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Recent Case Notes & Commentary

Laches – The Debate Continues

IDN, Inc. v. Name Administration Inc. (BVI) Claim Number: FA1209001461862.

The debate on the applicability of laches (or delay) took another step forward in this recent case and, in particular the panel “noted” The New York Times decision[1] on that subject, where it will be recalled the panel had said the doctrine of laches was “a valid defence in any domain dispute where the facts so warrant.“

The panel in IDN, Inc. v. Name Administration Inc. (BVI) did not resolve the debate, but it indicated that there was some movement in the discussion. The panel said:

“It is also true, however, that in recent times that generalised approach has been submitted to some criticism and that some panelists have taken into account laches or delay on the part of a complainant trademark owner in bringing proceedings. The Panel notes, in that regard, the unanimous decision of the 3 person panel in The New York Times Co. v. Name Admin. Inc. (BVI), FA 1349045 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 17, 2010) which held in effect that laches is “a valid defence in any domain dispute where the facts so warrant.” The Panel also notes the observations in the WIPO Overview, cited with approval as recently as July 3, 2012 in Victoria’s Secret Stores Brand Mgmt., Inc. v. Linda Cameron Pickard, Linda Watson, DAU2012-0015 (WIPO Mar. 7, 2012), that “Panels have also noted that a delay in bringing a complaint under the UDRP may make it more difficult for a complainant to establish its case on the merits, particularly in relation to the second and third elements” of the Policy.”

In the present case, it is not necessary to contribute any further to the debate on this issue as the Panel has been able to decide the case on the basis of more substantive issues dealt with above.”

[1] The New York Times Company v. Name Administration Inc. (BVI), NAF Case No. FA1009001349045 (November 17, 2010).

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