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December 2019

Tackling bad faith registration of domain names in a fast-changing landscape

By John C. McElwaine, Christopher D. Casavale

World Intellectual Property Organization Magazine

The “Dot Com” boom of the late 1990s ushered in the commercialization of the internet and spawned the expansion of the domain name system. These positive developments, however, also gave rise to the problem of cybersquatting  the bad faith registration of domain names, especially well-known trademarks, in the hope of reselling them at a profit.

On the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which has been highly successful in tackling cybersquatting, we reflect on the origins of the policy and its effectiveness, as well as how it may evolve in the years ahead.