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Dot-Com is Still King - of Domain Name Disputes

Doug Isenberg

Despite the launch of more than 1,200 new gTLDs, .com remains far and away the most popular top-level domain involved in domain name disputes.

In 2016, .com domain names represented 66.82 percent of all gTLD disputes at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the only domain name dispute provider that publishes real-time statistics. And, as of this writing, the rate is even higher so far in 2017, with .com domain names accounting for 69.78 percent of all disputes.

Not surprisingly, the overall trend since the launch of the new gTLDs shows .com appearing in a smaller percentage of cases under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). For example, in 2012, when the new gTLD applications were unveiled, .com domain names represented 74.84 percent of all gTLD disputes at WIPO.

Of course, some new gTLDs are appearing in UDRP cases, with 13 new gTLDs represented in 10 or more UDRP cases at WIPO in 2016:

  • .xyz
  • .top
  • .club
  • .online
  • .vip
  • .store
  • .website
  • .cloud
  • .site
  • .space
  • .shop
  • .lol
  • .date

But, the discrepancy between .com disputes and others is tremendous (as the chart above shows): WIPO saw 3,120 .com domain names in dispute proceedings last year, but the most-commonly disputed new gTLD — .xyz — appeared only 321 times.

As I've written before, the large number of new gTLDs probably contributed to a record number of UDRP disputes in 2016. But it's clear that new gTLDs are accounting for relatively few disputes.

Trying to understand why new gTLDs don't appear in more UDRP proceedings is pure speculation, though a couple of explanations seem reasonable:

  • New gTLD registrations account for a small percentage of all domain names. While there were 329.3 million total domain name registrations (with .com accounting for 126.9 million of those) as of the end of 2016, there are currently fewer than 29 million new gTLD registrations. Therefore, there is simply a relatively small number of gTLD registrations that could be subject to a dispute.
  • Trademark owners care more about .com domain name registrations and how they are being used. While new gTLDs are bothersome to many trademark owners, their limited appeal makes them less important to dispute.

By Doug Isenberg, Attorney & Founder of The GigaLaw Firm. Learn more by visiting The GigaLaw Firm website. Doug Isenberg also maintains a blog here.

Related topics: Cybersquatting, Domain Names, Top-Level Domains, UDRP

 
   

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Comments

Doug,One, it would be interesting to look Alex Tajirian  –  May 04, 2017 9:34 AM PDT

Doug,
One, it would be interesting to look at the relative times between registration and dispute filing dates across gTLDs. And whether the .com phenomenon is as pronounced.

Two, the number of registered domain names for each gTLD must enter into the comparisons, as the more registered names, the more disputes.

Regards

If you like to crunch numbers... John Berryhill  –  May 12, 2017 7:52 AM PDT

"As I've written before, the large number of new gTLDs probably contributed to a record number of UDRP disputes in 2016. But it's clear that" you were wrong.

If you want to see the impact of a policy shift in UDRP outcomes, you might even have some fun doing this:

What was the proportion of annual RDNH filings pre- and post- Octogen/Mummygold.

It's quite simple to tote up the annual numbers at rdnh.com and run a simple hypothesis check on whether there is a correlation between those decisions, and the incidence of RDNH.

John,My reply is only to your comment Alex Tajirian  –  May 15, 2017 10:46 AM PDT

John,

My reply is only to your comment above, not what you have said elsewhere.
(1) Significant correlation does not necessarily imply causality.
(2) Suppose one finds significant correlation between new gTLDs and UDRP disputes. What are the implications? Should we not lauch new gTLDs?

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