It seems that UDRP filings have been increasing every year, and 2017 was no different. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the largest UDRP provider. Yesterday evening, WIPO published a report about UDRP filings in 2017, and I wanted to share some of the facts with you.
2017 WIPO UDRP Facts:
- 3,074 UDRP filings
- Three industries (Banking / finance, fashion, and internet / IT) accounted for nearly one-third of all cybersquatting disputes.
- .Store, .Site, and .Online were the most frequently disputed new gTLD extensions.
- The US had the most UDRP filings.
- Philip Morris filed the most UDRP disputes
- Since 1999, there have been over 39,000 UDRP filings encompassing over 73,000 domain names.
Keep in mind that these facts are from WIPO UDRP filings and don’t include other venues, such as the National Arbitration Forum, The Czech Arbitration Court Arbitration Center for Internet Disputes, Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre or others. Although the UDRP requirements are the same in order for a complainant to prevail, each venue has different fees, some have different panelists, and they may have differing ground rules. This means that some of the facts from WIPO UDRP cases may be different than other UDRP providers.
While I tend to focus on some of the more egregious (in my opinion) filings that involve generic and valuable acronym domain names, it seems quite clear that the vast majority of UDRP disputes involve pretty obvious cases of cybersquatting. The WIPO report shared that in the banking and finance sectors, complainants regularly cited fraud, phishing or scam as the basis for the UDRP. In fashion, counterfeiting was the main issue cited. These are big problems for companies, and the UDRP process is still a cost effective way for brands to reduce these problems.
I think there are some big issues with the UDRP in general, but I think it works well for the majority of cases.