The Icann Domain Name Dispute Resolution System as a Model for Resolving Other Intellectual Property Disputes on the Internet*
16 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2002
Date Written: January 2002
This article provides a introductory consideration of the extent to which the domain name dispute resolution system of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") - which implements and enforces the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP") - provides a useful model for the resolution of other intellectual property disputes that arise through the use of the Internet. It starts with a brief description of the development and implementation of the UDRP, and of the experience since its adoption by ICANN. The article then proceeds to explain the reasons for the effectiveness of the ICANN domain name dispute resolution system, and the key actors and entities that comprise that system. The conceptual equivalent of those actors and entities in a generalized regulated technical infrastructure are then determined by extrapolation.
The reasons for the effectiveness of the ICANN system - the uniform application of the UDRP to all potential transgressors, and the automatic execution of an effective remedy against proven transgressors - are discussed as well as how this remedy can have the secondary effect of the removal of the transgressor's presence on the Internet under the domain name in issue. There is no reason why, as a matter of practical necessity, the availability of this remedy need be limited to the type of conduct currently prohibited in the UDRP - i.e. bad faith registration and use of a domain name that is the same or confusingly similar to another person's trademark or service mark. It is conceivable that other conduct which infringes on the rights of an intellectual property owner could be treated as giving rise to such a remedy. Accordingly, the ICANN domain name dispute resolution system does, in theory at least, have the potential to provide a model for the resolution of disputes concerning misuse on the Internet of other intellectual property.
JEL Classification: K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation