The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) — which allows a trademark owner to suspend certain domain names, especially those in the "new" gTLDs — was designed as a quicker and less-expensive alternative to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). As I've written frequently before, there are significant differences between the URS and the UDRP. One of those differences is how long a typical proceeding lasts.
Like the UDRP, the URS procedure and rules provide strict timelines for various stages of a case. But, unlike the UDRP, URS cases are usually resolved much more quickly — often in less than three weeks (although reviews and appeals may prolong the life of a URS proceeding).
Here's how a common URS case proceeds:
Step 1 (Filing of Complaint):
As with a UDRP complaint, a trademark owner has discretion in deciding when it wants to file a URS complaint. Nothing in the URS procedure or rules requires that a complaint be filed within a specified period of time, and — to my knowledge as of the date of this writing — no URS decision has addressed the issue of laches, that is, whether a URS complaint would be barred by an undue lapse of time between the trademark owner's discovery of the disputed domain name and the date on which it files a complaint.
Step 2 (Administrative Review):
The URS procedure requires that a dispute service provider conduct an "Administrative Review" within two business days of the date on which the complaint was submitted to the provider. (Currently, there are three URS service providers: the Forum, the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre and MFSD.) The procedure makes clear that this review is simply "to determine that the Complaint contains all of the necessary information."
Step 3 (Notice and Locking of Domain):
The URS service provider must immediately notify the registry operator after the service provider has completed the administrative review, and the registry operator is required to lock the disputed domain name within 24 hours. Then, within another 24 hours, the service provider must notify the registrant of the disputed domain name of the complaint, providing both electronic and hard copy notices.
Step 4 (Response):
A registrant has 14 days after notification to submit a response to a URS complaint. The URS provider may grant "a limited extension of time to respond" if there is a good faith basis for doing so." If the registrant does not submit a response, the proceeding is considered to be a "Default," which is relevant for purposes of a later possible "de novo review" or appeal (see below) and does not automatically result in a determination in favor of the complainant.
Step 5 (Determination):
Although supplemental filings are not uncommon in UDRP cases, a URS examiner "may not request further statements or documents from either of the Parties," and — to my knowledge as of the date of this writing — no URS examiner has considered a supplemental filing from any party, because doing so would complicate and delay what is supposed to be a simple and rapid process.
The examiner appointed to decide a URS case (and all URS cases have only a single examiner) is expected to issue his or her determination "on an expedited basis, with the stated goal that it be rendered within three (3) Business Days from when Examination began." Under "extraordinary circumstances," an examiner may not issue a determination until five days after the response was filed. If the determination was an order to suspend the disputed domain name, the the registry operator is required to do so "[i]mmediately upon receipt of the Determination" from the URS service provider.
The process outlined above may seem very straightforward and quick — and, in most cases, it is — but the URS provides multiple opportunities to extend the course of a URS proceeding. For example, among other things, a losing domain name registrant that did not submit a response during the 14-day period may "seek relief from Default via de novo review by filing a Response at any time up to six months after the date of the Notice of Default" — and is even "entitled to request an extension of an additional six months if the extension is requested before the expiration of the initial six-month period." Plus, either party can file an appeal within 14 days of a default or final determination.
In addition, a settlement could shorten or lengthen the course of a URS proceeding. For example, the Forum's supplemental rules allow the parties to "jointly request a stay for a one-time period of forty-five Calendar Days."
Written by Doug Isenberg, Attorney & Founder of The GigaLaw Firm
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Under a draft legislation approved by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee on Tuesday, national enforcement authorities would be required to have a set of powers to detect and halt online breaches of consumers' rights across the European Union.
— "The draft rules aim to close legal loopholes created by the fact that enforcement powers differ from one EU country to the next. Today, some enforcement authorities in the EU cannot prosecute traders for past infringements, such as misleading advertisements that were live for only a few hours or days. Nor are they able to track financial flows to identity those behind such breaches. Also, some authorities cannot take measures to take down websites containing scams pending the end of the investigation."
