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Intellectual property disputes related to the ‘.UK’ web domain name grew in number last year with brands including Gumtree and Victoria’s Secret featuring strongly, annual statistics have shown.

According to Nominet, which is responsible for running the .UK namespace, 712 complaints were made throughout the year – 55% of which resulted in the domain name being transferred. In 2016, there were 703 complaints, 53% of which resulted in a domain transfer.

The statistics come from Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS), a forum for resolving domain name disputes, which often involve IP matters.

To make a complaint through the DRS a complainant is required to have rights (including a trade mark) in a name which is the same or sufficiently similar to the domain they are concerned about. They then need to prove that the domain has been registered or used in a manner that has or might cause unfair detriment. If they can, the domain is ‘transferred’ to the complainant. The DRS aims to settle disputes through mediation or through a decision handed down by an independent expert.