In the 12 months to July 2012, there was a six per cent year-on-year increase in the number of domain name disputes, with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) ruling on 2944 cases.
These cases centre on individuals buying website addresses containing words protected by trade mark rights or with a slightly different spelling of a well-known site. The aim is then to sell the domain to the trade mark owner for a significant profit or to trade off the reputation of famous firms, usually with fake products.
With the intellectual property of a business typically accounting for 80 per cent of its value, it is vital that steps are taken to protect the online presence of associated brands.
A domain name dispute can provide a much speedier and cost-effective way of achieving this when compared with complex litigation in the foreign jurisdictions where many cybersquatters are based.
Indeed, there has been a doubling of the number of complaints about cybersquatters based in China since 2009, with these individuals now making up 12 per cent of the cases brought, although the largest number of alleged infringers still reside in the United States.
At Palmers Solicitors, we can advise on all aspects of domain name disputes and other IT issues. For more information on this or any other intellectual property matter, please contact us.