In 2019, on the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the number of disputes concerning the registration of Internet second level domains in conflict with intellectual property rights reached a record high of 3.693 cases. As a result, intellectual property (including GIs) owners and beneficiaries, as well as Internet users, face the issue of domain names misuse for the sale of counterfeit products. In February this year, Europol, in cooperation with law enforcement agencies from 18 EU member states and the USA, seized more than 30,000 domains through which counterfeit products were distributed. This represents a major challenge for consumer trust.
In this context, a UDRP reform – aimed at fully taking GIs into account as prior rights deserving protection in case of third parties’ registration in Internet second level domains – is urgent more than ever. oriGIn is working toward this objective both at the WIPO, in the context of the Standing Committee on Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications, and at the ICANN, in the context of the GNSO Working Group on the Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in All gTLD.