When a Complainant files a UDRP complaint, it has to choose between transferring the disputed domain name and canceling the domain name. The concerned registrar will implement the Panel’s decision 10 business days after it receives notification of the decision from the dispute resolution service provider, unless it receives from the registrant during that 10-day period official documentation (such as a copy of a complaint, file-stamped by the clerk of the court) that the registrant has commenced a lawsuit against the Complainant in the proper jurisdiction.
Of course most of the Complainants choose the transfer option. What is the point of a UDRP complaint if Complainant asks for a cancellation?
A few days back I noticed that Accor from Paris, France won the UDRP complaint for the domain name accorholidays.com. Accor claimed to be a leader in the global hospitality industry and has provided hotel services for nearly 45 years. A domain like accorholidays.com would make sense to me that would be a perfect match for this company and it’s services. To my surprise the Complainant chose to cancel the domain name. I am not really familiar with the company but the domain seems like a nice fit.
This means that after the 10 business day waiting period the domain name will enter redemption status and after 35 it will be deleted and will be available for registration to any interested party.
I always thought that the very few Complainants that chose to cancel domain names did so because the domain name didn’t make any sense for their business. eg. It could be something like MicrosoftTakeout.com or NewYorkTimesSpaceTravel.com. But no.
I made a search for all the Complaints that Accor has filed in the past 10 years. There are 175 complaints and 7 of them are still active. A UDRP complaint costs $1300 for 1 or 2 domains at the National Arbitration Center. At a renewal rate of $10, Accor could keep a domain name for 130 years for the price of the Complaint.
Accor chose 23 times to have the domain names canceled after winning the UDRP complaint. That resulted in 63 canceled domain names. Domains that dropped and were then free to register. Here are the results of these drops:
3 domains are either in pending delete status or about to be deleted.
6 domains have been registered by other parties and,
6 domains have been registered by Accor years after the domains were deleted!!!
Actually 4 of the Accor registered domains were registered 3 years after the UDRP complaint and 1 was registered 2 years later.
Why were the domains canceled only to be registered later?
I don’t really understand why this is done but I have a suspicion. The simple answer is the principal of Dreyfus & Associés, UDRP panelist Ms. Nathalie Dreyfus. Dreyfus & Associés has been the representative in most if not all of the 175 Accor domain disputes. Is it possible that the domains are canceled only to be caught by other parties and then a UDRP complaint could be filed again? You tell me…
John Berryhill has talked about Ms. Natalie Dreyfus about some other matter. Nat Cohen has also talked about her here. They have talked about how Nathalie Dreyfus serves as a UDRP panelist but at the same time has her own IP law firm and represents trademark holders in domain disputes. But that is another story…