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Uniform Rapid Suspension Scheme for Domain Names Still on the Table

February 16, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Policy & Law, udrp, ursComments Off on Uniform Rapid Suspension Scheme for Domain Names Still on the Table

New proposal still doesn’t make sense. But reforming UDRP does.

It’s baaaack!

After being almost shot to death, the so-called “Uniform Rapid Suspension” idea (basically a very fast UDRP for alleged trademark domains) is back.

When URS was originally proposed, it was ridiculed from just about every sector of the domain name world. But a new group was formed to try to salvage it. Originally created by “Implementation Recommendation Team”, it was then refined by “Special Trademark Issues Review Team” (STI). (No word yet on if “Let’s Keep Trying to Put URS into New gTLD Process Instead of the Correct Review Process Team” (LKTPUNPICRPT) will take a look at it yet.)

But in all seriousness, the new proposal (pdf) does include some clauses that should be considered for the traditional UDRP:

ICANN should discourage forum shopping among URS Providers through its URS implementation and contracts. Examiners within a service provider shall be rotated to avoid forum shopping. The URS Service Providers shall avoid “cherry picking” examiners that are likely to rule in a certain way. Service Providers should be required to, and are strongly encouraged to, work with all certified Examiners, with reasonable exceptions (such as language needs, non-performance, or malfeasance) with such reasonable exceptions to be determined as an implementation detail.

Wouldn’t it be nice if UDRP providers were subject to the same guidelines?

Or how about this:

In the event a party is deemed to have filed two (2) abusive complaints, or one (1) “deliberate material falsehood,” that party shall be barred from utilizing the URS for one-year following the date the last of the Complaints was determined to be abusive.

Among the other changes:

-The complaint form will no longer be just check boxes; complainants can add additional information
-Registrant now has 20 days to respond to complaint rather than 14
-If respondent doesn’t respond within 20 days, s(he) can still respond within 2 years and the domain will be reactivated (but still in lock down) pending determination.
-Clear statement that trading names for profit and domain parking is not in and of itself indicative of bad faith under URS
-If complainant wins, it can extend the registration of the domain for one year at current market renewal rates
-No longer an appeal mechanism

The bottom line is URS remains an illogical and messy solution to the trademark problem, and is being shoved through the new gTLD process rather than the appropriate community review. Also, the idea of suspending domain names at $300 each, only to deal with the same issue again when it expires, just doesn’t make sense.

What does make sense is re-evaluating the UDRP, and introducing certain ideas developed during the URS process into the UDRP. That will take time.


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Related posts:

  1. Lawyer Suggests Alternative to Rapid Domain Suspension Scheme
  2. Trademark Group Pushes Rapid Domain Takedown Scheme
  3. Not-So-Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy