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UK insurer first to lose .xxx dispute

May 16, 2012.xxx, czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on UK insurer first to lose .xxx dispute

Request for .xxx domain name denied.

United Kingdom insurance company BGL Group Limited, better known as CompareTheMarket.com, is the first complainant to lose a UDRP for a .xxx domain name.

The company filed the complaint against UK resident Jon Watkins, who registered the domain back in December when .xxx became generally available.

But as I’ve argued previously, it can be rather difficult to prove bad faith in the registration of a .xxx domain name. Most complainants aren’t in the adult entertainment business. And few .xxx domain names will be parked, which could have result in PPC ads related to a complainant. So unless the mark is very famous (and not descriptive/generic) or the owner of the domain tries to sell the domain to the complainant, proving registration in bad faith isn’t easy.

That’s what happened here. A Czech Arbitration Court panel wrote:

But Complainant fails to prove bad faith registration or use of the domain. Complainant states that the domain is “completely inactive”. Complainant does not show that Respondent tried to sell the domain to Complainant, has registered other infringing names, or otherwise has tried to profit from the domain or cause any other harm to Complainant. Respondent is not shown to have had prior UDRP cases in which he has been an unsuccessful Defendant. Clearly, “compare the market” could relate to myriad different types of markets and myriad different comparisons within each one, as demonstrated by a simple web search.

I’m not quite sure why BGL went after this domain name. If it were an active domain name with porn on it and it was getting search rankings I’d understand. Otherwise this seems like a waste of money.

Companies have filed over 20 UDRP cases against .xxx domain names. None had lost prior to this case.


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  3. Success Bank Unsuccessful in Domain Dispute

ICANN Board to Review UDRP Provider Relationship on Thursday

April 20, 2010czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann board, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on ICANN Board to Review UDRP Provider Relationship on Thursday

UDRP on the table at Thursday’s board meeting.

ICANN has posted the agenda for its April 22 meeting, and item 10 reads:

UDRP Policy – relationships with service providers; changes in procedures

What exactly is this about? An ICANN spokesperson told me there’s no additional information available, and what the topic is about won’t be known until the minutes from the meeting are published.

But my guess is this has to do with two things that have created buzz in the community over the past couple months:

1. The fact that there’s no contract between ICANN and UDRP providers.

2. Certain UDRP providers have been playing around with their Supplemental Rules to try to change the overall UDRP process.

For example, Czech Arbitration Court has created a sort of UDRP-lite, where complainants can pay reduced fees for simple cases if the respondent doesn’t submit a reply in the case. Although there may be some merit to such an idea, the supplemental rules certainly weren’t mean for making such a change.

Internet Commerce Association sent a letter to ICANN about the Czech Arbitration Court change over a month ago, and ICANN hasn’t responded.


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Related posts:

  1. Good Luck Finding the UDRP Arbitration Provider Contract with ICANN
  2. New UDRP Goes into Effect Today – Still No Response from ICANN
  3. Comments 15-0 Against Expedited UDRP. So What Will ICANN Do?

New UDRP Goes into Effect Today – Still No Response from ICANN

March 15, 2010czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, National Arbitration Forum, Policy & Law, udrp, wipoComments Off on New UDRP Goes into Effect Today – Still No Response from ICANN

CAC’s “supplemental rules” change goes into effect today.

Czech Arbitration Court’s new UDRP procedure — in which complainants pay only 500 EUR at first unless the domain owner responds or the arbitrator needs to think about the case — goes into effect today.

As far as I can tell, ICANN has not responded or issued a statement on Czech Arbitration Court’s (CAC) move. I’ll cut ICANN some slack here, given that CAC announced the new scheme just 15 days ago, and didn’t notify anyone publicly other than placing a notice in the news section of its web site. The 15 day window was conveniently timed for when ICANN’s staff packed up and headed to Kenya for its meeting, another gentle slap to ICANN’s face.

I’ve personally reached out to ICANN, as has Internet Commerce Association, to see what ICANN plans to do about this abuse.

Is ICANN in a new era of leadership where it actually has a spine? Or will it just brush this abuse of power under the table? If it doesn’t do anything, expect WIPO and National Arbitration Forum to follow CAC’s lead soon.

