WIPO UDRP panelist Richard Lyon passes away

Lyon contributed significantly to UDRP jurisprudence and wasn’t afraid to call out bad complaints.

Richard G. Lyon, 1946-2023
Richard Grant Lyon – photo source

A prolific UDRP panelist has passed away.

Richard Grant Lyon was one of the original UDRP panelists and contributed significantly to its jurisprudence.

He started deciding cases back in 2000 and heard hundreds of UDRP cases through the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

UDRP research site UDRP.tools tallies his total caseload at 325.

I wrote about Lyon’s decisions frequently, partly because he wasn’t afraid to deny cybersquatting claims and find reverse domain name hijacking.

In a dispute over ClearWaterSystems .net, Lyon found in favor of the respondent and pointed out flaws in another panelist’s rulings in a similar case.

He found reverse domain name hijacking on some valuable domain names, including GrandStrand.com, Circus.com, and Reza.com.

In a case over reveel.com, Lyon found reverse domain name hijacking when the other two panelists declined to consider it because it wasn’t explicitly requested.

Similarly, in a case over QLP.com, Lyon was the only panelist to find reverse domain name hijacking. He wrote:

We owe it to this Respondent to chastise the Complainant and its representative for their irresponsible conduct. We owe it to the integrity of the UDRP process to call out patent abuses such as I believe this case to be.

UDRP.tools shows that, when hearing cases individually, Lyon ordered 144 domains transferred but denied a whopping 76 cases. When part of a three-member panel, the panel only transferred about a quarter of the 99 cases.

It appears that Lyon’s last case was decided in May of 2023. He was assigned to a case on December 27 last year but had passed away just days before on December 22.

Lyon graduated from Haverford College and got his law degree from Harvard. He started practicing law at Sullivan & Cromwell, and later became General Counsel and Secretary of Ericsson before working for a couple of other law firms.

Lyon was 77.

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