World Intellectual Property Organization

Development of WIPO's Dispute Resolution Services

(World Intellectual Property Organization, 1992-2007, Part III, pp. 93-104)

Towards the end of the 1980s there was a substantial increase in the use of arbitration and other extra-judicial procedures for disputes outside the traditional state-operated judicial system. However, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures, while they were becoming well-established in international business, were used less frequently in IP disputes. This might have been partly due to deeply ingrained notions of national sovereignty and territoriality. Intellectual property had traditionally been regarded primarily as a means to exclude or limit others from using certain protected subject matter, through litigation if necessary. The perspective was changing: for many companies, intellectual property was becoming an essential business asset as well as a means of creating value. It was being exploited on an increasingly international level in various forms of collaborative arrangements, such as licenses, technology transfer agreements and R&D agreements. As a consequence, parties increasingly looked for dispute resolution mechanisms that matched their business requirements: private procedures which would provide efficient, flexible and less costly means of settling international disputes without disrupting commercial relationships.

In response to these changes and based on the conclusions of an informal working group comprising representatives of the International Federation of Industrial Property Attorneys (FICPI), the International Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI) and the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI), at their General Assembly Meeting in September-October 1991, the WIPO Member States authorized WIPO to "prepare, convene and service [...] meetings of a working group of specialists [...] to consider the setting up, within the framework of WIPO, of a mechanism to provide services for the resolution of disputes between private parties over intellectual property rights". Recourse to such a service would be on a completely voluntary basis, that is, each dispute would come to the mechanism only if all parties concerned freely decided it should.

The Secretariat convened a Working Group of Non-Governmental Organizations on Arbitration and Other Extra-Judicial Mechanisms for the Resolution of Intellectual Property Disputes Between Private Parties (the Working Group), composed of representatives of NGOs specialized in intellectual property, arbitration institutions, professional associations of arbitrators and leading experts in international arbitration, to provide advice on possible services that could be made available by WIPO for the resolution of IP disputes between private parties. The Working Group met in May 1992, November 1992 and June 1993.

Based on the report on the work of the Working Group and activities undertaken by the Secretariat, the WIPO General Assembly approved in September 19931 the establishment of WIPO dispute resolution services, namely mediation, arbitration and expedited arbitration.

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Rules

An international group of renowned arbitration experts as well as a WIPO Supervisory Board on Arbitration, which later became the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Council, assisted the newly created Arbitration and Mediation Center (the Center) in drafting the WIPO Mediation, Arbitration and Expedited Arbitration Rules, contract clauses and model submissions agreements, which entered into force and were published on October 1, 1994.

In September 1994, the Director General established a second body to counsel the Center in the discharge of its functions, the WIPO Arbitration Consultative Commission. This Commission was composed of leading experts in the areas of arbitration and intellectual property. Its principal function was to provide opinions and advice to the Center on non-routine issues in respect of which the WIPO Arbitration Rules may require a decision to be taken by the Center in the course of the administration of an arbitration, principally in relation to possible challenges to arbitrators.

Mediation and Arbitration Services

Since its creation in 1994, the Center has advised parties and their lawyers on ways to resolve IP disputes, and provided them with access to the following ADR procedures, particularly suited for the resolution of international IP disputes:

Mediation: a non-binding procedure in which a neutral intermediary, the mediator, assists the parties in reaching a settlement of the dispute. (Depending on the parties' choice, mediation may be followed, in the absence of a settlement, by arbitration, expedited arbitration or expert determination.)

Arbitration: a neutral procedure in which the dispute is submitted to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on it. (Depending on the parties' choice, arbitration may be preceded by mediation or expert determination.)

Expedited Arbitration: an arbitration procedure which is carried out in an abbreviated time-frame and at a reduced cost. (Depending on the parties' choice, expedited arbitration may be preceded by mediation or expert determination.)

In 2007, the Center extended its activities and published the WIPO Expert Determination Rules. Expert determination is a procedure in which a dispute or a difference between the parties is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more experts who make a determination on the matter referred. The determination is binding, unless the parties have agreed otherwise. (Depending on the parties' choice, expert determination may be preceded by mediation or followed by (expedited) arbitration.)

