Pandora's Box is Finally Opened: The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Process and Arbitration
September 18, 2008
International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2005
This article aims to discuss the issue of whether the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) endorsed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an arbitral process according to the principles of the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. For this purpose, this article will first establish the true meaning of arbitration, moving on to illustrate how it has been incorporated with the introduction of the Internet and, specifically, the interaction between Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms. Furthermore, this article will demonstrate how ICANN has used arbitration and ADR methods to deal with the conflict between trademarks and domain names; for this purpose, a short history of the UDRP will be mentioned and the Policy will be later compared to conventional arbitration in order to prove that the UDRP is not an arbitral process, at least according to the way arbitration is conceived. Finally, this paper will illustrate that ICANN's Policy has created a whole new process for deciding domain name disputes that has a rather ambiguous nature.
Keywords: ICANN, UDRP, New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, trademarks, domain names, ODR, ADR
Date posted: September 18, 2008 ; Last revised: April 11, 2015