Domain disputes rise again as new gTLDs loom
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Domain disputes rise again as new gTLDs loom


The number of UDRP disputes at WIPO grew by 4.3% in 2012, and has now almost tripled over the past eight years. With the imminent arrival of new gTLDs, how much further can the number of cases grow?

WIPO is the biggest of the four UDRP providers of UDRP services. It dealt with 2,884 UDRP cases in 2012, covering 5,082 domains, according to Melbourne IT. The volume has grown every year since 2003, except for a brief blip in 2009.

The only positive sign for brand owners trying to plan for the launch of the new gTLDs this year is that only 16 cases were filed over the new .xxx domain, which had its first full year in 2012. Martin Burke of Melbourne IT pointed out that this may be due to the 80,000 trade marks that were protected in .xxx in advance.

The lesson for brand owners is therefore to take full advantage of the Trademark Clearinghouse for new gTLDs and record their trade marks there.

Among other trends, the 88% success rate of UDRP cases, up slightly on the 85% average over the years, shows that brand owners are getting better at bringing the right UDRP complaints.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, China was the biggest new source of cybersquatting, with a 47% increase in UDRP respondents. The United States remains the biggest source of cybersquatters, however.

The trends are summarised in this infographic from Melbourne IT:

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