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Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Cases Up 3.9%

October 13, 2015

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has been busy with domain name disputes again this year.

Since WIPO decided the first Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) case way back in 1999, the number of cases has exceeded 32,000; involving 60,000 domains.

The reports says  2,015 cases have been received so far this year (to the end of September), up  3.9%  for the same period in 2014.

Last year saw an increase of 2% in cybersquatting cases lodged by trademark owners.

The launch of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) have started to have an impact on UDRP cases. These domains represent around 14% of WIPO’s 2015 caseload so far this year.

UDRP cases are submitted from around the world - 108 countries in 2014.

WIPO says the top three sectors of complainant activity last year were retail (13% of all cases), banking and finance (11%), and fashion (10%).

The Report of the Director General to the WIPO Assemblies can be viewed in full here (PDF).

Australia has been a member of WIPO since 1972. According to statistics from the organisation, the number of complainant filings from Australia since 2000 has been 539, with 37 having occurred so far this year.

The number of respondents from Australia was more than double that number - 1098; with 92 this year.

All WIPO cases and panel decisions can be viewed here.

The UDRP was originally initiated to handle disputes relating to all .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org domain names; but extended to also include some country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD's).

In order for a complainant to succeed in a UDRP proceeding; three aspects must be established. First, the domain name in question must be identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights. Second, the registrant does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. Finally, the domain name must be shown to have been registered and used in "bad faith".

Cases concerning Australian domain names are covered by a different process, the auDRP; which commenced on 1 August 2002 and was drafted by auDA's Dispute Resolution Working Group. However, the auDRP is based on the UDRP.

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