4
Mar/03

Third Circuit Clarifies Standard of Review for UDRP Proceedings: De Novo


Lee Strasbery played Hyman Roth in Godfather Part 2 but before that he was famous as an acting coach, training Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe among others.   Someone named Dluhos registered LEESTRASBERG.COM.  Strasberg’s estate, owners of a federal regsitration incoroporating the name, protested.  The Strasberg estate brought a UDRPand Dluhos went into civil court, pro se, and filed all sorts of actions, including constitutional attacks on the UDRP.  He screwed up service so the UDRP was not stayed, and the panel issued a decision against him.  Dluhos amended his complaint and the district court reviewed.  It dismissed Dluhos’ claims and upheld the UDRP decision, reviewing it under the strict standards of the Federal Arbitration Act.  Under the FAA, you essentially have to show that the arbitrators were either corrupt or on crack before the Court will vacate the arbitration.

The Third Circuit reviewed.  Held:  The FAA only applies to non-binding arbitration where the arbitration might realistically settle the dispute.  Because the UDRP was expressly intended to not deprive parties of access to civil courts, it does not fall under the FAA.  However, a district court may still review a UDRP decision because 15 USC Sec 1114(2)(D)(v) of the ACPA (Section 32(D)(v) of the Lanham Act) provides jursidiction from it to do so.  The case was remanded for a de novo review of the UDRP  action (which will now in effect become an ACPA action).  Dluhos v. Strasberg, no. 01-3713 (3d Cir Feb 20 2003).

Thank you to nerdlaw.org for bringing this case to my attention.

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