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Getting the most of out of the FORUM’s Decision Search

By Kristine Dorrain
Domain Name decisions contain valuable information about the arguments and reasoning used in UDRP and URS cases. In this article you will find practical tips to conducting efficient and effective searches. There are two primary ways to access the Forum’s UDRP and URS and other publicly available decisions and determinations (for this article, we will use the all-encompassing term “decision”). The first is to subscribe to, and read, our daily email listing the decisions that were issued in the preceding 24 hours. The email feed is efficient because you can skim party names, domain names, and outcomes and click on only the cases that interest you. If you want to study a decision further, you can simply click on the link in the email. However, if you later wish to find a decision, you will need to use the Forum’s search tool to locate the full document. Decision Search can be used to access every public domain name decision made by all Forum panelists; this feature is found at www.adrforum.com/SearchDecisions.

Search criteria

There are two ways to search. At the top of the page are fields you can search by entering the relevant criteria. A case number search is the fastest, most precise way to search if you know exactly which case you need. Similarly, if you know the domain name, you can enter that in the domain field. You can also enter part of a domain name, for instance, a brand name, and get all cases containing that string in the domain name.

Many people like to use the arbitrator name field to search for decisions made by a particular panelist. This can be helpful if you’re trying to choose panelists for a three member panel. One of the most interesting searches is by “status.” One of the best ways to win a UDRP or URS case (regardless of your side!) is to know what others have done when they have not prevailed. Many people like to read and learn from the cases where complainants were unsuccessful, and these can be found by selecting “claim denied.” It is also possible to mix and match the searches. For example, one could find all cases where a particular arbitrator decided to order transfer.

If you are interested in viewing only the newest cases involving the new top level domains, you can check the “at least one gTLD” box and only results with at least one new gTLD in the case will appear.

The broadest way to search all fields is to enter information into the “Full Text Search” field. Very specific terms are likely to produce limited or no results and very general terms can produce a prohibitively long list of results. A cautionary note: The search will fail if the terms are too generic and the tool will disregard common words like “and” and “or”, creating a problem when searching for cases related to bad faith registration and use. The full text search tool is a good way to check on the frequency of internal citations, similar to Westlaw’s “KeyCite” or Lexis Nexis’ “Shepardize.” If you want to view cases citing a particular case, you can enter part of the citation and retrieve all the cases referencing that citation. This is particularly useful when you know there are old cases that stand for your proposition, but you want to find newer cases that say the same thing; the newer cases likely cited the old cases as persuasive.

One way to get the most of the full text search is to combine it with the topical search index.

Search by Topic

Below the search fields is a topical search index. The index starts at a very high level with categories that apply to virtually all cases, and then drills down into smaller and smaller categories of cases. Users can click on all categories that are relevant to a search. Multiple ticked boxes functions as an “and” search, further limiting search results. Users can also combine searches. One effective way to do this is to limit the field of searchable decisions using the index and then adding a full text search or a status search. Utilizing both search tools enables the user to amplify the search experience and return a more manageable list of relevant results.

The decisions are indexed primarily by panelists as they are uploading their decisions to our case management system. The panelists are prompted to index their decision immediately while the case is fresh in their mind. One of the benefits to this approach is that the people who studied the pleadings and thought about the matter are deciding which topics the case touched on. One drawback is that different panelists might approach the index differently, making the indexing slightly inconsistent. The Forum utilizes law student interns to index older decisions making the database as thorough and relevant as possible. To ensure the information is current, the index is unlikely to have any UDRP cases decided before 2010 included. We welcome feedback on this tool, including suggestions for improvement. Please send your ideas to domaindispute@adrforum.com.

Patent Arbitration: It Still Makes Good Sense

By Peter L. Michaelson
“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” So it is with patent arbitration. Dire predictions have recently been made by commentators pondering the future of patent arbitration in light of the new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) post-grant trial proceedings (post-grant review (PGR) and inter partes review (IPR)) implemented by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). Contrary to those views, patent arbitration is still very much alive, widely used, and, where employed in appropriate situations and structured properly, will likely see increasing use. This article first considers post-grant proceedings as being complementary to patent arbitration and then discusses how arbitration can be structured to be an effective litigation alternative for resolving patent-related disputes. [...] Read or download the entire article here.

