Rick Schwartz has ferociously been on the attack since getting hit with a UDRP on the domain name Saveme.com.
As I’m sure all of you have read by now, Rick registered the domain name Saveme.com in 1996 and now based on a domain name registered in 2010, SaveMe.com.br, owned by Márcio Mello Chaves, and Heitor Chaves filed a UDRP with WIPO to take the .com domain name away.
Of course its outrageous that someone can register a ccTLD 15 years after the .com is registered and try to take to the .com.
Yet outrageous decisions happen in UDRP world, Paul Keating in recent guest posts on TheDomains.com highlighted two such cases recently and you can read about them here and here which led Phil Corwin of the ICA to send a letter to ICANN demanding an investigation into the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) and there handling of UDRP cases.
As outrageous as UDRP decisions are, we already know that Trademark groups are fighting to expand the Uniform Resolution System, one in which if place could have been used by the SaveMe.com.br, folks.
Under the URS, Rick would only get a chance to file a 300 word response, no right to a three member panel, and would only have cost $300-$500 to file not the $4K the owners of SaveMe.com.br paid to bring this action. Yesterday at ICANN Phil Corwin again representing domain holders interest took issue with the ICANN board on the whole URS issue.
Phil Corwin has over the last few years been a literally a one man army fighting a huge army of trademark interests, as well as congressional members in favor of such bills as SOPA and PIPA.
Phil has represents domain holders at ICANN, in Congress, through lobbying efforts and most recently as an a often cited writer on issues of dire importance to domain name holders.
Actually Phil is only one to fight for domain holders interest in Congress and at ICANN.
As the domain industry is growing the world is finding out that domains are very valuable.
The new gTLD program regardless on your opinion on its success, its shinning a light on the industry like never before.
Trademark holders were out in force at ICANN from Verizon to Google to Fairwinds, the leader of CADNA, and many, many more.
We had one representative Phil Corwin of the ICA.
As I previously wrote, Law enforcement was also at ICANN with a strong show of force, with the FBI, Homeland Security, ICE, Interpol and the rest meeting together, pressuring ICANN to make registrars gather more information on its customers which will led to every domain holder paying more money to register a domain. There presence was also a great reminder that without SOPA or PIPA they can, and have seized domain names, without notice to the domain holder and certainly prior to the domain holder having a chance to defend themselves.
So while we are that Rick’s case is outrageous its only one case.
If Rick wins his case and the Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) claim as he should, the case will not set any real precedent as the UDRP panels by their own rules, don’t have to follow any previous decisions, unlike US courts. The .Br holder will have a RDNH ruling against them, which carries no consequences.
On the other hand, if the UDRP panel comes to another outrageous decision and hands the domain over, then Rick will file a case with a federal court, however the UDRP loss with stay on the record books.
You see under current rules you can’t “appeal” a UDRP. All you can do is file a federal lawsuit stopping the transfer and have the case heard in the courts.
So even if you win the federal case, the UDRP still stands.
Get 3 losses, whether you win the appeal or not (with any 1 within the last 4 years) and Rick or any domain holder would be barred from applying for a new gTLD.
The .Br holder can bring 100 UDRP in which they are shown to be engaging in RDNH and they can still apply to operate a new gTLD.
It’s the UDRP that need reform.
It’s not this case that’s going to get it changed.
The only chance we have as a domain community to come together and demand UDRP reform it and the only guy that’s going to represent domain holders in that process is Phil Corwin of the ICA.
That’s why I give them $10K a year.
That’s why every domainer should give them some amount every year too.
Including Mr. Schwartz.