|Francis Gurry, Director General|
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated in developing a balanced and effective intellectual property (IP) systems to foster creativity and innovation in order to help advance the economic, cultural a social development of all countries around the world.
- 1 History
- 2 WIPO Program and Budget Plan
- 3 Correspondence between WIPO and ICANN
- 4 Legal Rights Objections: New gTLD Program
- 5 Number of UDRP Cases Filed with the WIPO Center
- 6 Overturned UDRP Cases
- 7 References
The WIPO Convention was signed in 1967, although the organization did not begin functioning until 1970. It was established by WIPO Convention with reference from its Member States. The main objective of WIPO was to enhance the protection of IP around the globe. This is carried out by cooperation amongst all member states as well as other international organizations. In 1974, it became a part of the United Nations.In 1996, it entered into an agreement with the World Trade Organisation, thereby expanding its trade role.
WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
The World Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) was created in 1994 to offer alternative dispute resolution options to resolve international commercial disputes between private parties. The center was developed by experts in cross-border dispute settlement, arbitration, mediation and determination procedures. It headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland and an office in Singapore.
The Secretariat of WIPO is based in Geneva. The Secretariat's duty is to implement decisions made by the WIPO, to administer the global IP registration systems, and to counsel WIPO members. It is also responsible for executing the plans and programs that help in achievement of WIPO’s aims. Activities and transactions of the organization are enacted by the Director together with the Member States.
WIPO currently contains 184 member states. This constitutes more than 90% of the countries around the world. Every Member State has a Secretariat who is responsible for conducting and organizing meetings and events. These Secretariats are often celebrated specialists in IP, law, economics, public policies, IT and administration.
WIPO works in collaboration with its members. The strategic route of WIPO is determined by the Member States. Meetings are carried out in committees, general assemblies, and working groups. These three wings constitute the decision making bodies of WIPO.
How to become a member state of WIPO?
A state can become a member of the WIPO by depositing an instrument of accession or ratification with the WIPO’s Director General.A state can get membership only
- If It is a member of the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
- Or if it is a member of the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property
- Or if it is a member of the United Nations
- Or if it is a member of any of the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations
- Or if it is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency
- Or if it is a party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice
- Or if the WIPO General Assembly sends an invitation to that state to become a member state of this organization.
This organization works with various stakeholders to achieve its goals. These stakeholders include non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental organizations and representatives of civil society. It also includes representatives of industry groups. The meetings are attended by more than 250 NGOs and IGOs.
WIPO Program and Budget Plan
WIPO has to present a program and budget plan every two years, containing performance measures, particulars of the objectives and budget planning for all the events of the organization. The document is sent to the Member States for their approval. The organization is self-financing, with a majority of funds being spent on organization events. The wings of Internal Audit and Oversight Division together with an Audit Committee and External Auditor help in proper functions of WIPO.
Correspondence between WIPO and ICANN
Related to new gTLD program of ICANN
The Arbitration and Mediation Center of WIPO helps to administer and design the balanced IP systems throughout the world. The Center is a main resource center working with the UDRP i.e. Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. There was no dearth of ideas to keep a balance between different positions and many of them have been included in the present format of Rights Protection Mechanisms of ICANN. Some observations of April 2011 Discussion Draft of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook” are explained below:
Trademark Clearinghouse: ICANN should view the expansion of fee based Clearinghouse with caution and should keep in mind the national and International IP norms while determining identifiers. Clarification must be made on outstanding matters like measures for fee apportionment, relation to determinations of trademark office, treatment of word and design marks and non-Latin scripts.
Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS): The URS format has demands in many fields. Some modalities like timelines have been tweaked, but there are many serious problems that are still unaddressed. To safeguard the URS format, ICANN must make sensible decisions and come up with a policy.
Post Delegation Dispute Resolution (PDDRP): WIPO’s suggestion of establishing a Post Delegation Dispute Resolution has been taken up by ICANN. However, the gains that are made as a result of registration activities breach t3rd party rights. Thus, there should be a positive collaboration with a long term view.
