Should A Court Or An Arbitral Tribunal Resolve Domain Name Disputes?


The Court of Appeal for Ontario has just released its decision in Tucows.Com Co., v. Logas Renner S.A. This decision is a legal landmark in relation to Internet domain names. The Court held that domain names are personal property and may be the subject matter of an action which may be served on a defendant outside Ontario.

This aspect of the decision has been widely reported. But there is another aspect of the decision which is important to the law of arbitration. That issue relates to the proper response by courts when an arbitral tribunal decides not to hear a dispute. Should the court nevertheless hold that arbitration is preferable to court proceedings and send the dispute back to arbitration?

In the present case the Court of Appeal held that the arbitral tribunal had the jurisdiction to make a decision to decline jurisdiction. Having done so, the same competence-competence principle required the court to respect that decision and allow the Ontario action to proceed.

This decision raises two further questions.

Tags: arbitration, stay of court proceedings, exclusive jurisdiction, competence-competence

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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