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SWITCH’s dispute resolution service: Expert opinions required

The dispute resolution service introduced by SWITCH can pride itself on good news to coincide with its five-year anniversary: the results achieved in 2008 show quite clearly that it is, indeed, possible to get by without the courts – but not without professional expert advice.

A look at the latest procedure statistics for 2008 shows that the majority of parties involved do not ultimately let things go as far as the courts. Twenty-five percent of all the disputes were settled amicably in the run-up to conciliation already, and eighty-eight percent were resolved with the expert’s decision. Four disputes have not yet been resolved. And, what was particularly gratifying: in 2008, as in the year before, there was not a single case in which the conciliation procedure had to be broken off without a result being achieved.

Dispute Resolution Statistics

Dispute Resolution Statistics

In addition, ever since the dispute resolution service was first set up, there have never been as many cases as in 2008 which were not settled until an expert’s decision was submitted. Eight cases were resolved in the run-up to the conciliation procedure, one case was clarified by phone and, in 19 cases (or 60 percent of the total), an expert’s decision was required. This decision generally went in favour of the applicant who had requested the transfer of the disputed domain name. In five cases, by contrast, the applicant’s request was rejected, and the holder was permitted to keep the disputed domain name.

In the majority of cases, those involved subsequently refrained from contesting the expert’s decision by taking civil action. This shows that the parties regard the expert’s decision as a clear legal yardstick.
SWITCH is taking this trend towards the need for an expert’s decision as an opportunity to revise and simplify the procedure. The revised procedure will be coming into force in the course of 2009.

auteur : Marco D’Alessandro
source Switch.ch