As you know the comment period on the IRT committee recommendations to ICANN, which included the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) ended yesterday and from the comments of trademark holders, they are not perfectly happy with the URS either.
In reviewing the comments of many of the trade groups and trademark holders I saw a consistent message; the URS is not tough enough or cheap enough.
You know our thoughts on the URS (our comment is posted here, if you haven’t read it, the ICA comment are posted here, Telepathy’s very good comment are here, Paul Keating has an alternative proposal which you read here, and you should read the IP Justice group comments.
CADNA says in their comments that the domains in a URS action should be permanently suspended. (under the URS they are suspended until deleted after expiration).
Moreover CADNA says that the domain holder should have to reimburse complainants “The URS should also include provisions that shift the burden of payment or the dispute process to the infringer”. However I did not see a statement in their comment where they say that an losing complainant should pay the domain holders expenses.
Likewise Verizon in its comments states, that the URS is not tough enough because it “does not transfer the domain back to the trademark holder”.
Verizon also believes the proposed system is not fast enough: “Unfortunately as now proposed the URS cannot be consider Rapid”.
To Verizon credit they do say the URS must be more balanced and suggests that the URS should adopt “a loser pays” fees policy to protect registrants and trademark holders from abuse.
The BBC is worried about the $250 fee and how much of the $250, it can get back if they win most of the domains in a multi-domain complaint:
“”With regard to the proposed partial “loser pays” system for disputes in excess of 25 domain names, this seems reasonable, but we believe that this may be administratively burdensome and the costs of operating this system may outweigh the sums of money being refunded. In the example given by the IRT in note 34, of 100 domain names where 98 are found to be abusive the complainant would pay a fee of $250, of which $245 would be refunded. The respondent would also pay a fee of $250, of which $5 would be refunded. The administrative costs of this $5 refund must surely exceed the sum itself. We suggest that if anything in excess of 75% of the domain names are found to be abusive the complainant receives a full refund, but if fewer than this, the refund be prorated between the parties””
Your reading it right the BBC is concerned that it will not gets its fair share of $25o back along with 75 domains.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) thinks the 3 strikes and your out for a year, rule is too harsh on trademark holders.
As you know the ONLY penalty currently in the URS proposal to curb abusive claims against domain holders is that any party shown to have filed 3 such absuive complaints in a year would be barred from filing another URS complaint for a year (but could still file all the UDRP’s they want within that year period).
However the IOC calls this policy “Draconian” and unfair to trademark holders.
Time Warner, say “ICANN goal should be to discourage bad actors, including through the risk of financial penalties”. They also want a “heighten scrutiny of Good Faith assertions of registrants” and additional penalties on registrants that assert good faith that are dismissed by the hearing officer”.
Time Warner also wants not just trademark holders to qualify for protection but anyone who has filed for a trademark. Finally Time Warner wants these rules to apply to all existing extension not just the new gTLD’s.
So while domainers commented on the harshness of this proposed rules, it is clear trademark holder do not think they go far enough.
The only point that both domainers and trademark holders, in large agree to, is that the new gTLD’s are not needed, not wanted and should not be approved.