CAC is the newest UDRP provider for domain name arbitration. It hasn’t issued a decision since November 30, 2009 when it rejected a complaint against Kevin Ham’s company Vertical Axis over the domain name CityDating.com.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Comments 15-0 Against Expedited UDRP. So What Will ICANN Do?
  2. Good Luck Finding the UDRP Arbitration Provider Contract with ICANN
  3. Coming March 15: File a UDRP for 500 EUR

ICA Requests Action on Czech Arbitration Court Policy Changes

March 8, 2010czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, peter dengate-thrush, Policy & Law, rod beckstromComments Off on ICA Requests Action on Czech Arbitration Court Policy Changes

Internet Commerce Association wants ICANN to act quickly on move by UDRP provider.

Internet Commerce Association counsel Philip Corwin has sent a letter (pdf) to ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom and Chairman of the Board Peter Dengate-Thrush asking it to act on Czech Arbitration Court’s new UDRP policy.

Czech Arbitration Court (CAC), one of the newest UDRP providers, proposed a new scheme in which it would charge only 500 EUR to file a domain name complaint and arbitrators would not spend as much time on cases.

ICANN held a public comment period on the proposal, in which all 15 comments were opposed to CAC’s scheme. That includes comments from an existing arbitrator who questioned the basis for the proposal.

Counsel for CAC posted a comment on Domain Name Wire’s earlier story on the proposal, stating that it would not move forward without ICANN’s blessing. Instead, before getting final word from ICANN, CAC made a few changes to the proposal and announced it was going forward with our without ICANN’s approval.

So far, ICANN has not made any public comment on CAC’s move that I’m aware of. It was briefly discussed in another context on the first day of ICANN’s meeting in Nariobi.

Whether ICANN acts on CAC’s move or not, it needs to say something.


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Related posts:

  1. ICA Asks ICANN to Halt Expedited Domain Arbitration Plans
  2. Comments 15-0 Against Expedited UDRP. So What Will ICANN Do?
  3. Coming March 15: File a UDRP for 500 EUR

Coming March 15: File a UDRP for 500 EUR

March 3, 2010czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on Coming March 15: File a UDRP for 500 EUR

Domain name arbitration company offers lower fees for “simple” cases.

Czech Arbitration Court, one of the providers of arbitration services under Uniform domain-name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), is slashing fees to 500 EUR per case effective March 15 for certain cases.

The 500 EUR fee will apply only in cases where the respondent does not reply to the complaint, and in which “there is no need for Panellists to produce a detailed decision”. If the domain owner responds or the panelist deems it necessary to file a detailed decision, the complainant will be required to pay additional fees.

Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) had proposed a sort of “dual track” UDRP, which was unanimously opposed by the ICANN community. CAC disagreed with the community feedback and adjusted the messaging for the reduced-fee service, according to an announcement on its web site:

We do not agree with this criticism but this is not the key aspect of the proposal. The core of our proposal is the introduction of a substantially lower filing fee for simple cases where no response is filed and there is no need for Panellists to produce a detailed decision.

ADR.EU has therefore decided to remodel our proposal to concentrate on this core idea.

But it’s not a proposal; the new pricing scheme will go into effect on March 15. Compared to the old proposal, there will be no “check box” decision forms, but CAC anticipates “UDRP decisions in simple cases where no response is filed will be quite short and will just outline reasons for the decision.” Panelists will make only 250 EUR per decision, compared with 850 EUR for a regular decision.

If filers start to use CAC’s discounted offering, expect WIPO and National Arbitration Forum to follow. WIPO has already announced plans for a lower cost service.

(Hat tip Jim Davies)


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Coming Soon: File a UDRP Domain Name Dispute for $250
  2. Arbitrator Asks Good Questions About Expedited UDRP
  3. WIPO to Offer Fast Track UDRP Without ICANN Approval?

Comments 15-0 Against Expedited UDRP. So What Will ICANN Do?

December 15, 2009czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on Comments 15-0 Against Expedited UDRP. So What Will ICANN Do?

Community feedback is pretty clear about Expedited UDRP.

ICANN says it takes community feedback into consideration when managing the domain name system. But clearly it’s not a majority rule system.

