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Over 2,000 cybersquatting cases in 2008

Rights holders exposed by new top-level domains

The highest number of cybersquatting cases ever were filed during 2008, says the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

According to the body, 2,329 cases were handled last year and included disputes over URLs relevant to Madrid's 2016 Olympic bid, the BBC, Arsenal football club and US actress Scarlett Johansson.

The WIPO also said ICANN's plan to allow any web user to buy a top-level domain name could increase the number of cybersquatting cases.

WIPO director-general Francis Gurry told Reuters: "The creation of an unknowable and potentially vast number of new gTLDs (generic top-level domains) raises significant issues for rights holders, as well as internet users generally".

Gurry said the WIPO would work with ICANN to check the proposed suffixes to avoid cybersquatting cases.

Gurry also revealed that trademarks that don't have a meaning such as Sony and Kodak are easier to defend than those based on words or names.

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See also: Cybersquatting attacks surged in 2008


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