If it ain't broke . . .


If it ain't broke . . .

The UDRP has functioned efficiently in a changing DNS landscape for more than a decade, and WIPO will most likely want to keep it that way even as its workload increases. TB&I reports.

In the early years of the domain name system (DNS), trademark owners aggrieved about alleged cybersquatting had few options to remedy the problem. If they were serious, they were forced to wage a costly legal battle in the attempt to remove the disputed website. But in August 1999, that all changed. The little-known Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the snappy-sounding Uniform Domain- Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) for resolving clashes between rights owners and website registrants. Thirteen years later, IP owners widely champion the policy as a cheaper and more efficient alternative to the courts.

As the leading UDRP arbitrator, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) knows the policy from top to bottom and inside out. WIPO’s Arbitration and Media Center, which picks from a list of panellists stretching from Canada to Croatia, has processed more than 24,000 cases and possesses a deep, probably unrivalled, institutional knowledge of the UDRP.

Since 2009, filings have risen by 40 per cent. In early 2012, the organisation published statistics showing that in 2011 it handled more cases (2,764) covering more domain names (4,781) than in any other year. The workload is piling up.

udrp, dns, gtlds, icann, cybersquatting