Nat Cohen Answers: “Why do domain investors distrust the UDRP?”

The UDRP is a risk domain investors need to consider when investing in domain names. Anyone can file a UDRP regardless of whether or not there is any merit to it. While the vast majority of UDRP cases involve clearly infringing domain names, there have been too many UDRP filings involving domain names comprised of absolutely generic terms and short acronym domain names that have considerable value.

There have been numerous Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) decisions, but there is no penalty for filing a meritless UDRP for either the complainant or its legal representatives. This can make the UDRP appealing for companies that are unable to purchase a domain name from a registrant or simply do not wish to even try to purchase a domain name. The UDRP has occasionally become a a tool to extract a valuable domain name from a registrant without having to pay what it is worth.

At best, defending a UDRP can become a cost suck for a domain registrant. At worst, an adverse UDRP decision can deprive a domain registrant of a valuable domain name. Sometimes, it seems, a UDRP decision can come down to the panelist chosen to preside over the decision.

Nat Cohen posted a thread of tweets that I think is worth reading. Nat starts off by asking why domain investors distrust the UDRP, and he shares his thoughts on why he believes this is the case.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Well said Nate… How can we help ICA and others to try and reform, change, address such issues?

    I think this is the biggest risk of domain investors and domains in general. With crypto assets/tokens exploding with $2 trillion in liquidity and a better settlement layer and open process, I think policy leaders do not see potential disruption starting to happen. Alot of Investors would rather risk buying a digital native asset thats open and transparent then deal with analog, legal systems run by shaddy back dealing “leaders” that fail to lead. Wish ICANN would get real leadership in place to make domains THE asset class for the next 20 years with any accountability. It’s scary to see the continual bad decisions with no hope or action in sight to address the issues. Maybe a Domain Insurance DAO to handle such situations swiftly along with a media arm to exploit crappy panelist and the leadership overseeing them? Thanks for addressing this very concerning and long standing issue with UDRP/ RDNH but not seeing anything changing anytime soon but more theft abuse on great assets from crappy panelist and policy structure.

  2. I’ve been screaming this too, Nat. The UDRP process is flawed and it’s providers/panelists are out of control. This is exactly what I look forward to talking with you about next month at the ICA 15th anniversary meetup.

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