It’s hard not to feel that the Czech court appointed by Eurid to oversee disputes in the .eu namespace is siding with the squatters.
A number of “city” domains have already been the subject of disputes with several leading to the reassignment of the domain to the offended party, however in most cases this has been due to a technicality regarding the prior rights.
The most recent example, that John McCormack mentions, is that of Cork.eu. The panel decided against the city of Cork.
Judging by the decision Cork should have waited until the domain was fully registered before contesting it on the strongest grounds, those of bad faith registration:
Complainant’s most serious contention is the alleged bad faith in relation to Traffic Web Holding’s application for the domain name CORK.eu. It appears that this contention is implicitly based on the provisions contained in Article 21 of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 on speculative and abusive registrations. Absent a convincing explanation for Traffic Web Holding’s application, the various facts put forward in the Complaint may be sufficient to demonstrate its bad faith under Article 21(1)(b) and (3) of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004. On the same grounds it appears possible that Traffic Web Holding’s affirmation pursuant to Article 3(1)(d) of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 regarding its request for the domain name in good faith is questionable, which could result in a breach of the terms of registration (Article 3(2) of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004) and revocation of the domain name pursuant to Article 20(1)(c) of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004.
The principles of due process and fair procedure require, however, that Traffic Web Holding must have an opportunity to defend itself against any such allegations before its registration of CORK.eu could be held to be made in bad faith. Traffic Web Holding is, however, not a party to the present ADR procedure. The Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 does not specify in which cases an ADR procedure should be directed against EURid or against the domain name holder as the correct respondent. The final paragraph of Section B.1(a).eu Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules, however, provides that an ADR proceeding against a Domain Name Holder can only be initiated once the domain name at issue has been registered and activated, which is not yet the case for CORK.eu. It is also not possible (and the Complainant has rightly not attempted to do so) to initiate this ADR procedure against EURid and Traffic Web Holding at the same time (see Raad voor Rechtsbijstand v. Traffic Web Holding and EURid, Case No. 335 – MEDIATION.eu).
The panel goes on to add:
Based on these considerations relating to due process and fair procedure the Panel believes that the Complainant will have to initiate an ADR procedure against Traffic Web Holding itself to put forward its bad faith argument. The Panel notes that a number of other parties have already initiated similar ADR procedures against this company (see for example Helsingin Kaupunki v. Traffic Web Holding, Case No. 475 – HELSINKI.eu; Stockholms Stad v. Traffic Web Holding, Case No. 386 – STOCKHOLM.eu). This present decision does not prevent the Complainant, should it whish to do so, from filing such a Complaint against Traffic Web Holding based on Article 21 of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 if and when the domain name CORK.eu is activated.
Of course the real question that nobody seems to want to ask is why the Irish government didn’t get placenames, such as Cork, Dublin etc., added to the Eurid blocklist….