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Recent Case Notes & Commentary

Consent to Transfer of Domain Name

In that case, the Respondent had not replied to at least two cease and desist letters from the Complainant’s lawyers. However, it did file a Response in which it consented to the transfer, without admitting the Complainant’s allegations.

Interestingly, the Respondent cited two decisions in support of that course being followed, in one of which it was the Respondent. It had also been the Respondent in “scores” of other UDRP cases.

The panel in the instant case made the order for transfer without analysing the merits of the case.

In its decision the Panel said that prior decisions had shown that there were at least four ways of handling the issue where Respondent s had consented to transfer. They were:

“First, to grant the relief requested by the complainant on the basis of the unilateral consent without reviewing the facts…

Second, granting the transfer after first establishing there is an appropriate trademark interest in the complainant, which was considered a foundation issue for the exercise of power to order a transfer….

Third, finding that the consent to transfer means that the three elements of paragraph 4 (a) are deemed to be satisfied and thereby ordering transfer on this basis …

Fourth, to proceed to consider whether on the evidence presented the three elements of paragraph 4(a) are satisfied because a respondent’s offer to transfer is not an admission of a complainant’s rights or because there is some reason to doubt the genuineness of a respondent’s consent (emphasis added)”

The Panel took the first option saying that:

“The very purpose of the UDRP requires expeditious and economical resolution of UDRP disputes. Policy paragraph 4(i) provides that the remedies available to a complainant are limited to requiring the transfer or cancellation of the domain name. The panel has a narrow task to determine whether the requested relief should be granted. A panel’s only purpose in rendering substantive findings is for that purpose. Furthermore, the Rules (paragraph 10) provide that the proceeding is to be conducted in such a manner as the panel deems appropriate and that the panel must ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition.

Also, by bringing this proceeding, the Complainant invoked a contractual obligation of the Respondent arising from the registration of the domain name.”

The Panel also relied on common sense.

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