Number of cases filed in 2010 increases thanks largely to brand protection services.
The number of Uniform domain-name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)cases filed at the two largest arbitration providers increased over 25% in 2010 compared to 2009, a Domain Name Wire analysis shows.
However, the rate of filing defined as the number of cases divided by the number of registered domains remains near an all time low.
World Intellectual Property Forum handled 2,696 cases in 2010 compared to 2,107 cases in 2009 and 2,329 cases in 2008. This covers both gTLDs and country code domain names.
National Arbitration Forum handled 2,033 cases in 2010 according to unofficial numbers provided by UDRPSearch. The group handled 1,605 cases in 2009, the lowest number of cases since 2005. [Update: NAF’s official tally was 2,177.]
The increase in cases can largely be attributed to third party trademark protection companies. For example, Lego filed over 100 cases in 2010 largely with the help of Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services. The company is going after low value domains such as lego-toys.info that are selling Lego products.
Cybersquatting protection company CitizenHawk filed over 200 cases last year. Many of its filings were “form” filings with little changed information from one to the next. In fact, multiple panelists chastised the company for inaccuracies in its filings.
Despite the overall increase in filings at the two largest UDRP providers, the number of cases filed compared to total domains registered continues to remain low. Comparing total cases at these two providers to the number of .com domains registered, there’s about 1 UDRP case filed each year per 19,300 domains registered. Only one year since 2000 have rates been lower, and that was 2009.