As noted below, the Center administers an increasing number of cases under the WIPO Rules.

Recommended Contract Clauses and Submission Agreements

Referral to WIPO dispute resolution procedures is consensual. To facilitate the agreement of the parties concerned, the Center developed recommended contract clauses (for the submission of future disputes under a particular contract) and submission agreements (for existing disputes).2 If appropriate, the Center can assist parties in adapting the model clauses to the circumstances of their contractual relationship. The Center can also assist parties in drafting special clauses for commercial situations in which a limited number of companies are frequently involved in disputes with each other that concern overlapping IPRs. Because of the general commercial scope of the WIPO Rules, WIPO clauses are also suitable for inclusion in contracts and use in disputes that do not necessarily involve intellectual property.

Conferences and Workshops

To consider the potential advantages offered by ADR procedures in the resolution of IP and technology disputes, and to explore practical and legal aspects of such procedures, the Center organized a series of conferences and meetings, often in cooperation with other institutions, including the following:

Worldwide Forum on the Arbitration of Intellectual Property Disputes (March 3-4, 1994).

WIPO/ASA Conference on Rules for Institutional Arbitration and Mediation (January 20, 1995).

Conference on Mediation (March 29, 1996).

Conference on the Arbitration of Intellectual Property Disputes (March 21, 1997).

Biennial Conference of the International Federation of Commercial Arbitration Institutions (IFCAI) (October 24, 1997).

International Conference on Dispute Resolution in Electronic Commerce (November 6 and 7, 2000).

Conference on Dispute Resolution in International Science and Technology Collaboration (April 25-26, 2005).

Workshops

Since 1995, the Center has organized Arbitration Workshops and Mediation Workshops designed for IP lawyers, business executives, patent and trademark attorneys and others wishing to familiarize themselves with ADR processes and to receive training as mediators or arbitrators.3 By the end of 2007, over 1,000 IP professionals from over 60 countries had attended these workshops, which have achieved a high reputation among practitioners.

The Workshop for Mediators in Intellectual Property Disputes focuses on the techniques of mediation through simulated mediation exercises in the field of intellectual property. To meet increasing demand for advanced training, the Center has also been organizing an Advanced Workshop for Mediators in Intellectual Property Disputes since 2005. This Workshop focuses on further developing the central skills that apply throughout the mediation process.

The Arbitration Workshop focuses on the main principles of international commercial arbitration law and practice, with particular reference to the practical application of the WIPO Arbitration Rules in intellectual property and technology disputes.

Publications

Initially drafted in English, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Rules have since been translated into Arabic, French, German, Japanese and Spanish4 with further language versions envisioned. Developed by leading experts in cross-border dispute settlement, the WIPO Rules are widely recognized as particularly appropriate for disputes arising out of commercial transactions or relationships involving intellectual property.

In addition to its Rules, WIPO has published, also in various languages, a number of guides on its ADR services, which are free-of-charge:5

  • Dispute Resolution for the 21st Century (a general brochure on the Center's services);
  • Guide to WIPO Mediation
  • Guide to WIPO Arbitration
  • Guide to WIPO Domain Name Dispute Resolution

WIPO has also published the proceedings of the conferences which it has organized.

Mediation and Arbitration Caseload

The procedures offered by the Center under the WIPO Mediation Rules, the WIPO Arbitration Rules and the WIPO Expedited Arbitration Rules are particularly appropriate for technology, entertainment and other disputes involving intellectual property.

From 2002 and following an initial period of creating awareness of the Center's procedures, the Center observed an increase in the number of arbitrations and mediations filed with it. By the end of 2007, the Center had received some 70 requests for mediation and 100 requests for arbitration, involving parties from 17 countries in different regions, processed in English, French and other languages. The amounts in dispute varied between 20,000 euros to several hundred million US dollars.

The mediations administered by the Center related to patent disputes, software/IT, copyright issues, trademark issues (including trademark co-existence agreements), employment issues in an IP context, consultancy and engineering disputes and domain name issues. Although most of these mediations were based on contract clauses, some were submitted to WIPO mediation as a result of a submission agreement after the dispute had arisen.

