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WIPO Handles 25,000th Domain Name Dispute

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

19 October 2006

In seven years of operation, the caseload of the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization has topped the 25,000 mark with a case that has just been decided, the Organisation announced on Monday.

Since it launched its domain name dispute resolution services, the WIPO Center has resolved disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and various other policies.

The 25,000th case related to a cybersquatting dispute handled under the UDRP.

In the period since the launch of its dispute resolution services under the UDRP in December 1999 through to August 2006, 9,567 UDRP or UDRP-based cases (generic top level domains, gTLDs and country code top-level domains, ccTLDs) have been filed with the WIPO Center, covering 17,912 separate domain names involving parties from 136 countries.

These figures rise to 25,085 cases when the caseload of the various ad hoc "sunrise" dispute resolution policies, designed to avoid the flood of cybersquatting cases generated by the initial introduction of domain names, namely .info Sunrise, .biz STOP, .name ERDRP and .mobi Sunrise cases, are taken into account.

As these policies are applicable for a limited time, these cases are received on a non-recurring, one-off basis. With the exception of the cases in the .mobi domain, which has commenced only recently, all WIPO sunrise cases have been resolved. These so-called sunrise policies established procedures that offered trademark owners additional means to preempt and counter abusive and bad-faith registration of their trademarks as domain names within a specified start-up phase.

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