— "The draft rules would require EU member states' authorities to have a number of investigation and enforcement powers, e.g. to request information from domain registrars and banks to help them detect rogue traders, purchase, inspect and 'reverse engineer' goods or services as test purchases, including under a cover identity, and to order a hosting service provider to remove content, suspend or close down websites that host scams."
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I recently ran a workshop in Asia and to guide attendees through the content; I put together an overview slide which you might also find of interest and use.
It is a description of the quality attenuation framework, originally developed and defined by Predictable Network Solutions Ltd, and documented and extended by myself and colleagues at Just Right Networks Ltd. You can read more at qualityattenuation.science.
* * *
The telecoms industry is, I believe, overdue for a 'lean' revolution. This will change its working model from 'purpose-for-fitness' to 'fitness-for-purpose'. For networks, that means switching from 'build then reason about performance' to 'reason about performance and then build'.
The benefit of this business transformation is a radical lowering cost risk and cost, predictable experiences, and the ability to rapidly adapt to changing patterns of demand.
In order to deliver this benefit, there needs to be a management that executes on the new intent of 'going lean'. What to change, what to change to, and how to effect that change? Answering these means applying a system of scientific management that helps us focus on what is relevant, and ignore what is not.
These ideas of scientific management are well established in other industries (Six sigma, theory of constraints, Vanguard method, statistical process control), but appear to be novelty in telecommunications.
In order for these lean concepts to be applied, we need to overcome a series of technical constraints that we presently face. The technology innovations that will achieve this include high-fidelity measurements, new packet scheduling mechanisms, and new architectures to embed these into.
Turning those technologies into a working system for a particular product, customer or deployment is an act of engineering. True engineers have an ethos of taking responsibility of fitness-for-purpose, and any shortfall in fulfilling the promises made. This means turning a high-level customer intent into a technical requirement.
To understand whether there is a risk of under-delivery against the requirement you need to be able to model and quantify the 'performance hazards' via 'breach metrics'. This means reasoning about the performance of supply chains before they are assembled, and decomposing a 'performance budget' into a requirement for each element or supplier.
Turning that specific engineering requirement into an operational system, in turn, draws upon a general science of performance. This considers what resource supply will meet the resource demand. The nature of the resource constraint is timeliness (as if you can be made to wait forever, the tiniest capacity will suffice).
The contract between supply and demand is formed as a 'timeliness agreement', which can be enforced by observing how 'untimeliness' (packet loss and delay) accrues along the supply chain.
This 'untimeliness' is a reframing of the nature of quality: from an attribute of a 'positive' thing (quantity), to the absence of a negative thing (quality attenuation). There are three basic laws of networking (that don't appear in the textbooks) that describe this 'quality attenuation' phenomenon: it exists; is conserved; and can (partly) be traded between flows.
The amount of quality attenuation that is tolerable for any application to deliver an acceptable rate of performance failure defines its 'predictable region of operation'. This is the requirement of demand that is then expressed in a 'timeliness agreement' that contracts the required supply.
Underpinning this is a need to quantify the idea of quality attenuation. This involves extending the mathematics of randomness from 'events' (like rolling a dice) to include 'non-events' (the dice never lands). This allows packet loss to be included a single resource model as delay.
This is akin to how imaginary numbers extend real numbers, and how complex analysis underpins the physics of electromagnetism. Without expressions like '3i + 4' you can't model radio waves; without this new mathematics of ∆Q, you can't adequately model packet network performance.
The ∆Q metrics can be 'added' and 'subtracted', and this algebra is the basis of a new calculus that lets you ask 'what if?' questions. It can be used to quantify a layered model of reality (a 'morphism') that relates the user experience to the network service quality with known error bounds.
Written by Martin Geddes, Founder, Martin Geddes Consulting Ltd
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