Trademark owners less prolific in 2016 domain disputes, statistics show


The percentage of domain name disputes won by trademark owners fell in 2016, statistics from ICANN reveal. 

In its updated “gTLD Marketplace Health Index (Beta)”, ICANN reported that while the number of successful cases under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) increased between 2015 and 2016, the total wins, as a percentage of the total complaints filed, dropped from 80.7% to 77.6%.

Between 2012 and 2016, the highest share of wins for trademark owners was 96.7%, in 2013. The figure for 2014 dropped to 74.3%, with the statistics for that year and those thereafter including data on the URS as well, rather than just on the UDRP.

The first decision under the URS, a lower-cost rights protection mechanism brought in for the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) programme, was made in September 2013.

ICANN’s figures don’t provide a breakdown between the UDRP and URS, but they show that in 2016, trademark owners won 3,562 cases against domain name owners, up from 3,505 the year before.

The data also showed that in the first half of 2017, the number of second-level domain names (SLDs) introduced within new gTLDs dropped to 7,417, from 12,515 in the same period of 2016. The number of legacy SLDs also fell, from 33,980 to 29,498.

Just 1,674 ‘dot brand’ SLDs were introduced in the first six months of this year, compared with 2,386 in the first half of 2016. 

According to, the most popular new gTLD is .xyz, with more than 2,600 SLDs.

In an article for the INTA Daily News 2017, TBO’s sister site WIPR heard how the number of active ‘dot brand’ domains is growing at a steady pace and that some interesting use cases have emerged. 

Back in 2012, as part of the new gTLD programme, nearly 600 brand owners applied for their own name as a TLD and the term ‘dot brand’ was coined. 

ICANN, cybersquatting, domain names, URS, UDRP, trademark owners

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