Lookreatywni.pl is a legal website for creative people – we write about law in the field of media, culture and communication. In the previous article about domain name disputes, we focused on basic aspects of disputes concerning .pl domain names. The arbitration institution handling the majority of such disputes recently published its caseload statistics including the results of 2015.
Polska Izba Informatyki i Telekomunikacji – the Polish Chamber of Technology and Telecommunication (PIIT/PCITT)
The Polish Chamber of Technology and Telecommunication (Polish abbreviation: PIIT, English: PCITT), as a chamber-type independent organization, brings together business entities active in the field of technology and telecommunication. The chamber was established in 1993. In 2003, the PCITT officially launched the arbitration court for matters concerning domain names – the PCITT Arbitration Court. The PCITT Arbitration Court administered disputes concerning such domain names as: wp.pl, wirtualnapolska.pl, gmail.pl, gmail.com.pl, naszabiedronka.pl and euro2012poland-ukraine.pl. The PCITT was said to be the first in Poland to introduce electronic service of documents in arbitration proceedings.
Caseload Statistics – Arbitration and Mediation
Recently, PCITT published its statistics for the period of 2003-2015. Since 2003, PCITT received 893 new arbitration referrals. The biggest year for arbitration was 2012, with as many as 105 new cases. In 2015, PCITT received 74 new matters, out of which only 33 are still pending. None of the cases initiated in earlier years remains on the pending list. This shows how quickly the PCITT Arbitration Court handles arbitrations. One of the reasons for that must be that hearings are non-obligatory under the PCITT Arbitration Court Rules and arbitrators rarely schedule them.
Arbitration cases do not end in actual awards very often. Arbitral awards are issued only in about 25%-33% of cases. This low number is explained by Mr. Ireneusz Matusiak, the Chairperson of the Arbitration Court, by the high number of settlements (in or out of court) and situations where the respondent refuses to sign the arbitration clause, thus also losing the disputed domain name registration*. The number of in-court settlements is rather small – in 2012, the busiest year for the PCITT Arbitration Court, only 5 settlements were reached that way. Mrs. Beata Śmiałkowska, Secretary of the Arbitration Court, further explains that
if the respondent is a consumer, refusal to accept the arbitration clause redirects the matter to a state court – it cannot result in termination of the domain name registration according to our consumer protection laws**.
Since 2003, PCITT administered 90 mediations. Mediation seems to be getting less and less popular, as in 2015 PCITT registered only one, the smallest number in the history of that institution. This dispute resolution method is more expensive than arbitration under PCITT Rules which may be one of the reasons for the drop.
New NASK Rules for .pl Domain Names
On December 1, 2015, NASK introduced some amendments to the Rules of .pl Domain Names. The changes reflect the fact the NASK no longer acts as a direct registry, even in limited cases. The task is now performed only by the official Partners. We reported the changes briefly in the previous article.