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WIPO and National Arbitration Forum See Increase in Cybersquatting and Domain Name Disputes

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) have released their 2008 statistics for domain disputes. The NAF put out a press release (available here) and provided the following details:

1)     In total, there were 1,770 cases filed, with NAF.
2)     Nearly all cases filed (98%) involved UDRP domain names, like .com and .org; the rest involved “usDRP” domain names with the .us extension.
4)     Panelists heard and decided 1,477 cases; parties worked together to settle many of the rest, (17% settlement rate).
5)     By the end of 2008, approximately 10,600 disputes were filed with the National Arbitration Forum.
6)     To date Panelists resolved 9,470 of those cases, while the parties settled many of the rest.

WIPO also put out a press release (available here) but provided much more in depth statistics and information. WIPO noted that in 2008 they recieved a total of 2,329 domain dispute complaints, representing an 8% increase from 2007. In total, WIPO has handled 14,663 domain disputes, covering 26,262 separate domains, up through December 2008. Some interesting facts include that English remains the most common language for the proceedings, representing 86% in 2008. Additionally, in 2008, 30% of the disputes were resolved without a panel decision. Of the remaining ones where a panel decision was rendered, 85% of those were in favor of the complainant. The top five sectors for complainant’s business activities were as follows:

1)    Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals
2)    Banking and Finance
3)    Internet and IT
4)    Retail
5)    Food, Beverages and Restaurants

Lastly, it is clear that “.com” still is the reigning champion, because 80% of the domain disputes in 2008 were for “.com” related domains.

DefendMyDomain Commentary: It is clear by these numbers that domain disputes will continue to increase each year. WIPO press release talks about their concern for the introduction of the new gTLD’s and how it will affect the domain dispute process. While time will only tell the true effect the new gTLDs will have on this process, WIPO is making some proactive decisions, which include their proposal to ICANN to make the whole process electronic. See here for a discussion about their eUDRP Initiative.

5 Responses to “WIPO and National Arbitration Forum See Increase in Cybersquatting and Domain Name Disputes”

  1. Dirk Krischenowski Says:

    What the WIPO report does not report is that the burden of cybersquatting can only be decreased if there are effective mechanisms to turn down cybersquatting in the .com/.net/.org name space which accounts for over 93% (!) of all the cases. The new TLD from the 2000 and 2004 round are relatively harmless compared to the cybersquatters favorite gambling place, the .com TLD.

    No one really believes that there is a the change that new TLDs will become as attractive as .com/.net/.org. So WIPO please do not ask for effective notice and takedown procedures before the homework in the existing burden is going to be solved.

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