Cybersquatting disputes grow in 2010

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The number of challenges for cybersquatting -- the misleading use of trademarks for Internet domain names -- rose by 28 percent last year, the World Intellectual Property Organisation said Thursday.

Some 2,696 cases were filed by trademark holders from 57 countries, including major companies such as Toyota, Bank of America, Apple and Pfizer, over the use of their brands on internet address names, said WIPO.

The Geneva-based agency arbitrates cybersquatting disputes. Most of them related to the retail trade, banking, pharmaceuticals, IT and fashion industries.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry described it as "a significant level of increase, 16 percent higher than the previous lead year in 2008."

But he had no explanation for the growth, apart from the constant increase in overall domain name registrations on the Internet.

© 2011 AFP

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