For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Monday, 17 January 2011

WIPO v WIPD: some good news at last

The auditors did warn WIPO that its building budget
was going to be at the expense of its ageing rapid
response Central Europe dot.biz tank squad
Some dedicated readers -- almost all, judging by the IPKat's mailbox -- have been following the saga of WIPO v WIPD (see earlier posts here, here and here) and who have been wondering what, if anything, the World Intellectual Property Organization has been doing to snuff out the imitation website of the World Intellectual Property Database.  For these dedicated souls, the Kat can report that some positive tidings have drifted over the tops of breeze-ruffled palms of Lac Léman, framed by the splendour of the snow-garnished Alps.   At last the truth is out: WIPO is not sleeping on the job.  The IPKat has been in communion with a very helpful WIPO spokesperson who had contacted him in order to set the record straight. From this unrivalled source the Kat has gleaned the following information:
• “Wipd.biz” is not just a tiny two-bit fly-by-night internet nasty but a highly organized and persistent fraud operation, against which the WIPO Secretariat has been engaging its efforts as soon as the problem came to WIPO's attention in the autumn of 2010;
• Initial actions included sending cease and desist letters -- but, as we now know, WIPD neither ceased nor desisted;
• WIPO has also alerted the users of its international filing and registration services, who are the intended targets of the fraud (the organization routinely warns users of its international filing and registration services against scams and frauds and, as the Kat has previously noted, it does keep and update information about fee-request scams on its website.  It also warns folk about recruitment scams -- something the Kat didn't know about;
WIPO's Swiss Guards train for the invasion of Czech cyberspace
• Simultaneously with these other measures, the WIPO Secretariat has initiated consultations with the national authorities of the Czech Republic, where the site is hosted.  The Kat guesses that the Czechs, being good, sweet folk who like a decent beer as much as he does, must be quite uncomfortable about all this, since they also host EURid's dispute resolution body -- which can deal with .eu problems but not .biz
• WIPO is cuurrently "pursuing further legal options" to end the fraud;
• The WIPO spokesperson emphasised that the organisation was very concerned to reassure stakeholders and the whole IP community that WIPO takes this – and any other identity theft or action that deceives or misleads its stakeholders – extremely seriously, and that it was and continues to remain highly active in dealing with this crafty and sophisticated foe;
• The WIPO Secretariat is ready to use the full extent of any legal system to protect its stakeholders and its reputation. The previous comparable case was in 2009, when WIPO cooperated with the Florida authorities in a successful legal action against a Florida-based company which was sending out by mass mail misleading “invoices” to patent and trade mark applicants—including users of WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty. The company was found to have violated the state's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Speaking strictly off the record, the spokesperson expressed regret that WIPO had been slow to comment on the IPKat's posts on this matter, but "this should by no means be misinterpreted as a lack of concern or inaction".  Sources close to the top have let it slip that there is a delicate protocol issue to overcome. WIPO has a big book that tells its top brass how to address diplomats, ambassadors and members of the Royal Family, but there is no formal precedent that deals with the right way to address an email to a fictional cat.  Now that this issue has been cunningly side-stepped by use of the telephone, diplomatic relations have been informally established and the security guards have been instructed to leave a bowl of milk at the front door in case the Kat should spring a surprise visit to Geneva ...

Merpel adds, let's all get behind WIPO and cheer them on in this battle.  It's not often that I cheer the big guy on in a tussle against a smaller foe, but I'm making an exception this time.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been taken in by such employment scams more than once in recent years. Purported leading, expanding, progressive firms offering competitive benefits packages, career progression, and even a work-life balance, have turned out to be self-interested outfits with a revolving door career plan and major fallouts between management. Any expansion is merely compensation from the most recent of regular busts. And 'competitive' is such a relative word! In recruitment parlance it is relative to other bottom of the barrel firms.

Anonymous said...

Um, aren't "off the record" comments supposed to be, er, you know, off the record?

Anonymous said...

I just noticed the WIPO has added WIPD to its warning list in the recent PCT Newsletter. I am sure this will ensure that the vast marjority of the relevant target group of the WIPD is properly informed and that WIPD will not cause any harm anymore :-P

Peter Gustav Olson said...

“The Kat guesses that the Czechs, being good, sweet folk who like a decent beer as much as he does, must be quite uncomfortable about all this, since they also host EURid's dispute resolution body -- which can deal with .eu problems but not .biz”

This is not entirely correct because the Czech arbitration body has been adjudicating .biz UDRP disputes since 2009, see http://www.adr.eu/. Politically a good idea also for WIPO to avoid using their own UDRP service.

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