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IP Owners File 2,700 Cybersquatting Cases with WIPO

Issued: March 01 2011
In 2010, trademark holders filed 2,696 cybersquatting cases covering 4,370 domain names with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), an increase of 28% over the 2009 level and of 16% over the previous record year, 2008.

Since the UDRP’s launch in December 1999, the WIPO Center has received over 20,000 UDRP-based cases, covering some 35,000 domain names in both generic and country code Top Level Domains (gTLDs and ccTLDs). Cases filed with WIPO in 2010 included parties from 57 countries. In 91% of cases, panels found evidence of cybersquatting, deciding in favour of complainants.

The top five areas of WIPO complainant activity were retail, banking and finance, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, internet and IT, and fashion. WIPO’s 2010 caseload featured wellknown names from business and public interest sectors, including Honda, Mercedes and Lamborghini (automobiles); ; Beyoncé, Canal Plus and World Wrestling Entertainment (entertainment); Accor, Outrigger and Westin (hotels); and others, including Air France KLM, Düsseldorf Airport, Qantas, Freshfields, Real Madrid Football Club, and Harvard College. Most of these cases (82%) concerned registrations in the .com domain.

Among WIPO cases, the percentage related to country code Top Level Domains rose to 15% of all cases in 2010 from just 1% in 2000. National registries designating WIPO to provide domain name dispute resolution services increased to 65 in 2010 from 62 in 2009. Among the new additions, the policy for the .br domain of Brazil is inspired by the UDRP but also imports several modifications specific to expressed local needs.

In addition to domain names disputes, the WIPO Center in 2010 continued to administer cases under the WIPO Mediation, Arbitration, and Expedited Arbitration Rules. As of December 2010, the WIPO Center had administered some 240 mediations and arbitrations, the majority of which were filed in the last six years by large companies, small and medium sized enterprises, research organizations and universities.


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