Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Winning a .sucks UDRP complaint can still suck

A number of articles have recently been written about the exorbitant registration fees charged to trade mark owners who want to secure their trade mark in the .sucks new gTLD.

In these articles they do mention that it could be difficult to recover a domain name via the UDRP

based on freedom of speech and other similar rights that may afford the infringer a legitimate interest in the domain name or remove the bad faith element.

However, what has not been discussed is what happens should a trade mark owner be successful in a UDRP complaint?

After the appeal period has passed the .sucks domain name will be transferred to the trade mark owner who will then be responsible for the domain name and its renewal costs. If the domain name is on the Sunrise Premium list the trade mark owner would have to pay the $2000 or more (depending on the registrar) renewal fee to maintain the domain name.

The costs mentioned above will nullify the UDRP as a cost effective solution to trade mark owners to recover domain names that infringe its trade marks.

One of ICANN's intentions, behind the launch of the new gTLD programme, was to provide the online community with greater choice to expand their opportunities in a particular name space. The .sucks TLD aims are contrary to ICANN's vision by eliminating options for brand owners while creating an unnecessary avenue for "revenge registrations".

The only real winner is the .sucks registry who has generated free publicity (including this post) and a revenue stream that would make any mafia boss proud.

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