As DomainNameWire.com just reminded me I have noted in past UDRP decisions that panels have been reluctant to allow domain holders to recoup ownership of their domain name through the UDRP process.
But in the case Andrew wrote about today, as he pointed out a UDRP panel did just that allow a allegedly stolen domain to be returned to the former owner via the UDRP process.
I have stated that there should be some process by which the victim of a stolen domain should be able to recover it as cheaply and quickly as a UDRP allows a “trademark holder” to recover a domain name that “infringing” on their “trademark”, but attorneys in the domain industry have warned against the use of a UDRP like system for such a purpose.
You may notice the use of quotes around the term infringing and trademark as UDRP panels have found a “trademark” where none were registered and “infringement” which can’t occur if a trademark doesn’t exist.
Whether the domain name at issue is a three letter.com or a 15 letter .org, UDRP is either the proper forum to recover a stolen domain or its not.
So rather than myself and Andrew battling it out, maybe one of the WIPO representative’s and NAF representative’s should make a decision which will bind all panels in the future, whether the UDRP is the proper mechanism for returning an allegedly stolen domain to the former owner and if so under what exact circumstance.
Domain name owner deserve to know.
I’m fine with ever way the heads of those organizations what to call it, but inconsistent decisions are not acceptable.
Either a UDRP is the proper method to recover a stolen domain or its not.
It shouldn’t change with the wind or the panelist
If WIPO and the NAF can’t even agree on how to consistently handle the simplest of complaints, the stolen domain, what hope do the rest of us have in getting consistent decisions where the issues are much more complicated.