Cybersquatting reaches all-time high

The World Intellectual Property Organisation has revealed that the number of cases of cybersquatting rose to record levels last year.

WIPO figures showed that the number of registered cases of the misuse of trademarks in domain names saw an increase of 28 percent from 2009, with 2,696 cases recorded from 57 countries.

This also meant a 16 percent increase on the previous record set back in 2008.

The organisation found that 91 percent of the cases seen by the WIPO panel, encompassing a total of 4,370 domain names, had evidence of squatting and decided in favour of the complainants.

According to the figures the top five areas of activity were “retail, banking and finance, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, internet and IT, and fashion” which to us sounds like almost everything.

A host of famous names made claims against those who had imitated their trademarks to set up a site including AOL, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Wikimedia.

WIPO’s Director General Francis Curry highlighted the “significant increase”, though was unable to give any further reason other than an increase in domain names overall.