Cybersquatting cases reach record in 2012

Mar 28, 2013
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) director general Francis Gurry speaks in Makati on March 23, 2012. The number of cases of alleged cybersquatting handled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation jumped five percent to reach a record 2,884 last year, Gurry said.

The number of cases of alleged cybersquatting handled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation jumped five percent to reach a record 2,884 last year, the head of the UN agency said Thursday.

"The areas where is most prevalent, judging by the cases, are retail, fashion and banking and finance," said WIPO director general Francis Gurry.

"The simple explanation is the increased use of the Internet, which increases the potential infringers," he told reporters.

Cybersquatting refers mainly to the practice of registering, trafficking in, or using an with the intention of profiting from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.

Since 2000, WIPO has provided an arbitration service which enables complainants who dispute the right to to avoid potentially costly litigation, which can also be complicated when the parties reside in different countries.

WIPO's arbitrators are empowered to award complainants a domain name if they find that the accused party has registered it abusively, for example to draw .

"We are very proud of the fact that this is a very international procedure. It caters for the international character of the Internet," Gurry said.

The United States topped the table for both complainants, with 798 cases, and accused parties, with 784.

Second in the latter category was China—often criticised by Western business over its policing of intellectual property rules—with alleged cybersquatters there targeted in some 500 cases.

Most of the rest of the complainants are based in Europe, notably Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland.

In contrast, WIPO heard just nine cases from Chinese complainants last year.

But the geography of cyber disputes is shifting, according to Erik Wilbers, head of WIPO's mediation and arbitration centre.

"Traditionally, the United States has been and continues to be the largest location of complainants and also the largest location of respondents parties," he said.

"However, there is an evolution there (linked) to the use of the Internet (which) relatively speaking is probably moving east to Asia, China, Southeast Asia, the emerging economies. They are all becoming bigger players on the Internet, including in domain name registrations," he said.

Asian countries are set to feature increasingly on the complainant side, he added.

Explore further: Facebook awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cybersquatting disputes grow in 2010

Mar 31, 2011

The number of challenges for cybersquatting -- the misleading use of trademarks for Internet domain names -- rose by 28 percent last year, the World Intellectual Property Organisation said Thursday.

Global patent filings rose 6.6% in 2012, WIPO reports

Mar 19, 2013

International patent filings increased by 6.6 percent in 2012 from the previous year, with China, Japan and South Korea posting double-digit growth, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) said ...

Internet regulator mulls cybersquatting block

Jul 13, 2009

(AP) -- The Internet's key oversight agency is considering a centralized database of trademark holders, to cut down on questionable registrations of new Internet addresses.

Recommended for you

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

1 hour ago

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

8 hours ago

SoundCloud said Thursday that it will start paying artists and record companies whose music is played on the popular streaming site, a move that will bring it in line with competitors such as YouTube and Spotify.

Facebook awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

16 hours ago

Facebook awarded a $50,000 Internet Defense Prize to a pair of German researchers with a seemingly viable approach to detecting vulnerabilities in Web applications.

Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

Aug 20, 2014

Twitter and some other social media outlets are trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers publicity ...

User comments : 0