Cybersquatting on the rise

Cybersquatting on the rise

But almost nine out of 10 were evicted from their domains in 2007

A record number of cybersquatters – people who buy web sites with the names of famous trademarks – were evicted in 2007.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), 2,156 firms complained about illegal registration of their names – an 18 per cent increase from 2006.

The problem is not going away, said Francis Gurry, WIPO's deputy director-general.

"These increases confirm that cybersquatting remains a significant issue for rights holders," he said.

Most complaints came from the pharmaceutical, banking, telecommunications, retail and entertainment sectors.

The pharmaceutical sector was the worst hit as those selling drugs online registered sites selling individual products.

Eighty nine per cent of the complaints resulted in the transfer of the disputed domain names to the complainant.

The news comes in the same week that the new top-level domain .asia went live, after a rush for registrations, many from cybersquatters.