In a press statement issued today, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) expressed its anxiety about current trends in cybersquatting.
Right: Cybersquatter, by Justin Bua (available here)
The flier for the press release reads, in relevant part:
"Against the background of an unprecedented number of cybersquatting cases in 2007, the evolving nature of the domain name registration system (DNS) is causing growing concern for trademark owners around the world. Last year, a record 2,156 complaints alleging cybersquatting – or the abusive registration of trademarks on the Internet - were filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center (Center), representing an 18% increase over 2006 and a 48% increase over 2005 in the number of generic and country code Top Level Domain (gTLDs and ccTLDs) disputes".The IPKat isn't surprised at the trend: he believes it's far worse than WIPO's statistics suggest, since (i) where cybersquatters use sites actively it becomes realistic to pursue them through the courts and secure damages or an account of profits and (ii) where cybersquatters don't use sites actively, reputable traders have to be quite selective as to which ones they proceed against before WIPO, national equivalents or anyone else because of the huge toll in terms of time, money and effort. Merpel adds, the proliferation of pathetic and nearly meaningless top level domains doesn't help either. Who was it that urged the creation of .biz, .name and .info? It surely wasn't reputable business, was it?
Very long list of serious and not-so-serious top level domains here
The IPKat offers a copy of Elle Todd's excellent Gringras: the Law of the Internet (details here) to the best suggestions for truly silly top level domains. Please send your entries here and be patient if you don't get a swift acknowledgement. Closing date: Friday 4 April.