A UDRP case involving a .CEO domain
The statistics of the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization (CAM-WIPO) for the year 2019 revealed that the share of new gTLDs in domain name cases was around 10% (ompi.int, April 8, 2020). These cases mainly concerned the following gTLDs: .online (64), .xyz (49), .win (48), .club (34), .top (31), .app (31), .site (31), .website (.24), .store (.22). Given the multiplicity of new gTLDs, this percentage seems relatively low.
The main explanation seems to be sought in the cost of registering/renewing a domain name. Indeed, with regard to the gTLDs mentioned, this cost hardly exceeds a few tens of dollars (prices charged by the main registrars, excluding promotions). On the other hand, the registration of a domain name including the .global gTLD requires an investment of more than 100 euros (excluding promotions), which explains why there were only three cases. As for the acquisition of a .car , it requires several thousand dollars, and, to our knowledge, there is, to date, no case of cybersquatting for this top-level domain.
In 2019, no decision was rendered under the aegis of CAM-COMPI concerning the .CEO gTLD. The registration/renewal of a .CEO domain costs around 150 dollars. However, some cybersquatters could consider such an amount as a small investment or, when the opportunity arises, they could take advantage of favorable financial situations (such as promotions). For instance, AbbVie, Inc. recently had to initiate a UDRP procedure to get the transfer of abbvie.ceo (NAF, FA2007001906861, AbbVie, Inc. v. Jack Gao , August 25, 2020). The cost of a .CEO is similar to that of a .global (over 100 euros, excluding promotion).
New gTLDs offer new cybersquatting (and not just typosquatting) opportunities for cybersquatters and other fraudsters. The number of cases of cybersquatting (domain name identical to the brand) appears to be increasing. Here are a few examples:
D2020-0054, The Coca-Cola Company v. Alberto S. Somohano a/k/a Alberto Soler, Alberto Soler-Somohano, WHO, Roberto Soler, March 15, 2020. coca-cola.energy, cocacola.energy, and coke.energy
D2019-0179, LEGO Juris A/S 诉 Cui Xue, Xue Cui, March 18, 2019 lego.vip
D2019-0173, Sanofi v. Fei Liujun, March 17, 2019 sanofi.club
D2019-0208, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG v. Marius Graur, March 15, 2019 boehringer-ingelheim.world
D2019-0125, bioMérieux v. WhoisGuard, Inc. / angel heduro, March 6, 2019 biomerieux.icu
D2018-2774, Sanofi v. Marius Graur, January 25, 2019 sanofi.global
D2018-2372, Coloplast A/S v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1242178062 / Hillary Washington, January 22, 2019 coloplast.consulting
D2018-2851, Equinor ASA v. Alexander Feydt, January 18, 2019 equinor.international
D2018-2745, Verizon Trademark Services LLC v. Gene Wilder, January 16, 2019 verizon.love
D2018-2637, Swiss Life AG and Swiss Life Intellectual Property Management AG v. WhoisGuard, Inc. / Robin Connelly, January 10, 2019 swisslife.site
D2019-0203, Medtronic, Inc. v. Rafael Vargas, March 12, 2019 medtronic.care
D2019-0169, Sanofi v. Francisco Sánchez Fernández, inserious, March 20, 2019 sanofi.fun
D2019-0316, Velcro BVBA 诉 Xu Jiu Qing, Xiamen Jingwe Technology co., Ltd., 27 March 2019 velcro.ink
D2018-2853, Skyscanner Limited v. WhoisGuard, Inc / Timothy Schoenheimer, April 2, 2019 skyscanner.store
D2019-0164, De Beers Intangibles Limited v. Qiuqin Bao, March 14, 2019 debeers.mobi
D2019-0026, Maxym Polyakov v. Bogdan Nechiporenko, Makc Belevskiy, April 3, 2019 max-polyakov.host, max-polyakov.xyz
D2018-2391, AXA SA v. Volkan Kükükbudak, Freiberufler-Designer, December 17, 2018 axa.koeln
D2018-1978, BNP Paribas Personal Finance v. MYDNS.STORE, December 11, 2018 cetelem.credit
D2018-2361, Kohl’s Illinois, Inc v. WhoisGuard, Inc. / Stephanie Daniels, December 12, 2018 kohls.host
D2018-2162, GAMELOFT S.E. v. Sherry Ddepues, November 14, 2018 gameloft.store
D2018-2256, Compagnie Générale des Etablissements Michelin v. Yongkun Wang, December 1, 2018 michelin.在线, michelin.fun
D2018-2166, Bundl Technologies Private Limited v. Domains By Proxy, LLC / Shomprakash Sinha Roy, November 27, 2018 swiggy.fit
D2018-2179, Tervita Corporation v. Dallas Paisley, AAAAA2010.COM, November 29, 2018 tervita.company
This trend may convince trademark owners to consider a rigorous precautionary registration strategy.