP filings have me scratching my head. Both ivi.com and ktg.com have had UDRPs filed against them, and I have to say for anyone holding a valuable domain name, it's a cautionary tale and one that should have folks paying attention to the outcome of each. more

When UDRP Consolidation Requests Go Too Far

Although including multiple domain names in a single UDRP complaint can be a very efficient way for a trademark owner to combat cybersquatting, doing so is not always appropriate. One particularly egregious example involves a case that originally included 77 domain names -- none of which the UDRP panel ordered transferred to the trademark owner, simply because consolidation against the multiple registrants of the domain names was improper. more

Confusing Similarity of Domain Names is Only a 'Standing Requirement' Under the UDRP

WIPO's newest overview of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) succinctly states what decisions have made clear through the years: The UDRP's first test is only a "standing requirement." Standing, under the law, simply means that a person or company is qualified to assert a legal right. It does not mean or imply that one will necessarily prevail on any claims. The UDRP includes a well-known three-part test that all trademark owners must satisfy to prevail, but the first element has a low threshold. more

Reverse Domain Hijacking Where Complainant Knew but Did Not Disclose Geographic Significance of Mark

In the case of Oy Vallila Interior Ab v. Linkz Internet Services, a 3-member WIPO Panel denied the Complainant's efforts to have the disputed domain name vallila.com transferred because the Complainant did not prove that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Complainant is in the business of providing fabrics and interior design services and claimed trademark rights in its registered mark VALLILA in the European Union. more