WIPO Offers Insights on Domain Name Trends

By Doug Isenberg As I noted in an earlier post, WIPO received a record number of domain name disputes in 2012. Now, in a report and press conference, WIPO not only has confirmed this statistic, but it has provided some interesting new insights into the trends surrounding cybersquatting.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry (left) and Arbitration and Mediation Center Director Erik Wilbers (right)


For example, WIPO's report tells us:

  • "Parties settled around one out of five WIPO cases before reaching panel decision." This  is a significant number and, as far as I know, this is the first time that data about settlements has been released by any UDRP service provider. It's an especially important data point at WIPO, which routinely offers partial refunds to complainants in UDRP proceedings terminated by the parties prior to the appointment of a panel.
  • "Applying UDRP jurisprudence, WIPO panels in 2012 found evidence of cybersquatting in 91% of all decided cases." This is also an enlightening number, as it seems to indicate that more disputes are ending in favor of trademark owners, which historically have obtained transfers in just over 85% of all domain name disputes at WIPO.
  • "By the ICANN-established deadline of March 13 of this year, parties had filed 71 LRO [legal rights objection] cases with WIPO." Details about most, but not all, of these cases have been published on WIPO's website. In the coming months, we'll learn for the first time how these unprecedented disputes will be resolved.

To watch comments from top WIPO representatives on these domain name issues, fast-forward the video above to about the 7:35 mark.