A record number of .eu domain names have been registered as the number of complaints filed with WIPO under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) has soared.

According to a recent press release issued by EUROPA, since 2007 over 2.8m .eu domain name registrations have been made. This means that the .eu domain is now the fourth most popular Top Level Domain in Europe and the ninth in the world.  

Of course, a rise in registrations for any Top Level Domain will carry with it a risk of increased abuse by non-rights holders. A recent report issued by WIPO describes how in 2007 a record 2,156 complaints alleging cyber-squatting or abusive registration of trade marks online were filed with its Arbitration and Mediation Center - a 48% increase since 2005. This upward trend is disconcerting given the forthcoming expansion of the domain name system and plans to introduce a number of new generic Top Level Domains. The WIPO report suggests that due consideration must be given to the core UDRP principles during policy development work and implementation plans in order to facilitate protection of trade mark holders’ rights, and to also ensure the reliability of the addressing system of the Internet in matching interested parties with authentic subjects.