Arab provider seeks fifth UDRP spot


Public comments have opened on a revised bid by an Arabic dispute-resolution provider to act as the fifth Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) operator.

The comment period, which closes on March 22, 2013, allows anyone to file an online response to the application by the Arab Center for Domain Name Dispute Resolution (ACDR), based in Jordan.

In September 2010 the ACDR applied to operate the UDRP, which resolves cybersquatting complaints, and has now submitted a revised proposal based on initial public comments.

The ACDR, a joint venture between two Arabic IP institutes, says it has “vast” experience in resolving IP disputes but wants to extend its services to domain names. According to its application, the Center would administer UDRP cases in Arabic, English and French.

For one panellist to resolve a dispute, the ACDR would charge $1,500, which is the same price listed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, the leading UDRP provider. There are three other providers – in the US, the Czech Republic and Asia, where the local operator has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur.

The ACDR says it has signed up at least 33 prospective panellists, including French IP lawyer Nathalie Dreyfus, who works for the three other UDRP providers.

According to its revised application, the ACDR will initially handle a maximum of 50 disputes per month, rather than 5,000 cases, which its previous application stated. This change was based on suggestions from the first public comment period, which opened in September 2010.

At the time, the IP Constituency (IPC) largely backed the ACDR’s application but recommended its approval only if the Center made some amendments – including removing an additional $200 fee allowing parties to extend a deadline in a UDRP case. At the very least, only respondents in cases should pay these fees, the IPC said.

The revised bid has reduced the additional fee to $100 but does not state that such a charge would apply only to respondents.

A second IPC concern in 2010 was that the ACDR didn’t fully understand the UDRP policy, given that its application cited the need to move to an online filing system, despite there being mandatory requirements, in place since March 2010, to file disputes only via the Internet.

Despite this change, the ACDR has again provided a statement citing the need to switch from paper to online filing: “We acknowledge that there is a requirement for the exchange of paper pleadings, but [it] is one of the obstacles that hinder[s] the achievement of expedited UDRP.”

After the public comment period closes later this month, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which can approve the ACDR’s request, will analyse comments before choosing whether to recommend the bid to the ICANN board. 

This article was first published on 05 March 2013 in World IP Review

acdr, udrp, icann, cybersquatting, public comments, wipo

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