The subject matter of the arbitration proceedings administered by the Center have included patent infringements, patent licenses, software licenses, distribution agreements for pharmaceutical products, research and development agreements, trademark co-existence agreements, consultancy agreements, art marketing agreements, joint venture agreements, as well as cases related to particular domain name issues.

Recent Developments in Alternative Dispute Resolution

From its establishment, the Center has focused significant resources on improving time and cost efficiency in IP alternative dispute resolution. The Center has a strong commitment to the quality of its procedures. As part of this effort, the Center launched a new tool, the WIPO Electronic Case Facility (ECAF), in 2005.6

Developed in-house, ECAF is a web-based application that allows parties under the WIPO Mediation, Arbitration, Expedited Arbitration and Expert Determination Rules to conduct their case with the aid of an electronic facility. Through its secure on-line docket function, ECAF facilitates submission of case filings and enhances access by concerned parties to such submissions. As an alternative to dispatching heavy packages to multiple locations, parties may submit case communications in any format electronically into the docket, triggering automated e-mail notifications to all parties concerned. The search function of the on-line docket facilitates access to case documents and allows easy organization of the documents chronologically or by party. ECAF also provides, at a glance, core case information, including a case summary and contact details for all parties.

Following a request from the America's Cup Management, WIPO subsequently created a customized version of ECAF to facilitate efficient dispute resolution under the America's Cup Jury Rules of Procedure. For the 32nd America's Cup, 35 cases were filed using the WIPO customized web facility, including a number of cases directly related to intellectual property such as designs and trademarks. This experience has resulted in further improvements in the regular ECAF system, thereby helping to confirm WIPO's pre-eminent position in the area of on-line dispute resolution.

Domain Name Dispute Resolution

First WIPO Process

In the late 1990s WIPO became involved in the examination of the IP aspects of the Domain Name System (DNS). One of the important issues that was considered in the course of these discussions was the interface between domain names and trademarks. While domain names were originally intended to perform only the technical function of facilitating connectivity between computers through the Internet, they have, because of their easy-to-remember and user-friendly form, come to constitute business identifiers, routinely used for marketing purposes. Businesses and organizations came to realize the significant potential of an Internet website as a means for providing information and offering goods or services directly to the public.

With the growth of the Internet, domain names came into conflict with trademarks. The possibility of such conflict arises from the lack of connection between the system for registering trademarks on the one hand, and the system for registering domain names on the other. The former system (trademarks) is administered by a public (governmental) authority on a territorial (either national or regional) basis which gives rise to rights on the part of the trademark holder that may be exercised within the pertinent territory. The latter system (domain names) is usually administered by an NGO without functional limitation: domain names are registered on a first-come, first-served basis and offer a unique, global presence on the Internet.

The potential for conflicts inherent in the two different systems of registration came to be exploited by persons who made it a practice to register, as domain names for themselves, the trademarks of other persons or enterprises. Such "cybersquatting" disputes presented unusual features that stretched the capacity of the ordinary judicial system, which cannot always provide a comprehensive solution to a conflict with a global dimension. Furthermore, litigation can be slow and expensive, factors that produced a situation in which it could be quicker and cheaper for a trademark holder to deal with a cybersquatter and buy back its rights to a domain name, rather than seek to retrieve those rights through litigation.

The relationship between Internet domain names and trademarks was addressed in 1996 by the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC), which issued its Memorandum of Understanding on the Generic Top-Level Domain Name Space of the Internet Domain Name System (gTLD-MoU) in May 1997. Taking into account advice provided by WIPO on IP and dispute resolution issues, the IAHC (later the Policy Oversight Committee (POC)) represented an initial effort to develop a mechanism for addressing potential conflicts between trademarks and domain names.