So here’s a clear cut case, involving the Czech Arbitration Court’s proposal to offer an “Expedited UDRP”. Out of 15 commentors, not a single person was in favor of the proposal. Zero. Zip. Nada. All 15 commentors were opposed to it either on principle or procedural grounds. And these aren’t just angry, misinformed domainers complaining. The comments include that of an actual UDRP arbitrator, GoDaddy, and even the group drafting the Uniform Rapid Suspension idea. Here are some of the comments:

“Go Daddy strongly opposes the amendments proposed by CAC as they are currently written, and encourage the ICANN Board to reject these changes.” – Go Daddy

“The ICANN public notice for comments has misled the ICANN community and the public. This is not a mere change to supplemental rules for a mere alternative page limit. This is the adoption of an “_Expedited Decision_” analogous to the URS system, recently created by the STI.” -NCSG STI Drafting Team (same people creating Uniform Rapid Suspension)

“It is our position that all of the proposed changes will, in effect, have a material change on the UDRP itself, and therefore…must be subject to the PDP process as defined in the ICANN By-Laws.” – Go Daddy

“Implementation of this proposal through CAC’s Supplemental Rules would constitute a complete perversion of individual arbitration provider authority to amend secondary rules that are solely meant to address minor and
incidental administrative matters.” – Internet Commerce Association

The ball’s in ICANN’s court. What will it do? And what will it do with WIPO, which thinks it can institute similar changes without even asking ICANN for its blessing?


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Related posts:

  1. Arbitrator Asks Good Questions About Expedited UDRP
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Arbitrator Asks Good Questions About Expedited UDRP

December 10, 2009czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on Arbitrator Asks Good Questions About Expedited UDRP

Domain name arbitrator asks good questions about Expedited UDRP.

The Hon. Neil Brown, a UDRP domain name arbitrator, has submitted comments to ICANN regarding Czech Arbitration Court’s plans for expedited UDRPs. He actually phrases them as rhetorical questions, but they certainly raise a number of issues. They’re worth reading in their entirety, but here’s a summary:

Can the Expedited Decision proposal be implemented by amendments to the Supplemental Rules of the Czech Arbitration Court?

It’s a good question. After all, as Brown explains, the Supplemental Rules are supposed to cover “such topics as fees, word and page limits and guidelines…communicating …and the form of cover sheets.”

Although CAC’s proposal may fit that description by the letter of the law, it certainly doesn’t meet the spirit of the law.

Is the Expedited Decision proposal outside the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“the UDRP”) itself. In other words, if the Expedited Decision proposal could be implemented by supplemental rules, would that be the end of the matter or would it be contrary to the Policy itself?

Brown suggests that the Expedited Decision procedure is different from the UDRP rules. Since domain registrants agree to be subject to the UDRP rules at the time of registration, would they actually be subject to a different set of rules now?

Is the proposal outside the ICANN Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“the Rules”)?

UDRP requires decisions to be based on “reasons”, and for those reasons to be laid out in “the full text of the decision”. CAC’s proposal basically involves a form with check boxes. Brown questions:

Could it be said that the Expedited Decision proposal does not provide for any of these elements? The proposal is that the expedited decision “shall” be in the prescribed form and the prescribed form is therefore an essential part of the process. It might be said that, by implication, the decision is therefore not to be a reasoned decision in the form of building on the evidence and coming to a conclusion on what it all means and why.

It could also be said that the form does not provide for reasons to be given because it provides for boxes to be ticked rather than reasons to be given.

Where’s Reverse Domain Name Hijacking?

Brown questions why CAC’s form doesn’t have a box to check when the complainant commits reverse domain name hijacking. As Brown has pointed out before, a respondent doesn’t need to ask for RDNH in order for the panel to consider it. In fact, the panel has a responsibility to consider it.

Can the Rules be amended to accommodate the Expedited Decision proposal of the Czech Arbitration Court?

It’s possible that ICANN can amend the rules for an expedited UDRP (as compared to changing supplemental rules). But this begs another question: if you registered a domain before the new rules came into effect, should you be subject to the new rules?

The deadline to submit comments on CAC’s proposal is tomorrow.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. ICA Asks ICANN to Halt Expedited Domain Arbitration Plans
  2. Coming Soon: File a UDRP Domain Name Dispute for $250
  3. Proposal Suggests Changes to Domain Name UDRP

Good Luck Finding the UDRP Arbitration Provider Contract with ICANN

December 10, 2009czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, udrp, wipoComments Off on Good Luck Finding the UDRP Arbitration Provider Contract with ICANN

No contract exists with UDRP providers.

With two UDRP arbitration providers trying to change up the rules, attorney Jim Davies tried to get his hands on the contract between ICANN and its approved UDRP providers. He hit a stumbling block: there is none.

