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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 http://aix1.uottawa.ca/~geist/geistudrp.pdf

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. Udrpinfo.com features a searchable database of the track record of individual panel members with more features to come. Beta version of the site is at http://www.udrpinfo.com.

Media coverage this morning includes:Do Cyberspace Court Panels Favor Trademark Holders? (sub required) http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB998251965684550590.htm

Web Arbitration Biased: Study

Thanks.

MG --

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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: mgeist@uottawa.ca URL: http://www.lawbytes.com

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