ICANN has issued an open call for dispute resolution providers interested in running its Uniform Rapid Suspension system.
In a request for information published last night, ICANN says it expects to pick a provider or providers by February 28, 2013.
If you’re not already running a dispute resolution service at scale there seems to be little point in applying. The RFI states that respondents must, at a minimum:
Have a track record in competently handling clerical aspects of Alternative Dispute Resolution or UDRP proceedings
Have a team of globally diverse and highly qualified neutrals, with experience handling UDRP or similar complaints, to serve as panelists.
With that in mind, will the RFI help sort out the problems with the URS?
What ICANN needs right now is a provider happy to administer proceedings for $300 to $500 per case.
ICANN has already asked WIPO and the National Arbitration Forum for their pricing expectations and neither apparently thinks they can do it much cheaper than UDRP. Hence the RFI.
Could the Czech Arbitration Court be in with a shot?
CAC already has UDRP experience and a stable of trademark experts on hand, and some say its level of automation is superior to — and presumably more cost-efficient than — both WIPO and NAF.