ICANN’s cybersquatting rules, including the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy, will be reviewed and possibly reformed, but probably not until 2016 at the earliest.
The Generic Names Supporting Organization Council voted last Thursday to put the start of UDRP reform on hold until 18 months after the first new top-level domains go live.
The review will also take into account other cybersquatting policies including Uniform Rapid Suspension, which will be binding on all new gTLD registries but has yet to be be tested.
This is the relevant part of the resolution:
the GNSO Council requests a new Issue Report on the current state of all rights protection mechanisms implemented for both existing and new gTLDs, including but not limited to, the UDRP and URS, should be delivered to the GNSO Council by no later than eighteen (18) months following the delegation of the first new gTLD.
An Issue Report is compiled by ICANN staff and often leads to a Policy Development Process that creates policies binding on registries, registrars and ultimately registrants.
Because the first new gTLDs are not expected to be delegated until the first quarter of 2013 at the earliest, the Issue Report would not be delivered until half way through 2014.
After ICANN public comment and analysis, the GNSO Council would be unlikely to kick off a PDP until the first half of 2015. The PDP itself could take months or years to complete.
In short, if UDRP is going to be reformed, we’re unlikely to see the results until 2016.
Non-commercial users in the GNSO were most strongly in favor of an accelerated timetable, but a request to reduce the 18-month breather to a year failed to find support.
The Intellectual Property Constituency had proposed an amendment that would have kicked off the process after 100 UDRP and 100 URS cases had been heard in new gTLDs, rather than after a specified time, but the motion was defeated.