WIPO to adjudicate Chinese domain name disputes


Rory O'Neill

WIPO to adjudicate Chinese domain name disputes

Pavel Ignatov / Shutterstock.com

A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) centre has become the first non-Chinese body to provide dispute resolution services for Chinese country code top-level domains (ccTLD).

WIPO’s Arbitration and Meditation Center earlier this month began offering dispute resolution services for the .CN and .中国 (China) ccTLD.

The .CN and .中国 (China) ccTLD is among the largest in the world, with more than 22 million registrations.

The Cyberspace Administration of China’s (CAC) decision to designate the WIPO centre as a dispute resolution provider comes after WIPO chief Francis Gurry and CAC minister Zhuang Rongwen signed a memorandum of understanding last month.

Commenting on the news, Gurry said “authenticity on the internet is critical to ensuring the safety and expansion of e-commerce and restoring domain names to legitimate trademark and other rights owners contributes to curbing consumer deception”.

“In a market as large as China this assumes even greater significance,” he added.

WIPO’s dispute resolution services are aimed primarily at tackling the activity known as cybersquatting, whereby entities register domain names under another party’s protected trademark.

A number of high-profile brands and IP bodies have taken action against alleged cybersquatters in recent months.

Chanel and Adidas have both filed lawsuits at US district courts this year, while in May TBO reported that two key European IP institutions had joined forces to tackle cybersquatters.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and EURid, the registry manager of the .eu and .ею ccTLDs, launched a new service designed to help EU trademark owners combat cybersquatting directed against their IP.

Under the scheme, brand owners can opt-in to receive immediate alerts when an EU domain identical to their trademark is registered.

Cyberspace Administration of China, cybersquatting, Francis Gurry, WIPO, World Intellectual Property Organization, domain names, ccTLD, .CN, .中国

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