WIPO has now confirmed what I noted in December: 2018 was a record year for domain name disputes. According to the final tally, trademark owners filed 3,447 complaints with WIPO under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). That’s an increase of more than 12 percent from the previous year, which had also set a record.
Filing a complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is usually seen as a quicker and less-expensive alternative to litigation, but the filing fees charged by the UDRP service providers are often an important consideration. Understanding the fees charged by the four providers — the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Forum (formerly the National Arbitration Forum), the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC), and the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) — is therefore vital to the process.
Accepting a settlement after filing a UDRP complaint may seem like a reasonable way to conclude a domain name dispute quickly and decisively, but doing so is not always the best option. Without a valid reason to settle, a trademark owner may be better offer rejecting a settlement and simply letting the UDRP case proceed to a decision.
Although much has been made of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)’s impact on whois records for domain name registrations, the truth is that these records have been frequently falsified by unscrupulous cybersquatters for years -- such as a UDRP complaint filed by Facebook against an entity identified only as "e5gfh gtfghbfh”.