Cybersquatting Scorecard

03 04 2017

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has released the latest statistics on cybersquatting cases filed in 2016.

Cybersquatting is the practice of bad faith use and or registration of a domain name. The UDRP test is for a complainant to show bad faith registration and use, while under the auDRP a complainant must show that the domain was either registered or used in bad faith. WIPO reports that the number of cybersquatting cases hit a record high of 3,036 cases in 2016 – a 10% increase from the previous year.

The Top 10 Countries by number of cybersquatting cases filed in 2016 were: U.S., France, Germany, U.K., Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia. France, Denmark and Australia all saw an increase of over 30% in the number of cases filed from the previous year. The Top 5 Areas of Commerce by number of cases filed were: Banking and Finance; Fashion; Heavy Industry and Machinery; Internet and I.T; and Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals.

WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry, said: “The continuing growth in cybersquatting cases worldwide shows the need for continued vigilance by trademark owners and consumers alike.  This is even more important as a considerable number of these disputes involve incidents of online counterfeiting.”.

Trade mark and brand owners should take active steps in ensuring that their online reputation and presence is protected, and stay aware of anyone else who registers their trade mark, or a similar mark, as a domain name.

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