Wooot.com case needs proofreading; sheds light on UDRP panelist practices.
Yesterday Elliot Silver wrote a post about the UDRP decision for Wooot.com. The panelist found in the complainant’s favor, but ordered the domain name canceled rather than transferred.
I have to admit, even as someone who reads a lot of UDRPs, until about a month ago I assumed that canceled meant transfer. Why? Because it’s so stupid to think of a domain being deleted rather than transferred to the winner. If it’s deleted, someone else will just pick it up.
But as it turns out, they are two different things. It’s right there in the UDRP rules. There’s a long running joke about how some inexperienced counsel will ask for a remedy of a domain being “canceled” instead of transferred, not realizing what will happen if they win.
But in the case of Wooot.com, it seems that the panelist just opted for the language “canceled”. I’m inclined to think this may be because he (or someone connected to National Arbitration Forum) was cutting and pasting bits and pieces from other decisions. Why? Let’s break down a couple things from the Wooot.com decision.
First, under “Parties Contentions”, the decision starts out stating:
Complainant held a trademark registration for AOL and Respondent registered the domain name aol.com.
Huh? AOL? The complainant is Woot.com. As it turns out, iAOL.com is a completely different UDRP case from 2002 from a different panelist.
Then under “Additional Submissions” it states:
The submission of Respondents is that the Complainant’s arguments in its letter written by its representative P. Weston Musselman Jr. makes does not substantiate its Claims. And the submission of the complainant is that
It literally stops at “that”. I have no idea if this guy Musselman was actually involved with this case or if this is from another case.
Is this a matter of cutting-and-pasting from other decisions?
“Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED”.
That’s a contradictory statement. If they established all elements it would be granted.
Kirikos found 41 instances of various panelists writing that same contradictory statement in their decisions. (See comments here for exact case numbers.) So they’re either cutting and pasting or not paying attention. Either is a bit disconcerting.