The Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) is launching its Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) service on 12 January 2009 by running two initiatives designed to streamline the process and to save complainants and respondents both time and money. The CAC’s UDRP Service is available at udrp.adr.eu .
In January 2008 ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers, approved the CAC application to become an international provider of UDRP services. CAC has then undertaken a 10 month consultation of intellectual property owners and the legal representatives of both complainants and respondents.
The UDRP features an expedited procedure that is mandatory upon all registrants of generic Top Level Domains including .com, .org, .net, .biz, .info and .mobi. It is designed to settle disputes arising from the abusive registration of domain names.
The foundation of CAC’s UDRP service is a unique electronic platform that could revolutionise the process of filing a complaint. This platform will incorporate the results of two test projects using trial data that have been running across five continents during December 2008 featuring:
- Electronic filing of documents supported by hard-copy signature (partial electronic filing)
- Full electronic UDRP, or e-Filing, with users authenticating their documents with a unique Chess Card
After the tests, a formal Pilot Programme, open to all interested parties who can file complaints using Partial or full e-filing will run from January – March 2009. The results of the Pilot will be presented to ICANN for consideration.
Zbynek Loebl, head of the UDRP Implementation Team for the CAC which is a non-profit organisation based in Prague, said, “Our aim is to lessen the burden on both complainants and respondents by utilising the functionality of the internet. The preparation of a UDRP complaint or response is cumbersome and time-consuming. Currently at least four copies must be prepared and sent out by registered courier. We believe that e-filing will reduce the administrative burden and cut costs without compromising security. We are grateful to ICANN for being open to our aim and we are pleased that other UDRP providers are considering the benefits of e-filing”.
An additional innovative feature of the CAC’s UDRP service is the option for Class Complaints with the filing of a single complaint on behalf of multiple complainants. Vit Horacek, CAC’s Board member responsible for the UDRP implementation said, “We believe that the option of a Class Complaint could be very attractive to trade mark owners who wish to tackle serial cybersquatters who focus on a business sector”.
The CAC is glad to announce that persons who file the first three UDRP complaints on the CAC’s on-line platform (starting on 12 January 2009 at udrp.adr.eu) will be awarded electronic-only gold, silver and bronze medals respectively, accompanied by small hard-copy gifts.
- About the Czech Arbitration Court: The CAC is a non-profit organisation based in Prague, attached to the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic and Agricultural Chamber of the Czech Republic. Established in 1949, CAC manages domestic and international commercial disputes related to IP and technology matters. In 2007, CAC administered over 2,000 arbitration proceedings. Since 2005, the CAC has administered almost 1,000 .eu ADR cases for EURid, the registry operator for .eu and the European Commission. Proceedings are managed in 21 of the 23 official EU languages (the exception being Irish and Maltese) using an innovative on-line platform.
- About the Electronic filing of documents supported by hard-copy signature: A filing Party – either a Complainant or Respondent - who has filed a submission using CAC’s on-line platform, will be sent a hard-copy Signature Page listing all their documents. The Filing Party confirms on this Signature Page that documents locked in the on-line case file are correct then prints the number of copies of the Signature Page prescribed by the UDRP Rules, signs and returns it to CAC‘s Service Center. Finally, the Service Center prints the whole submission and delivers it to the CAC.
- About Electronic UDRP: Complainants and Respondents can submit filings using a simple and secure electronic platform without the use of paper. In order to verify the authenticity of documents, users will be issued with a unique CHESS CARD.
- About Class Complaints: A single person representing multiple Complainants may file a single (Class) Complaint against a single domain name holder in respect of multiple disputed domain names. This new procedural option is governed by Section 4 (a) of the CAC’s UDRP Supplemental Rules, which requires the following conditions to be met:
- The Class Complaint is based on legal arguments applicable equally, or substantially in the same manner, to all the disputed domain names;
- the person representing the different Complainants joined in the Class Complaint must provide evidence that it he is authorised to act on behalf of each of the Complainants.
- Picture editors: An image of the CHESS CARD is provided below: