UDRP cybersquatting complaints increase in first half of 2012

Two largest UDRP services saw increased activity in first half of the year.

The number of cybersquatting complaints filed in the first half of 2012 was up 9% compared to the first half of 2011.

That’s according to data provided by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and National Arbitration Forum (NAF), the two largest arbitration services for the uniform domain name dispute resolution policy (UDRP).

WIPO received 1,764 cases in the first half of this year, compared to 1,584 last year. That’s an 11% jump. NAF received 1,150 cases, up from 1,087 last year. That’s 6%, and a 9% increase when you put both together.

Despite some news reports to the contrary, combined UDRP cases at the top two providers actually fell slightly in 2011 to 2010. WIPO saw an increase but it was more than cancelled out by a decrease in cases at NAF last year.

Although the number of cases filed in the first half of this year is up, the only thing this shows for sure is that UDRP filings are up. You can’t draw conclusions about changes in cybersquatting activity from these numbers alone for many reasons:

1. Many complaints are ruled invalid.

2. Filings don’t necessarily correlate to overall cybersquatting activity and can merely reflect changes in enforcement activities (especially by a few firms that file massive numbers of cases).

3. A single case can cover multiple domain names.

4. UDRP is often a last resort for brand holders. Many more cybersquatting issues are resolved through informal means than formal ones.

5. The base of registered second level domain names continues to climb. Compared to the total number of domain names registered, the number of cases filed is at or near all time lows.


  1. Ron says

    As domains become more valuable the thieves that ruled the internet would be a bust, now all the sudden are in need of premium domains at 1997 prices. The system is broken.

  2. Philip Corwin says

    According to VeriSign’s July 2012 Domain Name Industry Brief, domain registrations were increasing at an annual pace of 11%. So the 9% increase in UDRP filings is not even keeping up with the overall growth of the domain space.
    As I calculated when WIPO released their news release on 2011 UDRP filings, the number of domains involved in UDRPs continues to be less than one-two-hundredth of one percent of all regsieterd domains (see http://internetcommerce.org/2011_UDRP_Filings). Pity that WIPO never provides that important context.

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