An important development in the discussions on the future organization and management of the DNS was the publication in 1998 of a Statement of Policy on Management of Internet Names and Addresses by the Department of Commerce of the United States of America (the USG White Paper), following intensive discussions and public debate internationally.7

With the approval of its Member States, WIPO undertook a process of Internet-based and in-person consultations throughout the various regions of the world. WIPO endeavored to obtain the widest possible geographical and sectoral participation. The process took approximately 10 months to complete and was assisted by an international group of experts.

This so-called WIPO First Process culminated in the publication on April 30, 1999 of a Report8 containing the findings and recommendations of the Process. These included recommendations for improved registration practices and the adoption of a mandatory and uniform dispute resolution policy for registrants in all generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs).

On August 26, 1999, at a meeting held in Santiago, Chile, the Interim Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for the management of the technical and policy aspects of the DNS, adopted a resolution on the introduction of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) for gTLD registrars. WIPO subsequently provided significant input to ICANN and to the drafting committee convened by the President of ICANN on the preparation of the implementation documents cited in the ICANN resolution.

Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy

On December 1, 1999, the UDRP, adopted by ICANN on October 1, 1999, came into effect, together with a set of accompanying procedural rules.9

Modeled on recommendations made by WIPO in the Report on the First WIPO Process, the UDRP provides holders of trademark rights with an administrative mechanism for the efficient resolution of disputes arising out of the bad-faith registration and use by third parties of Internet domain names in the gTLDs corresponding to those trademark rights. The procedure is optional for trademark owners: instead of or in addition to availing themselves of the UDRP, they may go to court. In contrast, by virtue of their registration conditions, domain name registrants must submit to the UDRP procedure once a complaint has been filed concerning the domain name held by them, even if registrants also may institute court proceedings.

Center Accredited by ICANN

The Center was the first dispute-resolution provider accredited by ICANN.10 As further described below, it established services especially designed for the submission and conduct of UDRP cases, including an extensive multilingual website offering model documents and various jurisprudential tools. The Center also created a roster of experts specialized in trademarks and the Internet. By the end of 2007, the Center's list of domain name panelists from which panels are appointed included some 400 experts from 55 countries. On December 2, 1999, the Center received the first domain name complaint filed under the UDRP. By end of 2007, it had received over 12,000 UDRP cases, making it the leading domain name dispute resolution service provider.

Second WIPO Process

On July 10, 2000, following a request from the Government of Australia and 19 other Member States, WIPO initiated the Second WIPO Domain Name Process in order to address certain IP issues relating to Internet domain names that remained to be considered after the First WIPO Process. These issues concerned the bad-faith, abusive, misleading or unfair use in domain names of:

  • personal names;
  • International Nonproprietary Names (INNs) for Pharmaceutical Substances, recommended by the World Health Organization in order to protect patient safety worldwide;
  • names of international IGOs;
  • geographical indications, indications of source or geographical terms;
  • trade names.

The Second WIPO Process addressed these outstanding issues through consultations, on-line and by in-person regional meetings, resulting in a final Report11 that was published on September 3, 2001. This Report was discussed by two special sessions of the SCT held in 2001 and 2002, resulting in recommendations to the WIPO General Assembly.12 At its meeting from September 23 to October 1, 2002, the General Assembly recommended amending the UDRP in order to provide protection for country names and for the names and acronyms of IGOs. No such recommendation was made for other identifiers. The recommendations were supplemented by the SCT at its 9th session in November 2002.13 The WIPO Secretariat transmitted those recommendations (the WIPO-2 Recommendations) to ICANN in February 2003.

Following consideration by the consultative bodies and supporting organizations of ICANN, including the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) which unanimously supported the WIPO-2 Recommendations, in June 2003 the ICANN Board of Directors decided to form a working group composed of representatives of the various ICANN supporting organizations and consultative bodies "for the purpose of analyzing the practical and technical aspects of implementing the WIPO-2 Recommendations, and notably the implications for the UDRP." This working group was established on October 6, 200314 and delivered a final report15 to the Board of ICANN in July 2004, without, however, being able to make consensus recommendations.

