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Penalty for URS Misuse is Not Sufficient!

  • To: <6gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Penalty for URS Misuse is Not Sufficient!
  • From: "Max Menius" <mmeniusjr@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2011 14:59:02 -0400

Dear ICANN - 

The penalites outlined in the new gTLD guidebook are not sufficient in regard 
to misuse of the URS (Uniform Rapid Suspension) process. While the general 
section on URS is fairly comprehensive & well written, the part devoted to 
penalties for misuse of the process is lacking, and will not sufficiently deter 
abusive complainants. Specifically, here ... 

"The URS shall incorporate penalties for abuse of the process by trademark 
holders. (11.2) In the event a party is deemed to have filed two (2) abusive 
Complaints, or one (1) "deliberate material falsehood," that party shall be 
barred from utilizing the URS for one-year." 

Barring abuse of the URS process for "one year" is monumentally inadequate, 
particularly in lieu of the paltry $300 fee required for launching a URS claim. 
There should be a substantial financial penalty and PERMANENT ban (on first 
attempt) for any complainant found to have used the URS without cause.

The guidebook requires, in regard to complainant claims, that: 
8.2 The burden of proof shall be clear and convincing evidence.

Perhaps this is already the guidebook's intention, but the URS Examiner should 
receive "clear and convincing evidence" before any registrant is burdened with 
a claim & required to defend themselves. With the URS process being so cheap to 
launch (USD $300), and the penalty for misuse so light, Examiners must be 
certain there is a solid case on which to move forward before registrants are 
even contacted or inconvenienced in any way.

The newly proposed URS is obviously designed to offer true trademark holders 
some protection from cybersquatters. No problem with that. But there must be an 
equal impetus to protect innocent domain name registrants from domain thieves 
and overzealous companies (trademark holders) who think they have right to any 
domain that is remotely associated with their industry or business.

As is currently written, the proposed penalties for URS misuse are 
inconsequential, and they should be rewritten to ensure that first time abusers 
lose all rights to ever utilize the URS process again. A one year ban is 
nowhere close to adequate. The ban should be: 1. much longer, and 2. with 
specific financial penalty attached. 

Thank you for considering these comments.


Max Menius, President

Menius Enterprises, Inc.

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