3rd Reverse Domain Name Hijacking of The Day: Sin Spirits LLC Guilty On SinVodka.com

Sin Spirits LLC represented by George M. Dipp, Texas has been found Guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) making it the third RDNH ruling of the day which must be a record, on the domain name SinVodka.com

Respondent registered the disputed domain name on November 9, 1997 as evidenced by the Whois records.

Complainant makes four attempts to negotiate a purchase of the disputed domain name at Domainsales and Sedo.com on May 6, May 10, May 12 and May 27, 2014, but does not agree to the price offer and thus fails to negotiate the sale of the domain of interest.

On May 8, 2014 Complainant registered the legal entity Sin Spirits LLC with the Texas Secretary of State.

On May 14, 2014, namely more than 6 years after the registration of the disputed domain name by Respondent and shortly after the negotiations for sales of the disputed domain name broke off, Complainant filed a trademark application (Serial No. 86280743) to the USPTO seeking for registration of the “SIN SPIRITS” trademark in class 33, particularly for distilled spirits, spirits, spirits and liquors, vodka.

This is not only because the mere filing of a trademark application which has not been examined (namely no issuance took place) does not confer trademark rights under the Policy (See ECG European City Guide v. Woodell, FA 183897 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 14, 2003), and thus is not sufficient to establish rights in a trademark necessary to satisfy Policy 4 (a)(i), but also because no evidence could be submitted by Complainant showing that it might hold any common law rights based on prior use of the “SIN SPIRITS” trademark as the USPTO records clearly show that the application was filed based on an intent to use. Moreover, nowhere in his submission does Complainant allege that he has been using the mark or might have been known under this mark.

Thus, taking into account that registration of the disputed domain by Respondent, significantly pre-dating the trademark filing by Complainant, cannot be treated as the registration in bad faith, and further research into the second element of the Policy also makes no sense as Complainant, having not established the first element of the Policy, has no ground to allege that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain, the Panel decides to decline further analysis of the other two elements of the Policy.

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

Having found that

– the registration of the domain significantly pre-dates trademark filing by Complainant (which, as mentioned before, does not confer trademark rights to Complainant) and of which Complainant was well aware when he brought the present complaint, and

– the trademark filing was made, and the present complaint was filed following unsuccessful attempts to negotiate sales of the disputed domain,

The Panel has come to a conclusion that the complaint was filed in bad faith, abusing the Policy in order to acquire the domain name, and thus such activities of Complainant qualify for an attempt of reverse domain name hijacking in the meaning of Rule 1 of the UDRP Policy.

Comments

  1. says

    hilarious..

    “Respondent registered the domain name with the intention of selling spirits from Haiti in the United States, but after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Respondent’s business partner based in the country was unable to assist in carrying out the business venture.”

    but now it resolves to a page saying “if you need help with alcoholism”…. yeahhhhhhh

    its entirely possible the dough mainer here got wind of the “sin spirits” (not sure if its the same company) plans to open operation because… from sinspirits.com website:

    “…on November 16, 2007 Sin Spirits was born.”
    sinvodka.com registered: 2007-11-09 10:37:53 (by a dough mainer)

    gee, what a weird coincidence. and yes, if they’re unable to prove it completely they have no case and you shouldn’t be taking away domains without proof, but something stinks.

    also why is the UDRP record saying they registered the domain on November 9th, 1997… when it shows a brand new registration took place on November 9th 2007 based on the whois record. sorta confused on that one, even though it shows several drops a new registration took place in 2007.

    and this…

    “The domain name resolves to the website for “Moras Fine Wines Vodka Club,” and the owner of this website confirmed that he did not give Respondent permission to resolve the disputed domain name to his website.”

    ho hum.

  2. falconx2020 says

    The “dough mainer” as you put it didn’t know of the complainant or Sin Spirits because if you were to look it up. Sin Spirits LLC was created in Texas on May 8th 2014. Yes, that’s right this very same year (heck only a few months ago). The complainant filed for a trademark on May 14th, 2014. To add insult to injury the UDRP complaint was created on May 30th 2014. Talk about having a set. This was a no brainer. Slam dunk RDNH. Case closed.

  3. says

    there is a “sin spirits” that came into business the same week the dont-mainer registered the domain sinvodka.com, so theres that “coincidence.”

    no way to prove it but its possible the thing about respondents intention to sell spirits in Haiti was bullshit. this sort of stuff happens. it seems like clever unprovable cybersquatting. but oh no lets not mention that angle, it couldnt be possible.

    yeah, we were gonna sell booze but now lets through up an anti-booze message on the page just to be safe. im not saying the complainant should have got the domain transferred to them. im saying its worth mentioning that some domainers are clever cybersquatters. its kind of a common thing. some are smarter about it than others.

  4. falconx2020 says

    So your claim to “coincidence” is that there was a “sin spirits” that came into business the same week. Would it been the same “coincidence” if it was sinwhisky.com, sintequila.com, etc (take your pick, just add a spirit after sin)? That’s pure crap.
    And even if the “dont-mainer” wanted to put up a anti-booze message for bears with polka dot bikinis. That’s his business. He registered the domain name. What right do you or anyone has to make assumptions or dictate what they can or can not do? Looks like the domain name is registered in the USA. And last time I checked, the good ol’ USA had something called the First Amendment that pertains to something called free speech.
    As for “clever unprovable cybersquatting”, what the hell is that? It’s either they are cybersquatting or they are not.
    Maybe you hate “dough mainers” or not. But the point is the complainant was found guilty of RDNH. If it was a legit trademark infringement and violation of ICANN rules, then I would say transfer the domain. But this dude tried to game the system to grab the domain and was caught (they didn’t even have a trademark!!!). IMHO, I find that much worst. That’s like you’re at home watching tv. And some dude bursts into your home, found some loop hole in the system, is now claiming that your home is theirs and to get the hell out. That just isn’t right. Squatters maybe bad. But reverse domain hijackers are far worst in my book.

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