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ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION CENTER

Re: WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center observations to ICANN for Policy Staff/GNSO Council “Current State of the UDRP Webinar”

May 6, 2011

The UDRP has been offering an effective solution for trademark owners, domain name registrants, and registration authorities

The UDRP was born out of the need for an administrative dispute resolution mechanism specifically designed to resolve certain trademark-based online conflicts occurring across national jurisdictions, while retaining court options. As an expedient alternative to those court options, the UDRP has won international respect. As but one measure of how this legal system has held up, only the rarest of the tens of thousands of UDRP decisions have been successfully challenged in court.

It is important to recognize that, in different ways, the UDRP has worked to the benefit of all DNS actors.

For owners of trademark rights (whether SMEs, global corporations, or individuals), the UDRP provides a widely relied-upon means for addressing a clear category of online abuse of their rights, thereby reducing consumer deception and facilitating the growth of legitimate e-commerce. Household brands from a diverse range of services and industries from around the world have found a measure of protection in the steady standards of this efficient enforcement tool.

For domain name registrants (whether represented by counsel or acting pro se), the UDRP has provided an accessible framework for established legal norms. Their application benefits from non-exhaustive registrant safe harbors at a substantive level (rights and legitimate interests), and appropriate process safeguards (e.g. mutual jurisdiction, language of proceedings, response extensions). Respondents are not required to pay filing fees under the UDRP, and unlike in court, do not risk imposition of monetary damages or other remedies beyond transfer or cancellation.

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