Trademark owners looking to file a complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP) now have another provider where they can submit their disputes: the Canadian International Internet Resolution Centre (CIIDRC).
The CIIDRC — which notes that it is only the second UDRP provider in the Western Hemisphere and the first in Canada — joins five other providers approved by ICANN: the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva; the Forum in Minneapolis (USA); the Czech Arbitration Court in Prague; the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Beijing, and Hong Kong; and the Arab Center for Dispute Resolution in Amman.
As I wrote last year when CIIDRC filed its application with ICANN, the center is a division of the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre (BCICAC), which, since 2002, has provided dispute resolution services for the .ca country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) under the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s Dispute Resolution Policy (CDRP).
I’ve had the privilege of serving as a domain name panelist at BCICAC for many years and am on the roster of CIIDRC’s 29 initial UDRP panelists.
Because all UDRP service providers apply the same policy, it will be interesting to see whether trademark owners find CIIDRC to be an attractive alternative. According to data presented at the recent WIPO conference on the UDRP that I attended in Geneva, WIPO has handled about 57 percent of all UDRP cases since the policy went into effect 20 years ago, while the Forum has handled about 38 percent. In other words, the remaining UDRP providers have handled only about 5 percent of the cases.
In a press release, CIIDRC’s managing director, Barry Penner, distinguished the new provider by noting that it has “developed a leading edge, online interactive platform.” The CIIDRC website allows parties to prepare and submit filings via a web-based form system.
In addition, CIIDRC’s supplemental rules offer what appears to be a unique two-tiered fee structure, with an “initial fixed fee” that may be refunded if a complaint is withdrawn, somewhat similar to WIPO’s practice of issuing refunds in the case of withdrawals or settlements.