Laws Of .com

Record-breaking year in cybersquatting evictions

Increases in income generated from online sales by mega brands has led to a record breaking year in cybersquatting adjudications, according to legal information provider Sweet & Maxwell. Between July 2011 and July 2012, there have been an unprecedented 2,944 disputes adjudicated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (the “WIPO”). Speaking to the correlation between online sales and the WIPO adjudications, John Olsen, partner at law firm Edwards Wildman and editor of Domain Names: Global Practice and Procedure comments that online retailers “…are doing all that they can to protect their revenue streams - domain names are the key to the door of online retail."

This trend appears to have caught on among celebrities as well. In seeking to protect the value of their personal brands, celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Boris Johnson, Madonna, Wayne Rooney and Pamela Anderson have taken action to evict their cybersquatters. Mr. Olsen points to the increasing number of alleged cybersquatters in China as leading the global increase, “Domain name squatting was a problem during the dot com bubble from 1995-2000…statistics show a second wave of squatting cases, driven by the upsurge in Chinese domain registrations since 2010."

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