Knowing your enemy: cybersquatting and new gTLDs


Stéphanie Lacroix

With the arrival of new gTLDs, brands will have to be ever more watchful for online infringers, as Stéphanie Lacroix explains.

Domain names are vital to brands and trademark holders. Th ey are easy to register and sold on a fi rst come, fi rst served basis—and anyone can buy one. With nearly 300 country (.de,, etc) and generic extensions (.com, .net, etc), there are infi nite possibilities. Abusive domain registrations (cybersquatting) will be on the increase due to the 1,930 applications received by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the creation of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

From traffic hijacking to counterfeit e-commerce sites, there are many different forms of cybersquatting, all of which present a major problem for brands.

Trademark holders can use established outof- court procedures in order to protect their brands online and deal with abusive domain names. Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings arejudged by international arbitration centres such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the National Arbitration Forum, the Czech Arbitration Court and the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre.

gtlds, urs, icann, cybersquatting, wipo