WIPO recommends stricter cybersquatting laws


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently completed its second study of domain name disputes. The first study of three years ago led to the creation of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy, and dealt exclusively with domain names that include trademarks.

The new study addresses issues related to domain names that contain identifiers other than trademarks, including:

  • international non-proprietary names for pharmaceutical substances;

  • names and acronyms of intergovernmental organizations (eg, WIPO); and

  • personal and geographical names.

WIPO has advised its member nations to enact new anti-cybersquatting provisions that include these identifiers.

The study found that many individuals, municipalities and companies have been blocked from using domain names with their identifiers because there has been widespread registration of internet domains by people who have no connection whatsoever with the names they give their sites. Ironically, even WIPO has been victimized - a registrant called the World Intellectual Piracy Organization holds 'wipo.co.uk'.

Douglas Wood and Linda Goldstein, Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood, New York

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