Let’s not lose sight of the fact that UDRP works correctly almost all of the time.
My short headline for this article is to make a point: most of the time, the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) works as intended. It helps brand owners take down obvious cases of cybersquatting faster and cheaper than filing a lawsuit.
Consider some of these recent UDRP decisions in favor of the trademark holder:
AllstateGroup /.online and .xyz
You probably don’t need to read these decisions to know that the Complainant won the case. And this is what the vast majority of UDRP decisions look like.
Last year at World Intellectual Property Organization, the largest forum for UDRP cases, fewer than 150 of about 3,000 decided cases ended in the Respondent’s favor. Many other cases were dropped after the domain owner handed over the domain. (Note that the WIPO data also ccTLD cases that are heard under unique rules, but the numbers should be fairly close.)
So 95%-100% of the time the case is found in the Complainant’s favor and, based on my review of many cases, I suspect that almost all of these cases are correctly decided.
I report about the edge cases. The cases where a dispute is denied or the panel finds reverse domain name hijacking.
These cases are a big issue and need to continue to be reported on. But I think it’s worth taking a step back from time to time and recognizing the role of UDRP in settling cybersquatting disputes. In the vast majority of cases that the panelists adhere to the purpose and rule of UDRP, the process saves both the trademark holder and the domain name owner from unwanted expenses.
I think the UDRP forums can improve the outcomes of incorrectly decided cases and make simple changes to reduce misguided filings. But, for the most part, UDRP works.