The unprecedented expansion of the Internet domain name space, until now dominated by .com and a handful of other generic top-level domains (gTLDs), is likely to disrupt existing strategies for trademark protection on the web.
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An International Survey on Dispute Resolution in Technology Transactions conducted by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center reveals that less than 2% of technology agreements lead to formal dispute proceedings, but that these proceedings are generally costly and time-consuming.
In 2011, trademark holders filed a record 2,764 cybersquatting cases covering 4,781 domain names with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), an increase of 2.5% and 9.4% over the previous highest levels in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Meanwhile, with plans by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for an expansion in the number of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) underway in 2012, the WIPO Center recently rolled out resources for pre-emptive measures to prevent the abusive use of trademarks as gTLDs.
WIPO and the Paris-based International Council of Museums (ICOM) will collaborate in the management of intellectual property options, as well as the mediation of disputes in the area of cultural heritage and museums. This concerns in particular copyright, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, and digitization of cultural artifacts. A memorandum of understanding was signed by heads of both organizations at WIPO in Geneva on May 3, 2011.
In 2010, trademark holders filed 2,696 cybersquatting cases covering 4,370 domain names with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), an increase of 28% over the 2009 level and of 16% over the previous record year, 2008.
WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) and the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) are to join forces later this month in providing alternative dispute resolution services to address problems of format plagiarism or the unauthorized copying of television (TV) formats, such as those used for game, reality or talent shows and sitcoms.
Demand for WIPO’s dispute resolution services, in particular relating to cybersquatting cases, continued in 2009 with trademark holders filing 2,107 complaints under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which at WIPO became a paperless operation at the end of 2009. While this caseload represents a 9.5% decrease over 2008, it covers the highest number of individual domain names in a given year (4,688) since the UDRP - a quick and cost effective way of addressing allegations of cybersquatting - was launched ten years ago.
An agreement signed by Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and Mr. K Shanmugam, Minister for Law and Second Minister for Home Affairs, has paved the way for the establishment of the Singapore Office of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center), which will officially open in January 2010. (Please refer to “Annex A” for a fact sheet on the WIPO Center.)
Against the background of an unprecedented number of cybersquatting cases in 2007, the evolving nature of the domain name registration system (DNS) is causing growing concern for trademark owners around the world. Last year, a record 2,156 complaints alleging cybersquatting – or the abusive registration of trademarks on the Internet - were filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center (Center), representing an 18% increase over 2006 and a 48% increase over 2005 in the number of generic and country code Top Level Domain (gTLDs and ccTLDs) disputes (see Table 1).
The Arbitration and Mediation Center (Center) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has launched a new tool, known as the WIPO Electronic Case Facility (WIPO ECAF). Parties may elect to use WIPO ECAF to manage disputes filed under the WIPO Mediation, Arbitration and Expedited Rules.
The Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has created and made available online a new information tool that offers a concise overview of trends in decisions taken under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) - a quick and cost effective dispute resolution procedure relating to Internet addresses. The WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions considers common and important substantive and procedural questions that have been extracted from the over 7,000 UDRP cases handled so far by WIPO. The Overview is available at http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/search/overview/index.html.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) continued its efforts to combat the abusive registration of trademarks as domain names, or cybersquatting, in 2004, when it received 1,179 cases, or a 6.6% increase, over the number received the previous year. WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Center has handled a total of over 7,000 disputes, involving parties from 124 countries and covering over 12,500 domain names since the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) - a quick and cost effective dispute resolution procedure - went into effect in December 1999.