The Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) has long offered the least expensive (by far) filing fees for complaints under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), but its fee are about to become more expensive, at least in most cases.
CAC's base UDRP filing fee (for a dispute involving up to five domain names and a single-member panel) will increase on February 1, 2018, from 500 euros to 800 euros. As of this writing, that's equivalent to about U.S. $600.
"This fee schedule reflects more the actual costs and time spent on the proceedings," according to a statement on the CAC website.
While the increase is significant -- 60% -- it's still the cheapest among all five of the UDRP service providers, whose base fees are shown here (in U.S. dollars):
- WIPO: $1,500
- ACDR: $1,500
- The Forum: $1,300
- ADNDRC: $1,300
- CAC: $600 (approx.)
Fees at all of the UDRP providers increase as the number of disputed domain names increase, as well as if a three-member (instead of single-member) panel is selected by the Complainant or Respondent.
However, CAC is the only UDRP provider that has two fee schedules depending upon the complexity of the proceeding and whether a response is filed. The 800 euro filing fee at CAC is described as an "initial" fee. An "additional" fee will continue to apply if a response is filed or if "the Panel determines that it is appropriate for the Complainant to pay the Additional UDRP Fees, having regard to the complexity of the proceeding."
Interestingly, while the initial fee is increasing from 500 euros to 800 euros, the additional fee is decreasing (as of February 1, 2018) from 800 euros to 300 euros.
Therefore, the combined initial and additional fees for a base UDRP case at CAC will decrease from 1,300 euros to 1,100 euros. However, I believe that few cases historically have been required to pay an additional fee, so -- if that practice continues -- most complainants at CAC will be subject to a higher (initial-only) fee.
CAC's low filing fees have been attractive to some trademark owners, with about 240 decisions in 2017. Still, WIPO and the Forum remain the most popular UDRP providers, handling thousands of cases each year.
Of course, filing fees are just one factor to consider when choosing a UDRP service provider.