ICANN subsequently requested the WIPO Secretariat to provide an informal Briefing Note on the WIPO-2 Recommendations. The Briefing Note summarizes the main arguments underlying the WIPO-2 Recommendations and, in an annex, provides a draft showing the amendments to the UDRP and the UDRP Rules that would be required in order to implement the WIPO-2 Recommendations.16

Upon the request of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council, ICANN's policy-formulating body, ICANN staff produced an Issues Report on Dispute Handling for IGO Names and Abbreviations17 on June 15, 2007, and on September 28, 2007 a Staff Report on Draft IGO Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedure.18 ICANN staff's recommendation not to initiate a new Policy Development Process but rather to develop a separate Dispute Resolution Procedure for IGO names and abbreviations at the second or third level in gTLDs as of late 2007 was not adopted by the GNSO.

New gTLDs

In the 1980s, seven domains (.com, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net, and .org) were created. Over the next 12 years, discussions took place concerning additional gTLDs, leading to the selection in November 2000 of seven new TLDs for introduction in 2001 and 2002: .biz, .info, .name, and .pro (unsponsored), and .aero, .coop, and .museum (sponsored). The Center worked closely with registries to help them develop and implement specific dispute resolution policies designed to avoid the flood of cybersquatting cases that could be provoked by the introduction of new TLDs. These policies offer trademark owners additional means to preempt and counter abusive registration of their trademarks as domain names within a specified start-up phase.

Specifically, the Center administered some 15,000 cases under special introductory dispute resolution mechanisms established by the operators of the .info and .biz domains. For the benefit of ICANN and other stakeholders, the Center issued extensive reports on these experiences.19

To streamline sunrise registration mechanisms to accommodate trademark rights and drawing on its experience in dispute resolution, the Center recommended, in a 2005 report submitted to ICANN,20 a uniform preventive IP protection mechanism that would be applicable during the introduction of any new gTLD and which would be in addition to the curative relief option provided by the UDRP.

In 2005 and 2006, four new additional ICANN-approved TLDs (.cat, .jobs, .mobi, and .travel) were launched. Working closely with the .mobi registry, the Center developed a sunrise procedure as well as an unprecedented procedure for "premium" names. The latter mechanism enabled trademark owners to reclaim names, the generic value of which had led the registry to reserve these for auction or other commercial allocation. Between August 2006 and March 2007, the Center administered cases filed under these special .mobi procedures, following which the Center captured this experience in a published report for the general information of stakeholders.21

At the end of 2007, the Center worked with the .asia registry to develop the new Pioneer Domain Name Challenge Rules for .asia.

Country Code Top Level Domains

The practice of cybersquatting was not limited to gTLDs, but also affected the country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs). This development was reinforced by the increasing use of ccTLDs reflecting the spread of Internet connectivity, and the fact that many ccTLDs were moving to a more "open" registration model. On August 3, 2000, the Organization launched the WIPO ccTLD Program.

Taking into account the recommendations contained in the Report of the First WIPO Process and the experience gained by the Center in the administration of domain name disputes since the entry into effect of the UDRP in December 1999, the WIPO ccTLD Program offered ccTLD administrators a set of voluntary guidelines for the development of practices and policies to curb abusive registrations of protected names.22 These ccTLD Best Practices focus on the three areas of domain name registration practices and procedures which are most important for the protection of intellectual property in the DNS: (a) the domain name registration agreement, (b) the collection and availability of domain name registrant contact details and (c) alternative means for resolving disputes concerning domain name registrations.

Since the launch of the WIPO ccTLD Program, the administrators of numerous ccTLD registries have sought WIPO's advice on the management of intellectual property in their domains and have adopted a dispute resolution mechanism. Many adopted a dispute resolution policy based on the UDRP, retaining the Center as dispute resolution service provider. Others were assisted by the Center in their establishment of more tailored mechanisms, such as those for .ch, .es, .fr and .nl. By the end of 2007, the Center was acting as dispute resolution service provider for more than 50 ccTLDs.

Since 2002, WIPO has maintained a publicly accessible database that facilitates on-line searches for information on ccTLDs. This database contains links to ccTLD registration agreements, WHOIS services and applicable domain name dispute resolution procedures.

