Last month, ICANN announced that its Board had approved changes to the Rules for the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“Rules”) providing for electronic filing of UDRP documents. Under the modified Rules, electronic filing will become mandatory effective March 1, 2010.
Both the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) and the National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”) were quick to implement the paperless filings. WIPO began accepting paperless filings on December 14, 2009. The WIPO eUDRP procedures are explained in its new Supplemental Rules, Model Complaint and Filing Guidelines.
Similarly, the NAF began accepting paperless filings on December 29, 2009. The NAF has an opt-in form for parties to elect to participate in its paperless filing program prior to the mandatory eUDRP launch this coming March. NAF’s procedures are explained in its new Supplemental Rules, and it has prepared a new transmittal sheet for use in commencing a paperless proceeding.
Overall, the change to eUDRP is likely to be seen as a welcome improvement. In addition to being greener, eUDRP may further streamline resolution of UDRP proceedings. In fact, WIPO recently announced that its first eUDRP proceeding was resolved in just 37 days, and that user reactions to the new paperless procedures have been “highly positive.” We welcome comments on your experiences using the new eUDRP procedures.