examines a decade of domain case data from Darts-ip™ against the global Domain Name System (DNS). We identify trends in arbitration activity levels through our data-driven analysis, analyze key metrics to inform successful defensive registration strategies, and highlight threats according to their risk factors.
The Darts-ip™ domain arbitration database includes more than 100,000 cases of Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and TLD-specific Alternate Dispute Resolution Policies (ADRPs) decisions. The cases are reviewed using a point-of-law (POL) taxonomy which includes legal grounds germane to pleadings and legal reasoning provided by arbitrators in their decisions.
In reviewing years of Darts-ip case data against the backdrop of a larger Domain Name System (DNS) resulting from ICANN’s new gTLD program, increased arbitration activity indicates that the challenges around developing brand protection strategies continue to grow. By segmenting the POLs into levels of risk (low and high) and into themes — brand vs. security targeting — the case analysis shows that most high-risk POLs in domain arbitration relate to brand targeting, which has grown at a rate of +11% since 2011. That said, 2.4% of high-risk POLs are related to security targeting, and three of these POLs have grown consistently and significantly in the last decade: +52% identity theft, +116% email fraud and +27% phishing.
The industries most affected by these cases are pharmaceuticals, fashion, technology, retail and financial services. Analyzing the TLDs of the domains involved in the cases, legacy gTLDs (.com was number one at 72% of all high-risk POL citations) were most prevalent, followed by ccTLDs, with new gTLDs least prevalent.
In summary, utilizing the Darts-ip arbitration database and its classification of POLs can help a brand owner understand the current brand protection environment. That is, a rights holder should:
be aware that disputes are powerful enforcement options that continue to grow in usage;
assess infringement threats by risk level and potential level of harm to a brand;
review domain abuse through both a brand and security lens; and
be aware that legacy gTLDs are shown to be more likely registered and used in bad faith than other TLD types.
Brand owners can use these observations derived from the Darts-ip database and proprietary POL analysis to improve their brand protection decision-making process, maintain brand value and strengthen end-user trust.