NAF to End the Last Shot Rule
Date: Thursday October 11 2001, @05:09PM
Topic: Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

grumpy writes "As spotted on Michael Geist's Internet Law News... our pals at the National Arbitration Forum have adopted a new set of supplemental rules. The new rules take effect Monday, October 15. My quick review of a redline shows various typographical fixes, but only one major change... to everyone's favorite target - Supplemental Rule 7."

The old Rule 7 allowed either party to submit a supplemental statement (reply) to the Panel within five business days after the response was submitted (or due to be submitted). Rightfully, many critics saw this as a free shot for complainants to attack responses, knowing that the domain name registrant wouldn't have sufficient time to get in its own supplemental response (sur-reply).

The new Rule 7 makes two changes. First, it limits the supplemental period to five calendar days instead of business days. Second, it allows the non-filing party five days from the date on which a supplemental filing was made to make its own supplemental filing.

I'm not sure if this really helps; five days isn't much time to receive and respond to anything in a UDRP proceeding. The new rule also opens the door to an endless stream of replies and sur-replies, since each new filing opens another five-day window. At the same time, NAF has eliminated the blatant "last shot" for complainants, potentially side-stepping the question of whether supplemental filings are permitted under the UDRP in the first place.

Other substantive changes include refunds to respondents requesting a three-member panel (Supp. Rule 9[e]) and creation of prejudicial effect depending on when a complaint is withdrawn (Supp. Rule 12). Of course, what good is the prejudicial effect of a withdrawn NAF complaint when complainant walks across the street to WIPO?

- Grumpy

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