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Domain Name Disputes Doubled Since 2003, Origin of Most Cases in US

Domain name disputes have been on steady rise for the past several years and have more than doubled since 2003. As reported today by Pingdom, while there was a period between 2000 and 2003 when the number of domain dispute cases declined, they have been continuously increased since 2003 with most cases involving more than one domain name.

Based on the WIPO domain dispute data, Pingdom also points out that: 85% of domain disputes are judged in favor of the complainant; the United States is the origin of the most domain disputes by far, both for defendants and complainants; 40% of the defendants are US-based, which is a lot considering that the US only has 15% of the world Internet population.

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So, most of the squatters are in the USA, most of the infringed copyrights belong to US companies Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Dec 31, 2008 9:29 PM PDT

Anything more than that little factoid in the report?

Cybersquatting is 89% a .com/.net/.org and 45% a US problem - The new TLDs will not change this fact Dirk Krischenowski  –  Jan 01, 2009 7:12 AM PDT

Let's have a look on how the situation with a typical typo term like "yah00" really looks like:

• yah00.com/.net/.info/.biz/.eu are registered by with Yahoo! Inc.
• yah00.fr/.fi/.gr/.hu/.be/.dk/.at/.cz/ and most other European ccTLDs as well as nearly all global ccTLDs etc. are not registered at all.
• yah00.org/.de/.co.uk seem to be registered by typical typo squatters.

I tried many other typical Yahoo typos and the situation is unsurprisingly identical. That means if a large company's legal department speaks about a large domain portfolio they have to manage to protect their brand, they mean that over 80% of these domains are actually .com domains, a further 10% other gTLDs and only 10% ccTLDs.

Some facts I'd like to add to the discussion are:

• 89% of WIPO trademark cases are within the .com/.net/.org name space (source: WIPO press release March 2008)
• 80-90% of large company domain registrations (I mean defensive and typo-/cybersquatting preventive ones) are within the .com/.net/.org name space (source: whois queries for typical typos / interviews with trademark owners and company representatives)

Adding both facts to a recommended course of action would logically mean to implement asap effective notice & takedown measures within the .com/.net/.org name space (and of course the other gTLDs). This would be, for years and by far, the most effective measure to make trademark holders happy.

The new TLDs, even if there are hundreds, will never reach the importance and thereby attract the interest in typosquatters and cyberquatters as .com/.net/.org do all the time. I predict that all new TLDs in the next 10 years will not even reach 10% of the typosquatting and cyberquatting level as .com does, since there is not real competitor for .com in sight.

The whole discussion is like the one about reducing casualties by cars on the streets. The appropriate measure is not to forbid more cars to enter the street, but to increase safety in the millions of existing cars.

For more information on the topic please also read the WIPO reports, for instance:

http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2008/article_0015.html
http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2007/article_0014.html
http://www.wipo.int/edocs/prdocs/en/2006/wipo_pr_2006_435.html

disputes doubled... but .com zone file alone is almost 4 times bigger since 2003 Paul Stahura  –  Jan 02, 2009 4:01 PM PDT

There were about 20M .coms in 2003 and now there are about 75M, and other zone files have grown even faster, so disputes as a percent of the number of registered names actually went down by more then 50% since 2003

Don't confuse the issue with facts John Berryhill  –  Jan 05, 2009 9:13 AM PDT

There was also a record number of findings of reverse domain hi-jacking by UDRP complainants in 2008, but you aren't going to read that in the scare news either.  I'll have a final figure later this week, but there is a clear indication that panelists have grown impatient with some of the breathless claims in this area.

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