Domain Arbitration Cases Tilt Too Far Towards Trademark Owners

from the more-obviousness dept

It’s been talked about for quite some time now that domain name arbitration cases tend to side with the “big company” over the small guy, leading to many questionable results. One domain resolution company actually dropped out of the process last year to protest what they thought were unfair rulings. Now, a study has been done which says that, while the arbitration process does have some good features, overall it gives too much power to the trademark holders (NY Times link). It lets big companies bully small companies or individuals into handing over domains that aren’t really infringing on trademarks. Of course, the article doesn’t really talk about why the system encourages this: since the companies bringing the case up in the first place get to pick which arbitration company it goes to – they’re purposely picking the ones who have shown to consistently side with the trademark holder, thus creating a sort of “natural selection” process that brings those arbitration organizations to the top of the list.

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