Domain investors have uphill battle in UDRP reform.
UDRP reform is coming.
And this should scare the crap out of you.
Now let me get a few things out there:
1. I’ve never been a party in a UDRP case
2. I’ve read (and written) about many UDRP cases where the wrong decision was made
Thus I’m a fan of fixing some of the inequalities in UDRP, the lack of contracts with UDRP providers, etc.
But let’s be honest. When’s the last time domain investors got what they wanted out of a review process like this?
The trademark lobby has unlimited funds compared to domain investors. Domain investors are a loosely organized group. Head to head domain investors have no chance.
So far in the new gTLD process trademark rights have been kept in check by the deep pockets of future domain registries as well as work by the Internet Commerce Association.
But that battle may still be lost. The IP groups lobbied the governments, which in turn are putting the hammer down on ICANN. Don’t be surprised if significant concessions occur at the very last minute with no opportunity for you to respond.
UDRP is flawed. There need to be prohibitions on filing a case when the complainant’s trademark rights post date the domain registration. There need to be sanctions for reverse domain name hijacking.
But don’t count on getting either of these. And count on a lot of additional provisions that hurt legitimate domain name investors.