UDRP Injustices, contributed to by the NAF itself
Date: Friday May 25 2001, @11:26AM
Topic: Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)
MFischer writes "Regards, I write to help others who have already faced, are currently facing, or may soon face UDRP injustices. I write to raise awareness of what I see as fundamental immaturity in the current UDRP Policy. (Important URLs: http://Tobacco.com/attempted-hijacking and http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/19217.html)"
I write to raise awareness of what I see as fundamental immaturity in the current UDRP Policy. Unfortunately, the current UDRP Policy makes it very easy for a Respondent to be harassed and also lose a great deal of money (in legal costs), when defending himself against frivolous and fraudulent cases from Complainants. The current Policy makes it all too easy for a Complainant to effectively harass a Respondent. Seemingly, the current Policy encourages Complaints to be filed. I feel economically victimized by such an apparent "arbitration industry". I am furthermore deeply infuriated by the following actions of the Arbitration Forum itself. I am the long-standing Registrant of the TOBACCO.COM Internet domain name. Over the last few months, I have been actively involved in defending myself against a case which I feel is very evidently frivolous and fraudulent. I feel this case is a very obvious attempt at a (serial) Reverse Domain Name Hijacking. The case is online at: http://Tobacco.com/attempted-hijacking Bear in mind that the Complainant very recently withdrew the case, on May 18, 2001 -- shortly after seeing the excellent defense that my attorney, John Berryhill, submitted on my behalf. Browsing through the documents, one quickly learns that the case was an attempted (serial) Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, as per Section 15(e) of ICANN rules. Such a case, alone, is enough to stir interest and emotions in those holding and using valuable domain names. To a domain name Registrant, Reverse Domain Name Hijacking is no laughing matter. It brings with it expensive legal defense costs. Furthermore... To add INSULT TO INJURY, the following actions of the NAF (National Arbitration Forum) regarding the case are simply unconscionable! The Complainant chose to elect a SINGLE member Panel to hear the UDRP case. I countered with a recommendation for a THREE-member Panel instead. This required my providing the NAF with a $1250 payment. THE CASE WAS NEVER HEARD. REPEAT: THE CASE WAS NEVER HEARD! The Complainant withdrew the case on May 18, 2001. I FULLY EXPECTED to have my $1250 three-person Panel fee refunded IMMEDIATELY. There was no three-person Panel (which I paid for), as the case was withdrawn. Nonetheless.... The NAF is now telling me that the money will NOT be refunded. This is VERY WRONG, as the case was never even heard! How can the NAF possibly "justify" keeping my $1250 in monetary funds, if they will not employ them for the purpose for which they were tendered? I feel not only harassed by a frivolous and fraudulent UDRP case, but also cheated by the NAF itself! The $1250 was money to be paid to a three-member Panel! If the Panelists will not be receiving the $1250, then...WHO THE HELL GETS IT? The NAF was even so arrogant as to "justify" their keeping my $1250 with the reasoning that the Complainant's withdrawl means that "The result is that your client gets to keep the name, which is the result you wanted to achieve." My attorney, John Berryhill made it very clear to the NAF that "The result my client wanted to achieve was to be left alone and not be compelled to answer a frivolous complaint." All things considered, I have been victimized by both the UDRP and the NAF, by way of them so easily allowing a frivolous and fraudulent case to be brought against myself. I demand that my $1250 three-member Panel fee be refunded by the NAF IMMEDIATELY. I furthermore strongly encourage ICANN to work harder to evolve the UDRP to make it nearly impossible for frivolous and fraudulent cases to be brought forth and thus harass and wreak economic havoc on Respondents and their domain names they are entitled to defend. Respectfully, Michael Fischer
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