UDRP cases hit record at WIPO in 2012.
World Intellectual Property Organization received a record number of UDRP cases in 2012.
The organization’s web site reports 2,879 cases were filed in 2012, compared to 2,764 in 2011. The cases covered a total of 5,081 domain names.
That shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Filings in the first half of the year at both WIPO and rival National Arbitration Forum were up compared to 2011.
It’s worth noting that total filings at the two main UDRP providers were lower in 2011 than in 2010.
The numbers themselves don’t mean cybersquatting is on the rise for a number of 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.