References are often found in UDRP decisions that the Respondent has been involved in previous UDRP cases. This, of course, may well be interesting. But there are two important aspects to it that may be overlooked and they are therefore worth mentioning here. The first is that, as with everything else, it is important that factual allegations are correct, i.e. that they are facts. As a part of this consideration, it is not of very much probative value if the allegation is that a Respondent has been an unsuccessful party to UDRP proceedings if it transpires that the same party has also been successful in other cases. Secondly and probably more importantly, it should be remembered that UDRP decisions, although they are valuable indications of how panels have decided cases in the past, are not binding precedents, as they are not decisions in a system of courts and they therefore cannot control the outcome in any given case. In a recent decision , in which I was a member of the Panel, a contribution was made to putting these considerations in balance.The decision is Airpet Animal Transport, Inc. v. Marchex Sales, Inc / Brendhan Hight , NAF,Claim Number: FA1211001470056 concerning the domain name petexpress.com.
In the Complaint, the Complainant had submitted ”As a professional Cybersquatter, Respondent is no stranger to UDRP proceedings…” and had then referred to ” a similar case involving Respondent…”.
The Panel’s conclusion was as follows:
“Respondent argues it has developed a history of good faith registration and use of domain names. Respondent has prevailed in all but three instances of the nearly two dozen UDRP proceedings to which it has been a party. This Panel believes each case must be judged on its merits. The fact Respondent is a frequent party to UDRP proceedings is immaterial. See Nursefinder, Inc. v. Vertical Axis, Inc., D2007-0417 (WIPO July 5, 2007) (holding that although some decisions have gone against the respondent, each case has to be decided on its own merits, and the respondent also had won several cases involving domain names comprised of generic terms or short strings of letters). “( emphasis added).