Resources

As part of its continuous efforts to further enhance the quality and transparency of the UDRP process, the Center has developed various tools to assist parties and panelists involved in domain name disputes. These on-line tools also provide the public with easy access to case data and the growing jurisprudence under the UDRP.

The Legal Index of WIPO Domain Name Decisions23 allows an extensive search of decisions by substantive and procedural issues. New searchable categories are continuously added so as to keep track of developments in the DNS as reflected in WIPO panel decisions. Dynamic linking to the Center's case management database ensures that search results are up-to-date. This unique tool has become the premier source of structured access to UDRP reasoning and consistently ranks as one of the most-visited WIPO web pages.

The WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions24 is a jurisprudential tool that identifies common and important substantive and procedural questions and the views expressed in WIPO panel decisions on those questions as extracted from the UDRP cases handled by the Center.

WIPO Domain Name Case Statistics provide a range of WIPO case-related data concerning parties, domain names and decisions, serving to provide a higher-level understanding of cybersquatting and other trends in relation to the DNS.

The Trademark Database Portal25 facilitates access to on-line trademark databases of a number of national and regional IP Offices, helping any person wishing to register a domain name while minimizing the potential for legal conflict, to perform a prior trademark search.

Case Filings

The Center has, throughout the years since the adoption of the UDRP, consolidated its position as the leading provider worldwide of domain name dispute resolution services. From December 1999 through December 2007, over 12,000 UDRP or UDRP-based cases have been filed with the Center, covering over 22,000 separate domain names, mostly in gTLDs but also in ccTLDs. The number of cases administered by the Center increases to 28,000 if the cases that have been completed under the registry-specific policies for new gTLDs are added. Administered by the Center in 14 different languages, these cases have involved parties from 144 countries. This geographical spread confirms the benefits of the uniformity of the UDRP approach and the choice to conduct these procedures largely online.

Since registration of domain names in non-Roman scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic or Korean (internationalized domain names) became available, the Center has received over 70 cases involving such names. With the spreading of Internet connectivity and on-line commerce, the proportion of domain name disputes of this type is expected to increase in the coming years.

While the UDRP does not specifically protect personal names as such, in situations where a complainant's personal name is being used for trade or commerce, the complainant may be able to establish unregistered or common law trademark rights in that name as a basis for a UDRP case. A personal name which has been successfully registered as a trademark is in any event actionable under the UDRP.

In 2000, Julia Roberts, the famous motion picture actress, filed a UDRP complaint requesting the transfer of the domain name juliaroberts.com based on an assertion of common law trademark rights in her name. The Panel found that registration of her name as a trademark was not necessary for the case, since it considered that the name "Julia Roberts" had acquired sufficient secondary association with the complainant to conclude that common law trademark rights existed. Taking into account the particular circumstances of the case, the Panel concluded that the respondent had no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name and had acted in bad faith, and ordered the transfer of the domain name to Ms. Roberts; Julia Fiona Roberts v. Russel Boyd, WIPO Case No. D2000-0210 (http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2000/d2000-0210.html).

Other celebrities who have successfully established trademark rights in their personal names and obtained transfers of their corresponding domain names under the UDRP include Lance Armstrong, Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Madonna, Pierce Brosnan, Nicole Kidman, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldinho and Xuxa.

Recent Developments in the DNS

The combined effect of developments such as: the use of WHOIS privacy services for registrations; the growth in the number of professional domain name dealers and the volume of their activity; the use of computer software to automatically register expired domain names and their "parking" on pay-per-click portal sites; the option to register names for free for a five-day trial period; the growth in the number of accredited registrars; the establishment of new gTLDs, is to create greater opportunities for abusive registration of domain names. Such registrations are often anonymously undertaken on a serial basis without particular regard for third-party IPRs. Traditionally, cybersquatting involved the registration of domain names by individuals seeking to sell the squatted domain name. By contrast, the more recent "domainers" derive income from the large-scale automated registration of domain names. They acquire domain name portfolios, buy and sell domain names and park domain names, claiming a significant share of the approximately 150,000,000 domain names that had been registered by the end of 2007.

