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    WIPO Says Cybersquatting Filings Sharply Up, Watches ICANN’s Domain Name Expansion

    Published on 31 March 2011 @ 10:21 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Filing complaints about cybersquatting, which the World Intellectual Property Organization defines as the “abusive registration of trademarks as domain names,” is on an upward trend, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said today. Meanwhile, WIPO also published an update of its overview of its dispute panel jurisprudence.[corrected]

    There was a 28 percent increase in cybersquatting cases in 2010 compared with 2009, with 2,696 cases filed by trademark holders with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, Gurry told a press briefing, 16 percent higher than the previous record number of cases filed in a year.

    Cybersquatting filings seem to be following the same upward trend as registrations of domain names, he said.

    Cybersquatting cases are examined through the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and Rules (UDRP). WIPO is not the only organization to handle domain disputes. The UDRP text is here.

    Some 320 panellists from 49 countries worked on the resolution of the cases, in 13 different languages, Gurry said. In 91 percent of cases, “panels found evidence of cybersquatting, deciding in favour of complainants,” according to a WIPO press release.

    Disputes concerning country-code top-level domains, such as .ch (Switzerland), or .es (Spain), rose to 15 percent of all cybersquatting cases in 2010, up from just 1 percent in 2000, Gurry said.

    WIPO provides domain name dispute resolution for a number of country-code top-level domains. The latest addition to this list is .br (Brazil), he said.

    The top five areas of WIPO complainant activities were retail, banking and finance, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, internet and IT, and fashion. Some 80 percent of those cases concerned registrations under .com domain, the press release said.

    WIPO domain name cases in 2010 include Google, Facebook, eBay, Cadillac, Rolls-Royce, VISA, Novartis, Apple, Beyoncé, Calvin Klein, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Hilton, and Chanel.

    The announcement in June 2008 that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the internet domain name system, plans to increase the existing number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs, such as .com), created concern at WIPO, which has taken the side of rights holders online. The introduction of new gTLDs “should be deliberate and appropriately address increased potential for online trademark abuse and consumer confusion,” according to WIPO’s website.

    ICANN is hoping to launch the new gTLDs at their next meeting in June. In a 21 March press release, ICANN said that the 20 June launch date for the expansion of the internet’s generic top level domains beyond .com, .net, and .edu “will receive broad backing from the internet community.”

    Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN Board chair, said “We’ve had other timelines before, but not one that the community and the Board feels is so achievable as this one,” according to the release [pdf].

    Erik Wilbers, director of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, said WIPO flagged a concern last year about ICANN’s intention to revise the UDRP because of the risk of diluting “a mechanism that works quite well” for trademark holders.

    Meanwhile, WIPO announced an update of its own review of UDRP panel jurisprudence today [corrected], the UDRP Overview 2.0. Click here to read more.

    At their last meeting, ICANN held consultations on the expansion of top domain names, Wilbers said, and the principle that new top domain names, in large numbers, is gaining an increased acceptance. The ICANN’s expectation that the new top domain names will be launched in June remains to be confirmed, Wilbers said. In practical terms, it does not mean that new domain names will be operational soon, he said, but that may happen at the beginning of next year.

    Wilbers said the WIPO filing fee for disputes – “unchanged for many years” – is $1,500, most of which goes to the panellists.

    William New contributed to this story.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. pligg.com says:

      WIPO Says Cybersquatting Filings Sharply Up, Watches ICANN’s Domain Name Expansion…

      Filing complaints about cybersquatting, which the World Intellectual Property Organization defines as the “abusive registration of trademarks as domain names,” is on an upward trend, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said today. Meanwhile, WIPO also …


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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