Really good article by Froomkin on the UDRP
Date: Monday October 01 2001, @05:20PM
Topic: Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

ICANNWatch's own Michael Froomkin, a law professor by day, has written a new article called ICANN's "Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy" -- Causes and (Partial) Cures. It's required reading for anybody who wants to understand where the UDRP came from, how it works, and (some of) the most urgent changes that must be made if ICANN is to keep it. A warning: You'll find in the article no rabble-rousing, no red meat for folks who already disapprove of the UDRP. The discussion here is measured, and indeed sympathetic to trademark owners. The analysis is careful, scholarly and balanced. There are no rants here; this is serious work.

Froomkin was a member of both the WIPO panel of experts that reviewed the URDP proposal that WIPO submitted to ICANN, and the small group of partisans that Louis Touton convened in the document's final drafting stages. As a result, he's got particular insight into the opposing arguments and the negotiations that led to the language ICANN ultimately adopted; the first two-thirds of the article is devoted to a discussion of where the UDRP came from and how its language works. In the rest of the article, he identifies the UDRP's major procedural failings and suggests how they can be fixed.

In the very last page, though, Froomkin concedes that the prospects for meaningful reform of the UDRP are questionable. Trademark interests, together with other players who've concluded that they need to appease trademark owners, are still dominant in the ICANN process; substantial reform within that process, therefore, is "far from obvious." After all, he notes ruefully, "if you put a committee of foxes in charge of a chicken coop, you tend to get a lot of happy foxes and dead chickens."

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Re: Really good article by Froomkin on the UDRP
by fnord ( on Tuesday October 02 2001, @04:43AM (#2677)
User #2810 Info
Excellent. Alas it probably won't change much. And the US Federal Trade Commission intends to shut down more typosquatter domains in one fell swoop than all UDRP cases heard to date. -g
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Re: Really good article by Froomkin on the UDRP
by dtobias ( on Tuesday October 02 2001, @10:36AM (#2681)
User #2967 Info |
Good article. But it has a few mistaken facts, though not critical ones to its subject. When it briefly mentions the status of the new TLDs (in a short digression near the beginning), it says that ICANN has signed contracts for .info, .biz, .name, and .pro. The first three are correct, but .pro has no signed contract and is in fact stalled in its negotiations due to a requested change from the original terms. .museum is nearing a signed contract now (with it approved by both the ICANN and MuseDoma boards as of yesterday, needing only final signature now). .aero (which is misspelled as .areo in the article) is still in negotiations, as is .coop, but I don't know when those will be completed.
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Re: Really good article by Froomkin on the UDRP
by mjrippon on Wednesday October 03 2001, @01:08AM (#2695)
User #2960 Info
I found Froomkin's comments on unfair competition particularly interesting - being a UK IP/IT lawyer this is something of an alien concept in IP for me.

When acting on behalf of amateur registrants I have been staggered to find that panellists continually find that the banners hosted on free ISP webspace are classed as use of the domain name "for commercial gain" (in which case, how many non-commercial sites can there be?).

Worse still is that protest sites are regarded as "in competition" with their targets merely because they aim to attract users who may initially be interested in the corporation in question. It seems to me that the requirement to be "in competition" was intended to be viewed narrowly, in order to stop foul play between competing corporations, rather than as presently applied.

Any precedents that can be cited against such submissions will be gratefully accepted.
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Re: Really good article by Froomkin on the UDRP
by hofjes on Tuesday October 02 2001, @04:36AM (#2676)
User #60 Info
How do you figure?
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