Since 2000, the World intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has provided arbitration services for alleged cybersquatting disputes. Cybersquatting is the abusive registering and trafficking in internet domain names to drive up profits using the goodwill created by another company or entity. WIPO reportedly began empowering arbitrators from its Arbitration and Mediation Center to award domain names to others in situations where an entity acquired or registered the website abusively.
The WIPO arbitration program was created to allow parties who reside in different nations to settle disputes without resorting to often costly and complicated litigation. According to WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, the organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center handled a record number of alleged cybersquatting cases in 2012. Last year, the number of domain name disputes arbitrated through WIPO jumped by an estimated five percent to reach nearly 3,000. The highest number of both complainants and accused reportedly hailed from the United States. Not surprisingly, China was second with regard to alleged cybersquatting offenders. Gurry stated he is proud of WIPO’s arbitration procedure and claims it caters to the “international character of the Internet.”