Panelist decides to render his opinion even though it will be ignored.
Earlier today I wrote about Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service for .uk domain names, and how the registry wants it to be the “final say” on domain disputes for .uk domain names.
UDRP, the arbitration mechanism for a number of top level domain names including .com, is different. It’s meant to be a fast way to resolve clear cut cases of cybersquatting. When a domain is ordered transferred, the owner of the domain can halt that transfer by filing a lawsuit within 10 days of the order.
Since UDRP is considered junior to a real court’s decision, most panelists will suspend a case if a lawsuit is filed over the domain. After all, the panelist’s decision will be moot.
So I found it interesting today to see a decision rendered for Brickman.com.
The domain name is owned by Tucows. Its ownership goes back to 1996 because the domain is part of the surnames domain business the company acquired. It uses the domain for its email address service; if your last name is Brickman you can get an email address like email@example.com.
In this case, Tucows filed a lawsuit in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice seeking declaratory relief prior to its response deadline for the UDRP. It also informed National Arbitration Forum about the lawsuit.
Normally, a panelist would just close the case. But not panelist Paul A. Dorf, who decided to go ahead with the case and find in favor of a landscaping company that uses the name Brickman.
Why he did that isn’t clear to me, but Dorf certainly makes a good living with UDRP.
One thing I do know: the complainant didn’t do its homework. It should have know that Tucows would file a lawsuit in Canada. Its legal bill for this domain dispute is about to balloon.