WIPO’s headline is misleading.
Today World Intellectual Property Forum (WIPO) did its annual release of how many UDRP cases it handled last year. It was a record 2,696 cases.
That’s a lot of cases, and National Arbitration Forum also saw an increase in cases this year.
But I take issue with WIPO’s headline:
Cybersquatting Hits Record Level
A more accurate headline would be Cybersquatting Enforcement Hits Record Level.
It reminds me of when the border patrol says “we’ve recovered a record amount of drugs crossing the borders this year.”
Is that because people tried to smuggle more drugs or because border patrol did a better job catching them?
I briefly analyzed the rise in UDRP cases when I wrote about this last month. A couple notes I made:
– While the number of cases was up, the ratio of cases to total domains registered has only been lower once in the past decade.
– The spike in cases can largely be attributed to a few mass filers using trademark enforcement companies. For example, Lego filed over 100 cases with the help of Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services. I should also note that Lego’s actions seemed to be directed at people who were selling Lego goods on these web sites — it seems to be less of a cybersquatting issue than an a counterfeit/unauthorized reseller crackdown.