Record number of UDRP cases in 2021
The number of UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution) cases increased by 22% in 2021, according to WIPO. The pandemic might be one explanation for this increase, and that people are spending more and more time online.
* Image from WIPO. https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/statistics
Therefore, it is more important than ever for companies to have a clear digital presence that proactively protects their brand, whilst being able to quickly identify and enforce on infringing domains/websites.
A secure digital presence means using the correct tools and paths to enforce your rights before the damage is done.
According to WIPO, domain names under the .com-domain account for about 75% of UDRP cases during the past year, which demonstrates the continued relevance of the TLD. In the total of 5,128 cases during the year, parties from 132 countries were represented. Most applications came from the USA, France, UK, Switzerland and Germany in that order.
It is not surprising that the number of UDRP cases is increasing. The downside of more and more companies seeing digital opportunities is that it also attracts opportunists. As we reported earlier, cybersquatted domains are a real threat to trademark owners today. Domain name infringement occurs to a greater extent than infringement through other digital channels, such as social media or marketplaces. The increased threat scenario means that more companies realize the importance of monitoring domain registrations for trademark infringement. If you then want to act, UDRP is a cost-effective alternative for resolving domain name disputes without involving court, for top-level domains that apply this procedure.
Some advice for you who are responsible for one or more brands:
- Close gaps. Make sure you have a domain strategy that creates opportunities (by enabling digital presence and traffic to your site) but also protects your brand (by securing your name under the country code top-level domains where you operate). That way you will be less exposed.
- Monitor how your brand is used in domain registrations. Domain monitoring is one of the most cost-effective tools available against one of the most common infringements. You can read more about Domain Monitoring here!
- Act to protect your name if someone infringes. Dotkeeper and AWA have skilled experts who can help you assess the situation and guide you through the procedure.