Watch INTA Members in a Mock Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy Argument

Published: September 15, 2021

In an industry first, trademark and domain lawyers and Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) panelists will conduct a fictional UDRP hearing inspired by real-world facts.

INTA and the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) are co-hosting the mock hearing as part of the NamesCon virtual event series. Each side will present oral arguments and the panel will decide the case on September 24. ICA is an advocacy organization advancing the interests of domain name owners and related service providers. NamesCon brings technology, intellectual property (IP), and commerce together to fuel investment and innovation in the domain name industry.

The UDRP mock argument highlights the importance of the UDRP to trademark owners and the domain name system generally. Many INTA members are engaged in NamesCon because of the importance of IP to the domain industry and the growing concerns over domain name abuse and cybersecurity.

As the domaining industry matures and the buying and selling of purely digital assets moves further toward the mainstream, INTA members have an important role to play. The value of a domain name is intimately tied to identity and brand, and the health of the industry improves when all parties more fully understand that dynamic.

At this event, young practitioners and veterans alike will gain valuable insights in how to properly prepare a UDRP. While domain name disputes are normally argued on paper, the oral argument is a fun twist to illustrate the process.

“We are in for a real treat. For the first time ever, we get to see a UDRP hearing in action,” said Zak Muscovitch (Muscovitch Law PC, Canada), an INTA member and ICA general counsel. “This will not only be entertaining but educational. INTA and the ICA have put together a ‘dream team’ of UDRP practitioners and panelists. I am very pleased that INTA and the ICA have come together to showcase the UDRP and to demonstrate how it works.”

INTA members involved as panelists include INTA Board Member Francine Tan (Francine Tan Law Corporation, Singapore) and Steven Levy (Fairwinds Partners, USA). The third panelist will be Gerald M. Levine, a noted expert in domain name arbitration. Complainant’s attorney is Georges Nahitchevansky (Kilpatrick Stockton, USA). Respondent’s attorney is Karen Bernstein (Bernstein IP, USA).

The UDRP has served as a valuable trademark alternative dispute mechanism for more than 20 years. It is an excellent example of parties with multiple interests coming together to form a global solution to address instances of cybersquatting that have mushroomed with the growth of the Internet. Formed under the auspices of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the UDRP has evolved into a reliable, relatively low cost means for resolving domain name disputes. The UDRP is scheduled for review under ICANN’s bylaws, and INTA will be deeply engaged in the discussions to preserve the benefits and, possibly, improve this critical enforcement tool.

For information on how to access the mock trial event, please contact Lori Schulman, Senior Director of Internet Policy.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2021 International Trademark Association