domain name disputes

WIPO issues WRONG report regarding domain name disputes in 2018

Trademark owners filed a record 3,447 cases under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) with WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center in 2018

WIPO claims that businesses reacted to the proliferation of websites used for counterfeit sales, fraud, phishing, and other forms of online trademark abuse. (Annex 1)

But besides that not being the complete truth, it seems that the math are wrong in the report and probably in a few previous reports.

For example WIPO’s 2018 caseload covered 5,655 domain names in total.

WIPO says that “disputes involving domain names registered in new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) accounted for some 13% of the total, with disputes most commonly found in .ONLINE, .LIFE, and .APP (Annex 2). Representing 73% of the gTLD caseload, .COM demonstrated the continuing popularity of the legacy gTLDs.”

WIPO must be using some newly invented math as the 3,660 .com domains are not 73% of the total 5,655 domains. They are in fact 65%. All math in Annex 2 is not right.

In fact that in seems that new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) did NOT accounted for some 13% of the total but rather about 25% of all domains!!!

What they probably did is that they used numbers from the top 40 TLDs and combined them with the total number of domains involving hundreds of TLDs. Annex 2 with the top 40 TLDs only has 4,852 domains while the total number is 5,655.

In case there is something I am missing the 2017 report also has wrong math.

Aside from the wrong math is also worth noting that caseload involving Legacy TLDs (.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .pro, .asia, .mobi) actually went from 4,822 domains in 2017 to 4,262 domains in 2018, down about 12%. Also the total number of domains went from 6,370 in 2017 to 5,655 in 2018.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said: “Domain names involving fraud and phishing or counterfeit goods pose the most obvious threats, but all forms of cybersquatting affect consumers. WIPO’s UDRP caseload reflects the continuing need for vigilance on the part of trademark owners around the world.”

WIPO UDRP cases in 2018 involved parties from 109 countries. The U.S., with 976 cases filed, remained the first-ranked filing country, followed by France (553), the U.K. (305), Germany (244), and Switzerland (193). (Annex 3)

The top three sectors of complainant activity were banking and finance (12% of all cases), biotechnology and pharmaceuticals (11%), and Internet and IT (11%). (Annex 4) Annex 5 provides the list of top WIPO UDRP filers in 2018.

Cases were decided by 318 panelists from 54 countries in 2018. The WIPO Center administered cases in 19 different languages.

WIPO also provides its domain name services for over 75 Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs). The domains. AI (Anguilla), .GE (Georgia), and .PY (Paraguay) were added in 2018. Disputes involving domain names registered in ccTLDs accounted for nearly 500 cases, almost 15% of WIPO’s 2018 caseload. WIPO significantly overhauled and expanded its posted party resources for ccTLD disputes.

Recently introduced provisions, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are affecting the accessibility of registrant information in “WhoIs” domain name databases. In response to these developments, the WIPO Center in 2018 published informal guidance for trademark owners exploring UDRP filing and it remains involved in ICANN discussions on a WhoIs access solution.

Since the WIPO Center administered the first UDRP case in 1999, total WIPO case filings passed the 42,500 mark in 2018, encompassing over 78,500 domain names. (Annex 1)


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. Dang! How did I miss this? Good spot.

  2. I think I know what’s happening. WIPO is mixing ccTLD cases under different policies. If you go here:

    You can download the Excel sheet behind its release and see the TLDs it included. It totals only 5022 names for 2018.

  3. Yeah, in fact they took 3,660 divided by 5,022, which was the number of gTLD cases. The rest of the cases were ccTLDs.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      Even if this is true they are mixing different percentages in the same sentense. This is totally misleading and I wonder why.

      Then the new gtld % is from the total domains (including cctlds) while the .com % is from the gtlds (excluding cctlds)? This is complete bs.

      • Yeah the math is weird. Even if you add up the new TLD domains out of the total domains it’s not 13%. Makes me wonder if the 13% number is based on the number of cases, not domains

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        So they could be mixing cases and domains in the same sentense? They need to clarify this report.

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