You can see the details of his request for the contract in his public comments (submitted as an individual, not on behalf of his firm or clients) on ICANN’s web site. But it’s worth reprinting them here.

I was very surprised to learn that there is no contract between ICANN
and the accredited UDRP providers. Given the importance of the UDRP to
all domain registrants, who are contractually bound to accept its terms
when they register a domain, there really must be a contract put in
place with the accredited providers as a matter of the utmost urgency.
Without it, it is not clear what control (if any) ICANN can apply on the
accredited providers to ensure that (as a minimum) they comply with the
UDRP Policy and Rules.

Whilst ICANN goes through due process in preparing a draft contract and
reaching consensus within the community on its content, it should make
clear to the providers that there can be no further amendment to their
Supplemental Rules. I would also suggest that any contract needs to
provide for a review of the providers’ existing Supplementary Rules; and
also an independent audit of the processes already followed by providers
when handling UDRP cases.

I think that if ICANN follows any other path, it will be badly failing
the millions of registrants who are bound to the UDRP as part of their
registration agreement. The UDRP is an important process that impacts
on many parties, with over 30,000 decided cases already. To maintain
the UDRP’s legitimacy, the relationship with the accredited providers
must be put on a proper contractual footing and it must be brought under
the control of ICANN.

The deadline to submit your own comments on Czech Arbitration Court’s plans is tomorrow. You can see my brief comments here.


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Related posts:

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  2. ICA Asks ICANN to Halt Expedited Domain Arbitration Plans
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ICA Asks ICANN to Halt Expedited Domain Arbitration Plans

December 2, 2009czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Internet Commerce Association, Policy & Law, udrp, wipoComments Off on ICA Asks ICANN to Halt Expedited Domain Arbitration Plans

Domain owner organization wants ICANN to review expedited UDRP proposals.

Internet Commerce Association has sent a letter to ICANN, asking it to halt plans by two domain name arbitration providers to introduce different version of expedited UDRPs.

The plans by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) represent a major overhaul of UDRP policy, yet both organizations are trying to institute the change by merely adjusting their supplemental rules. WIPO has even suggested that it doesn’t need ICANN’s permission to make the change.

Although both providers have different plans, they basically allow complainants to pay lower fees and get results faster in what they call “clear cut” cases. CAC’s plan calls for fees of just 500 EUR per case.

In its letter, ICA counsel Philip S. Corwin writes “We believe that such changes are significant policy initiatives that can only be implemented following GNSO review and ICANN Board approval.”

By offering expedited UDRPs, these arbitration forums hope to attract more business through forum shopping. If they start offering the service, expect National Arbitration Forum to follow.

To get a better understanding of the makeup and thought process behind WIPO arbitrators, take a few moments to peruse through presentations they made during their 10th anniversary forum.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Coming Soon: File a UDRP Domain Name Dispute for $250
  2. WIPO to Offer Fast Track UDRP Without ICANN Approval?
  3. Proposal Suggests Changes to Domain Name UDRP

Coming Soon: File a UDRP Domain Name Dispute for $250

November 12, 2009czech arbitration court, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, udrp, wipoComments Off on Coming Soon: File a UDRP Domain Name Dispute for $250

Arbitration provider wants to offer $250 expedited UDRPs.

[Update: The 250 fee is actually in Euros, and is the panelist's fee. CAC will also collect a 250 EUR fee, making the minimum fee 500 EUR]. Earlier this month I reported on WIPO’s plans to introduce a fast-track UDRP proceeding. It would cost less and be decided faster than traditional UDRPs. At the time, I predicted that WIPO’s competitors would follow suit because of venue shopping.

It looks like Czech Arbitration Court (CAC), a newer UDRP forum, is jumping on board. It plans to offer expedited hearings for only $250500 EUR.

In order to qualify for an expedited hearing, the complainant must limit arguments to 2,000 words, and the respondent must not file a response.

A comment period is open until December 11. ICANN’s web site has an odd description of what CAC proposes, writing that it is “proposing to amend its Supplemental Rules to provide for an alternative page limit and processing fee for certain UDRP Complaints”.

That seems like a banal description for something that could fundamentally change UDRP and drastically increase the number of cases filed.


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  1. Proposal Suggests Changes to Domain Name UDRP
  2. WIPO to Offer Fast Track UDRP Without ICANN Approval?
  3. New UDRP Domain Arbitration Search Engine Launches