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What is the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy Database (UDRP-DB)?
Posted on Tuesday, February 01 @ 16:40:22 CET by eglobal

Online Dispute Resolution News A Colleague writes "The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) established a process as well as a policy, a set of procedures for resolving domain name disputes as well as a set of standards to be employed in making decisions. The principal standard is “bad faith” but in order to determine whether a domain name holder’s behavior violates this standard, a fairly detailed process was put in place for selecting panelists, obtaining and exchanging information, reaching a decision within a specified time period, and, depending upon the decision of the panelist, changing, canceling or preserving the registration.

The UDRP process, like all legal processes, consists of a string of coordinated communication and information processing activities. Parties, panelists and providers must acquire, retrieve, understand, communicate and evaluate information in order to reach the end point of the process. If any of these informational activities are burdensome, the process may not operate efficiently, and, if more burdensome for one party than the other, the process may be unfair. For example, obstacles placed in the way of searching for information can affect whether certain arguments are made and how they are framed, whether costs are higher than they need to be, whether professional expertise is needed, and even whether a respondent decides to participate in the process.

---> Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy Database (UDRP-DB) Homepage

The UDRP-DB helps those who need information about UDRP decisions to actually obtain it, and it is more efficient information retrieval system to be put in place so that parties, lawyers, panelists, and others can obtain the information that they need in a systematic way.

Section 4J. of the UDRP states that “All decisions under this Policy will be published in full over the Internet.” By the time as few as ten or twenty decisions appeared in early 2000, users of the UDRP recognized that there was a problem. While providers could post decisions at little cost and any user with a Web browser could read a decision, every additional case posted made it harder to find out which case one might want to read. One could read decisions which one could find but the growing universe of decisions made finding information in decisions increasingly difficult.

Posting decisions online made access possible, but, as the number of decisions grew, finding decisions dealing with a particular issue or set of facts became increasingly difficult. It has been an open question whether decisions of panelists should be considered as precedent but, regardless of the weight that should be given prior decisions, all panelists have been interested in consulting decisions involving the different parts of the policy. Even if prior decisions are not controlling, panelists will try to look to prior decisions for guidance, to see the reasoning of other panelists, and to see if there have been similar factual situations.

The only reason the system did not break completely is that some individuals and groups provided assistance. At a very early date, for example, Scott Donahey, a member of the UDRP Review Task Force, reviewed the decisions every few weeks and prepared a report summarizing what had occurred. This was enormously helpful but it was a volunteer effort and not something that could be expected to continue forever. Other efforts, mostly voluntary and non-commercial, followed. Each of these efforts is a significant contribution and the result of considerable effort. The individuals who have contributed to the informational infrastructure underlying the UDRP deserve a great deal of credit since, if they had not come forward, the functioning of the UDRP process might, over time, very well have come to a halt. Yet, it is also fair to say that what has happened is that several bandaids have been placed on a problem. The bandaids allow the process to continue to operate but the bandaids are not permanent and if some fall off, the UDRP process would deteriorate.

For users who do not have access to LEXIS or Westlaw, do not participate in the INTA listserv, and do not receive special updates from providers, as the number of decisions grows, the difficulty in making sense of the system also grows. Even for those who find and use one of the current search engines, a key problem with the search results is that false positives will grow as the number of decisions grows. At best, one will find growing inefficiencies, at worst, one will find growing unfairness as what had been intended to be a relatively easy to use system becomes increasingly complex.

With support from the Markle Foundation, the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at UMass-Amherst and the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute have created the UDRP-DB to allow access to data that is currently not available at all or only available at considerable expense or effort. The Legal Information Institute, ten years ago, was the first legal research site on the Web and is still considered by many to be the most professional and authoritative source of legal information on the Web.

The UDRP-DB is available freely to ICANN and the providers. What is necessary for version 2.0 of the UDRP information infrastructure to emerge is for the providers to agree on an approach that will benefit users. The providers are competitors and, unfortunately, there are no incentives for them, on their own, to provide data to a common database. On the other hand, the user community does not benefit from having access to incomplete information.

UDRP-DB Statistics

Current Number of Decisions in the UDRP-DB: 6957
Number of Domain Names in the UDRP-DB: 11536
Criteria involving bad faith

13.9% No bad faith: the domain name either not registered, or not used in bad faith

30% The domain name was registered with the purpose of transferring it to complainant or a competitor for a profit

14.1% The purpose of registration was to prevent the owner of the trademark from using the domain name, and the respondent has a pattern of such conduct.

9.1% The purpose of registration was to disrupt the business of a competitor

39.3% The respondent has registered the domain, attracted users by creating confusion with the complainant's mark

15.1% Some other evidence of bad-faith registration exists "

Related Links
· More about Online Dispute Resolution News
· News by eglobal

Most read story about Online Dispute Resolution News:
Settling e-Commerce Disputes

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