ICA Comment on Policy Status Report: Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

Kamila Sekiewicz Blog

Today the ICA submitted its Comment in response to ICANN’s recent Status Report on the UDRP. UDRP reform is one of the most critical concerns for our members.

An effective, fair, and legitimate UDRP must balance both protection of intellectual property rights and the protection of domain name registrant rights.

Our members include many owners of valuable generic domain names who have been the victim of meritless Complaints and Reverse Domain Name Hijacking attempts. Our members also include many of the leading defenders of domain name registrants who have collectively defended against hundreds of meritless UDRP cases. Our members have sometimes been forced to go to court to overturn errant UDRP decisions.

It has been nearly 23 years since the UDRP was adopted and even a generally successful policy should be reviewed. Much has been learned from the way that the UDRP has operated since then and this experience can and should be used to identify those limited and focused areas where the UDRP can be improved without destabilizing it.

The ICA strongly believes that the UDRP can be an effective tool for combatting cybersquatting without undermining the rights of lawful participants in the domain name aftermarket. The ICA seeks limited and focused improvements to the UDRP to help prevent domain name investors from being inadvertently caught in the crossfire between brand owners and cybersquatters.

The ICA strongly believes that improvements to the UDRP are not a “zero-sum game” in which improvements that benefit domain name registrants necessarily harm trademark owners or vice versa. There is ample opportunity to improve the UDRP for all concerned stakeholders.

The ICA is committed to working with all stakeholder groups and outside experts to improve the UDRP. Phase 2 must not be a competitive, fraught, and lengthy exercise. Rather, by looking only towards improvements that are likely capable of earning consensus support, the UDRP can be successfully maintained and improved for all.

PDF version of the comment letter: ICA Comment on UDRP Status Report, April 19 2022-19-04-2022