WIPO’s Anti-Cybersquatting Service: 50,000 Cases & Growing

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center has announced that it has accepted its 50,000th domain name dispute. Proceedings have covered almost 91,000 domain names and involved parties from over 180 countries. This is a major milestone after two decades of pro-consumer activity that helps ensure Internet users are not misled by criminals and can easily find genuine websites for the brands they love and trust.

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is at the heart of WIPO’s anti-cybersquatting service.  It was created in 1999 by WIPO and is used by our clients and brand owners around the world to combat abuse of their trademarks in domain names.

Any domain name registered in generic domain spaces, such as .com, is subject to this dispute resolution mechanism.  Equally, many operators of national domains, such as .ch and .io, have also adopted the UDRP, often with slight variations.

WIPO reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled cybersquatting cases filed with WIPO’s reporting a record number of filings this year.  From January through to October 2020, the WIPO Center handled 3,405 cases, or an 11% increase over the same period during 2019. During this period, we have been providing complimentary domain name monitoring for our clients to combat COVID-related scams.

Com Laude’s brand protection team sit on WIPO’s rota of panellists, in addition to Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) and the Czech Arbitration Court’s dispute resolution panel. This gives us unparalleled experience in deciding domain name disputes, as well as bringing them on behalf of our clients.

Our two decades of dispute experience allows us to deploy a range of brand protection services to implement tailored, client-shaped strategies to take down, dispute and recover infringing domain names.

WIPO’s reports of an 11% increase in the number of dispute submissions shows that the threat to brands is increasing year on year. It is crucial to ensure that any business with an online presence deploys a range of measures to ensure the domain space is regularly monitored and brands are proactively protected against criminals. If you would like to discuss our brand protection services, please do get in touch.