The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is known as an inexpensive alternative to litigation (and that's true), but some proceedings can end up costing a trademark owner more than it may have expected.
Despite the launch of more than 1,200 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in recent years, .com remains -- far and away -- the top-level domain that appears most frequently in decisions under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). But, some new gTLDs are attracting more disputes, including .site, which has become the new gTLD that, so far this year, has appeared in the most UDRP decisions.
Searching decisions under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is important -- for evaluating the merits of a potential case and also, of course, for citing precedent when drafting documents (such as a complaint and a response) in an actual case. But, searching UDRP decisions is not always an easy task.
While having a backup plan is usually a good idea, it's often not an effective way to obtain someone else's domain name -- at least not when Plan B consists of a company filing a UDRP complaint with the hope of getting a domain name to which it is not entitled and could not acquire via a negotiated purchase.
The UDRP has never required that a complainant own any trademark registrations to succeed in a domain name dispute, given that common law trademark rights (if properly established) are sufficient. But, as a pair of recent UDRP decisions reminds us, even some registrations are insufficient, such as those on the "Supplemental Register" at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).