Cybersquatting complaints against .com domains are dropping

domainking131

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Staff member
Here’s a story you’ve not heard told: For many years, the number of UDRPs aimed at .COM domains has been declining.

Does that come as a surprise? We hear about high-profile UDRPs all the time, and the newsworthy cases usually involve some valuable domain name that has been put in jeopardy. Since .COM tends to be the most sought-after suffix worldwide as well as the TLD registered in the greatest volume, it naturally ends up in the spotlight.

What we, as domain investors, remember most keenly are the egregious UDRP filings – when complainants abuse the process, attempting to confiscate some domain already purchased in good faith by someone else. In reality, though, most UDRPs address run-of-the-mill instances of cybersquatting, where bad faith on the part of the domain owner is too obvious and boring to merit reporting.

.COM registrations are at an all-time high. Yet the fact remains: Overall, .COM domains feature in UDRPs less and less. That wasn’t the headline of WIPO’s March article. Instead, their press release bore the provocative title, “Cybersquatting Cases Up in 2015, Driven by New gTLDs”.


WIPO – for those just joining the party – stands for the World Intellectual Property Organization. They’re a forum where UDRP complaints are filed and adjudicated. During 2015, WIPO processed 2,754 cases. For that same year, I count 1,437 UDRPs handled by the National Arbitration Forum (NAF), another major venue. All such forums are sustained by filing fees; so arguably there’s an incentive to drum up business (in the form of future complaints) by exaggerating the scale of cybersquatting. That’s my cynicism talking. Really, forums such as WIPO and NAF are necessary to safeguard both trademark holders and online consumers in general.


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