- 9th March, 2011--Observation of Arbitration and Mediation Center of WIPO on scorecard of GAC on protection of rights and ICANN Board’s corresponding questions
Trademark Clearinghouse: Expanding the Clearinghouse data scopes will make it difficult for ICANN to ensure proper safeguarding of clearinghouse operators and data. Data sources are very easily available and any expansion must avoid the loss of individuals and SMEs, who are not expected to use clearinghouse data or who are not aware of it. Increasing the scope of Clearinghouse date will lead to costly complexities.
Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS): The URS was always for prima facie, so operating as a substitute of the UDRP should be avoided. ICANN must clarify what should be the certification criteria to ground the examiners in trademark practice and law. ICANN must also clarify whether an examiner should be internal or external with respect to the provider. Track record of the providers in relevant jurisprudence training must be considered.
Post Delegation Dispute Resolution (PDDRP): The resolve of ICANN to limit PDDRP’s scope is a big task for this sort of RPM. The PDDRP provides a means to owners of the trademark so that they address the breach without much difficulty. They don’t need to go through costly, time consuming and repetitive mechanisms.
The Center noted that many observer organizations' representatives and delegations have expressed that intellectual property rights in DNS (Domain Name System) need protection, especially with respect to the DNS expansion which has been planned by the ICANN. Various delegations have raised this concern and they feel that ICANN should review and amend the UDRP i.e. Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy initiated by WIPO. The chair said that the WIPO Secretariat’s contribution in the field of Internet Domain Names was endorsed and supported by the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT). The chair also requested to submit a report on various developments at SCT’s next session.
It seemed that few participants were self-appointed and there were conflicts of interests. Such things arise at the cost of relevant expertise favoring subjective or incidental input. WIPO believes that for a stable and long term DNS framework, an informed and open dialogue is necessary; this must be supported by all the stakeholders. The dialogue’s credibility will rely on broader vision, institutional integrity and substantive relevance of the participants, no matter if they are a part of ICANN’s formal structures or not. The expansion plan of the DNS framework provides a great opportunity to enhance the responsibility of partnerships. WIPO will always be there to contribute for the expansion of DNS framework.
Some other cross over communications are:
- 16th June, 2010--WIPO’s observations on 4th Version of ICANN’s Draft Applicant Guidebook
- 30th March, 2010—revision of ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse in February 2010
- 30th March, 2010-- ICANN Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) Procedure of February 2010
- 26th March, 2010—Revision of ICANN’s Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDDRP)
- 26th January, 2010-- STI Report on Trademark Protection in New gTLDs approved by GNSO
- 20th November, 2009-- Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure proposed by ICANN-staff
- 18th June, 2009— Final Report of ICANN’s Implementation Recommendation Team
- 10th May, 2009—Draft Report of ICANN’s Implementation Recommendation Team
- July 15th, 2011-- WIPO’s Observation on ICANN Staff “Preliminary Issue Report on the Current State of the UDRP”
- ICANN Board assured of Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) stability
- The focus of registration abuse review should be on cybersquatting instead of UDRP
- In case of new processes make sure that they are driven by some experts and focused in the right direction
- Distinctions between processes/policies are complex, the issues which are listed do not fall within the [UDRP]]’s scope and are subject to determination of panel
- The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) should perform its job freely
- May 6th, 2011--WIPO’s observations to ICANN on Policy Staff/GNSO Council “Current State of the UDRP Webinar”
- Domain Name Registrants, Trademark owners and Registration authorities have been offered effective solutions by the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)
- The UDRP has been a fair and flexible resolution system and has accommodated various evolving practices and norms
- As ICANN is thinking of expanding the DNS framework and there are some RPMs, which are in their testing phase; the time is wrong to modify the UDRP
- The modification process would end up diluting and overburdening the UDRP
- ICANN must address the basic questions about cybersquatting’s DNS and business beneficiaries before looking into mechanism for addressing this practice
- March 26th, 2010-- WIPO’s observations on “Registration Abuse Policies Working Group Initial Report”
- The UDRP has been included in the initial report of RAP WG, but the idea behind it is not clear, especially with regards to the new gTLD program
- It seems that new gTLD program has already addressed the cybersquatting recommendations
- ICANN must focus more on mechanisms rather then amending the UDRP, which will yield better results and will help in the long run
- The UDRP’s integrity depends more on the UDRP providers chosen by ICANN
Legal Rights Objections: New gTLD Program
WIPO was appointed the exclusive provider of dispute resolution services for trademark based “pre-delegation” Legal Rights Objections under ICANN’s New gTLD Program. In summary, "Prior to ICANN’s approval of a New gTLD, third parties may file a formal objection to an application on several grounds, including, for trademark owners and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), on the basis of a “Legal Rights Objection.”When such an objection is filed, an independent panel (comprised of one or three experts) will determine whether the applicant’s potential use of the applied-for gTLD would be likely to infringe (described below) the objector’s existing trademark, or IGO name or acronym." WIPO received a total of 41 objections to administer.
