Cybersquatting: a widespread custom
01 April | Posted by @Catherine Beaumier Lacroix
Last Thursday, the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) has published the latest results regarding cybersquatting. The study reveals that the number of complaints registered in 2010 has reached a new peak. With a 28% increase on the 2009 level, which was 16% higher than the registered numbers in 2008, we can state that cyberspace litigations are causing more and more headaches.
Cybersquatting is a frequently used custom that consists in registering an Internet domain name related to brands, companies or public figures in order to take advantage of the reputation associated to the name in question. We also refer to it as domain name theft.
In 2010 only, the WIPO states that 2 696 cases were filed by cybersquatted brand owners. The vast majority of complainants come from the retailing sector (9.67%), the banking and financial sector (9.31%), the technology and web sector (8.23%) and from the fashion market (7.37%).
The WIPO has been receiving Internet domain name theft complaints since 1999. Throughout 11 years of cyberspace proceedings, the WIPO was handed over 20 000 cybersquatting cases, which concerned 35 000 different domain names. In 2010, 82% of cases tackled by the organization were related to “.com” registrations, and in 9 out of 10 cases, complainants won.
Identity theft on social networks: companies and public figures struggle to reclaim their official name.
Official title appropriation on various social networking accounts such as Facebook and Twitter seems to become more popular in the Web 2.0 world. Throughout the last years, many public figures (actors, musicians, politicians, etc.) and companies were shocked to find out about active accounts using their official name. Identity theft cases in social networks are becoming more frequent and appeals are long and complicated.
How to prevent cybersquatting
The best solution on how to prevent web identity theft is to purchase main domain names of your company, society, artist name, etc., and to make sure that ownership for these domain names is renewed each year. Even if you don’t consider having a website developed soon, these names will therefore be protected against cybersquatters. As for the Social Media, it is crucial to create accounts on main networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn) in order to acquire possession of your official name.Share