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WIPO domain dispute coup continues

Bigger share, biased results

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WIPO has continued its march toward control of the domain dispute market, taking 68.5 per cent of all cases in November - up from 66 per cent in October, 63 per cent in September and just 48 per cent back in January.

How it is doing this is no secret - it consistently favours big business and celebrities over anyone else (complainant wins 67.5 per cent of cases; 15.8 per cent are settled or terminated) and reaps the benefit of publicity.

These details and many many more like them have been supplied by the Syracuse University Convergence Center, which has produced a report on the whole Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and come up with some suggestions on how to improve the system. The report is careful not to criticise too heavily, but does note that the two biggest of the four ICANN-approved arbitrators - WIPO and NAF - "tend to interpret the UDRP in ways that favour trademark holders over other Internet users, whereas eResolutions decisions tend to adhere more closely to the strict language of the policy". eResolutions takes a 6.5 per cent market share.

The basic conclusion of the report is that the wording of UDRP is solid but the system that has built up around it needs updating. The main problem is the complainant's ability to choose which arbitrator the case goes to, so it is obviously in its interests to go for one that rules in favour of the complainant. The Convergence Center looked at the options and decided a system where the registrars choose where the case goes is the best system.

There's a whole lot of other stuff in the report which people interested in this side of things will find invaluable, including some snappy stats, which we'll shove below. Individual cases are also quickly reviewed and dodgy decisions exposed. In short, good work Syracuse. ®

  • The number of cases filed per month peaked at 343 in August and has since declined to about 250.
  • For every domain name registration dispute, approximately 3,500 new names are registered.
  • Disputed domain names are registered, on average, a year and three months before being challenged. Many names are challenged only two weeks after registration; the oldest challenged domain name was registered in 1989 - and the complainant won.
  • One third of all cases are defaults (ie. one party didn't turn up); complainants win 98% of those cases.

    Related Link

    The Syracuse report

    Related Stories

    WIPO madness round-up
    Who the hell does WIPO think it is?

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