Number of UDRP Cases Filed with the WIPO Center
Based on the latest statistics released by the WIPO Center, there were 2,764 cybersquatting cases filed involving 4,781 domain names in 2011. Since the implementation of the UDRP in 1999, there were 22,500 UDRP based cases filed involving 40,500 ccTLDs and gTLDs.
Overturned UDRP Cases
Some of the more controversial UDRP cases handled by the WIPO Center involved 22 domain names including publicstorge.com, pulicstorage.com and puplicstorage.com which were transferred to Public Storage after the UDRP Panel found that the domain names were registered in bad faith by the respondents in the case-Texas International Property Associates (TIPA) also referred to as "Receivers". The decision of the UDRP Panel to transfer the 22 domains from the Receiver to the legitimates owners of trademarks was overturned by Senior Judge Royal Furgeson of the Northern Texas District Court on January 10th, 2012. Judge Fergeson ordered Fabulous.com to disregard the decision of the UDRP Panel and to transfer back the domain names to the Receivers. He also ordered ICANN to stay and abate the UDRP proceedings and to file a notice of compliance to the court. ICANN filed a motion to the court to vacate its ruling granting the Receiver’s Emergency Motion to Stay in December, 2011. ICANN argued that it has no authority to abate the UDRP Panel proceedings. The court denied ICANN's motion.
- What is WIPO
- Reports on International Organizations
- Patent Lens-Key Agreements and Organisations in Intellectual Property
- Patent Lens-Key Agreements and Organisations in Intellectual Property
- About WIPO Center
- Member States of WIPO
- Reports on International Organizations
- Working at WIPO
- Ministry of Industry and Commerce Kingdom of Bahrain
- Reports on International Organizations
- WIPO’s observations on Discussion Draft of ICANN’s new gTLD program
- Observation of Arbitration and Mediation Center of WIPO on scorecard of GAC on protection of rights and ICANN Board’s corresponding questions
- WIPO’s comments of Proposed Final Applicant Guidebook of ICANN
- WIPO’s observation about ICANN’s Brussels meeting
- WIPO’s observations on 4th Version of ICANN’s Draft Applicant Guidebook
- revision of ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse in February 2010
- ICANN Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) Procedure of February 2010
- Revision of ICANN’s Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDDRP)
- STI Report on Trademark Protection in New gTLDs approved by GNSO
- Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure proposed by ICANN-staff
- inal Report of ICANN’s Implementation Recommendation Team
- Draft Report of ICANN’s Implementation Recommendation Team
- WIPO’s Observation on ICANN Staff “Preliminary Issue Report on the Current State of the UDRP”
- WIPO’s observations to ICANN on Policy Staff/GNSO Council “Current State of the UDRP Webinar”
- WIPO’s observations on “Registration Abuse Policies Working Group Initial Report”
- LRO, WIPO.intRetrieved 25 March 2013
- Cases, LRO, WIPO.int Retrieved 25 March 2013
- WIPO Released 2011 Cybersquatting Stats ! 2,764 UDRP cases covering 4,781 domain names in 2011
- Public Storage v. Texas International Property Associates
- WIPO Case D2010-1053
- Wow: Judge orders UDRP transfers, including Apple typo, to be reversed
- ORDER DENYING NON-PARTY INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS’ MOTION TO VACATE