Cybersquatters get the boot from UN Agency WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has thrown out a number of cybersquatters from websites which had registered domain names of well known companies, organisations and individuals.

In 2007, more than 2100 complaints were recorded by the WIPO for the "abusive registration of trademarks on the Internet", a 48 percent on 2005.

“These increases confirm that ‘cybersquatting’ remains a significant issue for rights holders,” said Mr. Francis Gurry, WIPO Deputy Director General, who oversees WIPO’s dispute resolution work.

Since every country in the world and many entities have their own top level domains, unscrupulous individuals and organisations have been quick to cash on the broad appeal that trademark and celebrity names have.

The introduction of the .asia, .info and .mobi global top level domains has made it more urgent for organisations that have a worldwide reach to look into protecting their names and trademarks.

Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Banking and Finance, Internet and IT, Retail, and Entertainment represent the bulk of complainants' business activity with the Pharmaceutical sector being the hardest hit, not a surprise given the number of spam promoting dodgy pills and medication.

The WIPO press release had an interesting footnote on a practice known as Domain Name Tasting which has been a controversial issue and on which both the ICANN, the organisation overseeing domain names worldwide, and Google have agreed to act (see ICANN, Google vow to end Domain Tasting).