Cybersquatting cases on the rise, says WIPO
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Cybersquatting cases on the rise, says WIPO

A record number of brand owners filed cybersquatting cases with WIPO last year – and the IP organisation says that the introduction of new gTLDs will stretch trade mark owners’ resources still further

WIPO says that its Arbitration and Mediation Center received 2,764 UDRP cases covering 4,781 domain names last year, up 2.5% on 2010.

In 2011 the top five areas of WIPO complainant activity were retail; internet and IT; biotechnology and pharmaceuticals; fashion; and banking and finance.

Of the gTLD cases filed with WIPO in 2011, more than three-quarters related to .com registrations. Applying UDRP jurisprudence, panels in 2011 found evidence of cybersquatting in 88% of all cases.

At the end of last year, the WIPO Center received the first UDRP case concerning a domain name in the new .xxx domain.

Francis Gurry, WIPO’s director-general, said that the trends mean that brand owners already have to make difficult choices for their stretched online enforcement resources.

“With the domain name coordinating body, ICANN, allowing for a massive increase in the number of new domains, brand owners’ resources will likely be stretched further,” he added.

WIPO has proposed that ICANN introduce so-called pre- and post-delegation procedures for new gTLD registries. It expects that the first pre-delegation cases could be filed by trade mark owners against domain applicants within the next few months. The WIPO Center is making available party resources for this new procedure.

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