David Goldstein - WIPO Records Increases In Disputed Domains and Cases As More TLDs Added


    WIPO handled a record number of disputes over domain names in 2017 with 3 industries – banking and finance, fashion and internet and IT – accounting for nearly one-third of the cybersquatting disputes handled by WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center.

    There were 3,074 cases handled, up from 3,036 in 2016 and 2,754 and in 2015 covering 6,370 domain names, up from 5,374 in 2016 and 4,364 in 2015. WIPO statistics go back to 2000 when there were 1,857 cases and 3,760 domain names disputed.

    The increase in cases and domain names would, in part at least, be accounted for by the addition in 2017 of .eu (European Union) and .se (Sweden), meaning WIPO is now the designated dispute resolution provider for 76 ccTLDs as well as many gTLDs.

    Germany was the fourth largest country from where complainants originated accounting for 222 cases, down 19% from 2016, while it was the 13th largest respondent country with 55 cases, down 12.7%. Switzerland was the fifth largest country by complainant with 143 cases, down 20.1%, while it was the 21st ranked country by respondent with 35 cases, up 16.7%. For Austria, it accounted for 28 cases of the originating complainant, down 17.7%, however it didn’t rank in the top 25 respondent countries.

    The US remained the country where most WIPO UDRP cases originated, with 920 cases filed in 2017, followed by France (462), the UK (276). The US was also the country from where the most respondents originated in 2017, with 758 respondents followed by China (492), UK (184) and France (100).

    The number of cases involving new gTLDs rose to 12% in 2017 with .store, .site, and .online the most commonly disputed.

    The top sectors of complainant activity were banking and finance (12% of all cases), fashion (11%), internet and IT (9%), heavy industry and machinery (8%), and food, beverages and restaurants, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, electronics, entertainment, and retail at 6% each.

    In almost one-third of banking and finance-related decided cases filed in 2017, complainants asserted fraud, phishing or scam, the highest rate among all business sectors. In over one-third of fashion-related decided cases filed in 2017, complainants asserted counterfeiting, the second highest rate among all business sectors.

    Since the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center administered the first UDRP case in 1999, total WIPO case filings passed the 39,000 mark in 2017, encompassing over 73,000 domain names.