The Center has been making continuous efforts to anticipate and react to these and other developments in the DNS, with a view both to keeping the UDRP viable and to providing policy input. One particular area of policy focus is ICANN's development of criteria for the selection of new gTLDs to be introduced.

Looking Forward

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center was established in recognition of the fact that the conditions for the effective use of intellectual property include the availability of time and cost-efficient alternatives to litigation for the resolution of disputes that may interfere with the optimal exploitation of such assets. The Center has become the principal international resource center in the area of arbitration and mediation of IP disputes, acting both as a provider of legal and organizational expertise and as an administrator of cases. The Center will continue its work to provide services that are time-and cost-effective for parties, in the face of the increasing complexity and rapid evolution of the technological, business and legal conditions underlying intellectual property and disputes arising in relation thereto.

More and more people are using the Center's evolving services and resources and with that, there has been, and will no doubt continue to be, a concurrent growth in the number (and sometimes complexity) of filings and cases adjudicated, while it becomes easier and more cost-efficient to do so. Another increasingly important benefit of the Center's work is the body of case law and jurisprudence which it is developing for future guidance, and which it is making easily accessible to everyone through the focused use of new technologies.


1 Document WO/GA/XIV/1 and 4

2 Available in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/mediation/contract-clauses/index.html

3 see http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/events/

4 WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Rules (WIPO Publication no. 446) http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/publications/

5 see http://www.wipo.int/ebookshop/

6 see http://www.wipo.int/amc/ecaf/index.html

7 The USG White Paper contained the following passage: "The U.S. Government will seek international support to call upon the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to initiate a balanced and transparent process, which includes the participation of trademark holders and members of the Internet community who are not trademark holders, to (1) develop recommendations for a uniform approach to resolving trademark/domain name disputes involving cyberpiracy (as opposed to conflicts between trademark holders with legitimate competing rights), (2) recommend a process for protecting famous trademarks in the generic top level domains, and (3) evaluate the effects, based on studies conducted by independent organizations, such as the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, of adding new gTLDs and related dispute resolution procedures on trademark and intellectual property holders. These findings and recommendations could be submitted to the board of the new corporation for its consideration in conjunction with its development of registry and registrar policy and the creation and introduction of new gTLDs."

8 The Management of Internet Names and Addresses: Intellectual Property Issues - Final Report of the WIPO Internet Domain Name Process, WIPO Publication no. 439, also available at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/processes/process1/report

9 see http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-policy-24oct99.htm and http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-rules-24oct99.htm

10 see http://www.icann.org/dndr/udrp/approved-providers.htm

11 The Recognition of Rights and the Use of Names in the Internet Domain Name System  - Report of the Second WIPO Internet Domain Name Process, WIPO Publication no. 843, also available at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/processes/process2/report

12 All working documents of the special sessions of the SCT are available at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/processes/process2

13 Document SCT/9/8, paragraphs 6 to 11. Same decision recorded in document SCT/9/9, paragraph 149

14 see http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-06oct03.htm

15 This report is posted at http://www.icann.org/committees/JWGW2/final-report

16 The Briefing Note is posted on ICANN's web site at http://www.icann.org/committees/JWGW2

17 GNSO Issues Report on Dispute Handling for IGO Names and Abbreviations is posted on ICANN's web site at http://gnso.icann.org/issues/igo-names/issues-report-igo-drp-15jun07.pdf

18 Staff Report on Draft IGO Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedure is posted on ICANN's web site at http://gnso.icann.org/drafts/gnso-igo-drp-report-v2-28sep07.pdf

19 see http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/reports/biz-stop and http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/reports/info-sunrise

20 New Generic Top-Level Domains: Intellectual Property Considerations, available at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/reports/newgtld-ip

21 The Center's End Report on Case Administration under the Sunrise Challenge Policy for .mobi and the Premium Name Trademark Application Rules for .mobi is available at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/gtld/mobi

22 see http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/amc/en/docs/bestpractices.pdf

23 see http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/index.html

24 see http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/overview/index.html

25 see http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/trademark/output.html

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