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ICANN UDRP Raises Panelist Allocation Bias Concerns 8/2001

From: Michael Geist

I have just completed a study on the ICANN UDRP that may be of interest. Study is at

It reviewed all 3094 ICANN UDRP decisions (through July 7, 2001) and found that when providers control who decides a case (which they do for all single panel cases), complainants win just over 83 percent of the time. When provider influence over panelists diminishes, which occurs in three-member panel cases, the complainant winning percentage drops to 60 percent. In addition to the dramatic difference in outcome between single and three-member panels, the study finds that case allocation appears to be heavily biased toward ensuring that a majority of cases are steered toward complainant-friendly panelists. As of July 7, 2001, an astonishing 53% of all NAF single panel cases (512 of 966) were decided by only six people. The complainant winning percentage in those cases was an astounding 94%. WIPO, meanwhile, has failed to assign even one of its 1629 single panel cases to at least two panelists perceived to be pro-respondent. Of the 104 WIPO panelists to have decided five or more cases, all but one have complainants winning at least 50% of the time.

In conjunction with the release of the study, I have ported much of the collected data to the Web. features a searchable database of the track record of individual panel members with more features to come. Beta version of the site is at

Media coverage this morning includes:Do Cyberspace Court Panels Favor Trademark Holders? (sub required)

Web Arbitration Biased: Study


MG --


Professor Michael A. Geist University of Ottawa Law School, Common Law Section 57 Louis Pasteur St., P.O. Box 450, Stn. A, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5 Tel: 613-562-5800, x3319 Fax: 613-562-5124 e-mail: URL:

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