Peter L. Michaelson, an attorney/arbitrator/mediator with Michaelson ADR Chambers in New York City and Rumson, New Jersey, primarily handles domestic and international IP (particularly patent), IT, technical, and technology-related disputes and is a fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, and a fellow and chartered arbitrator of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Chair of its New York Branch. He may be reached at pete@plmadr.com.

Forum Domain Name Filings Hold Steady While Portfolio of Products Expands Under Updated Brand

MINNEAPOLIS, September 11, 2015 – http://www.adrforum.com/domains

In 2014, Forum's UDRP-related filings surpassed a total of 23,000 cases since Forum accepted its first case in 1999. Forum handled a total of 1,836 disputes in 2014, 1,557 under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP") and 218 under the Uniform Rapid Suspension System ("URS"). Another 54 cases were handled under the .usTLD dispute resolution policy, 1 case was heard under the .usRS (the version of the URS adopted by the .usTLD), 4 cases were heard under CentralNic's Dispute Resolution Policy for third level domain names, and 2 cases were heard under the Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy, utilized by disputing Registrars.

Of the UDRP cases, there were 3,174 total domain names at issue; 259 UDRP cases involved 311 domain names registered in new gTLDs (generic top level domains). In 2014, the largest complaint contained 94 domain names. In 1,046 cases the respondent did not submit a formal response and 1,274 of cases went to a single member panel, and complainants prevailed 92% of the time, up from a Forum average of 88%. Where respondents did respond, the success rate in having the complaint denied was 46%.

For the 218 URS cases, there were 247 total domain names at issue and, of the cases that received a Determination in 2014, 195 of the domain names were suspended for being in violation of trademark registrations worldwide. In 2014, the shortest time to Determination was 8 days from filing. No URS cases were filed for more than 15 domain names and no responses came in after the 30 day "late response" window.

Forum Innovation and Value
"Forum has been working with several new top level domains to help them bring innovative new dispute resolution options to the new gTLD system," said Kristine Dorrain, Forum's Director of Arbitration. "These new gTLD registries are showing an awareness of infringement and the types of disputes that can arise in the domain name industry and are working to provide mechanisms for identifying, preventing, and solving problems." Information on these new policies can be found on the Forum website, which has just been recently updated and redesigned.

Forum distinguishes itself from its competition in several key areas: technology, speed, and price. With innovative and easy-to-use technology in its online filing and response systems and case management portal, users are able to quickly file documents and manage all of their cases. Forum is able to process cases quickly and accurately and the average time from commencement to decision for UDRP cases is 36 days, with many cases concluding in less than 30 days. URS cases typically conclude in 12-18 days, but several 2013 cases concluded on the same day they were filed, resulting in immediate suspensions for the affected domain names. Filing fees are competitive, with UDRP complaints starting at $1,300 and URS complaints starting at $375.

In 2015, Forum has streamlined—dropping the "National Arbitration" portion of its name—and adopted an updated logo reflecting its technology, value, and experience. The new logo emphasizes all aspects of Forum's dispute resolution services, including mediation and national and international arbitration. The redesigned website features easier navigation, better URLs, and an all–new Code of Procedure for general business-to-business arbitration and mediation. The website also offers interactive technology including a fee comparison tool for business-to-business arbitration claims and an innovative Clause Generator to help lawyers draft arbitration agreements.

Forum Quality
UDRP and URS cases filed with Forum are heard and decided by dispute resolution panelists who specialize in domain name, trademark, copyright, and/or e-commerce law. Panelists are located around the world and can conduct proceedings in a very large number of different languages. A total of 77 Panelists located around the world heard and decided UDRP cases, while 44 Panelists heard and decided 218 URS cases where Respondents had been served in 23 different languages.

To file a domain name complaint access Forum's online filing page at http://www.adrforum.com/domains or email domaindispute@adrforum.com. Forum is also available to provide additional dispute resolution policies for new gTLD registries, such as for registries that have specialized registration requirements or want to protect personal names, for a moderate fee. Please contact tldprograms@adrforum.com for more information.

About Forum
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, Forum is an approved provider of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Since 1999, more than 23,000 domain name disputes worldwide have been filed through Forum's state-of-the-art case management system. For more information, visit http://www.adrforum.com/domains.