Winery files federal lawsuit after losing UDRP.
A California company has filed a federal trademark and cybersquatting lawsuit (pdf) after first failing to obtain the domain name WilsonVineyard.com through a UDRP.
Wilson Vineyards, Inc filed a UDRP against Wilson Vineyard (singular) of Pennslyvania earlier this year. It was a bad UDRP filing, as there was no way to prove that the respondent lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain. After all, the respondent and domain name owner ran a vineyard by that name in Pennsylvania. That would be quite the elaborate ruse to pretend to have legitimate interests in a domain.
If anything, this is a trademark dispute and not a cybersquatting dispute.
So now the California vineyard has filed a trademark lawsuit. In addition to claims of false designation and trademark infringement, the lawsuit claims that the defendant is cybersquatting.
The filing makes no mention that a UDRP panel denied a dispute over the domain name.
Joseph Peterson says
Running a successful vinyard as a ploy to sell a vinyard domain name … devious!
With all that money Wile E. Coyote spends on Acme equipment, if he’s so famished why doesn’t he just order a pizza?
C.S. Watch says
Since we the federal taxpayer will be paying for this rubbish lawsuit, one must call out the attorney, and the Panelist, who are handing us this legal bill:
1. Attorney: This Californian Complainant/Plaintiff, Wilson Vineyards, has no defensible trademark right, full stop. The attorney, R. Michael West of the offices of R. Michael West of Sacramento, knows this because he has represented them in their specious TM filings for at least 15 years. This Plaintiff’s use is pre-dated by Wilson Winery, and also by Wilson Creek wines. There’s also ‘Wilson and Wilson’ wines, pottering around for a decade. The kicker? All three of these other dolts are in California! (I stopped researching at this point, having lost all faith in the ascent of man.)
The Plaintiff can’t suppress the many ‘wilson’ winery uses in CA any more than they can suppress this PA use. But that is not the objective. This lawsuit is about the domain name—so they can preserve their SEO placement, and continue confusing consumers who are seeking the products of the many other ‘unprotectable trademark’ Wilson wines. (As if that were news to anyone here.)
This is R. Michael West, the attorney milking our system: http://media.bizj.us/view/img/901501/westmichaelmilkbank2082313dm*750.jpg. The UDRP Panel had a duty to shut him down, and it failed.
2. Panel: The Panel and the Complainant knew about the Respondent’s 2010 LLC, the years of farming in freezing PA, the products, website, and awards… In no universe could that UDRP filing have prevailed…as long as the panel dutifully excludes ‘trademark conflicts’ as it is bound to do. The Respondent prevailed, of course, but no RDNH. So whose duty is it to make plain to all and sundry that the UDRP is neither empowered nor tasked nor granted the evidentiary scope to make it capable of addressing ‘trademark conflicts?’ That is the Panelist’s duty, and the tool is RDNH. That smack on the hand could have shamed this Plaintiff or their atty into flying right. But no.
RDNH findings are duty, not whim. Particularly because panelists benefit from ‘misleading decisions,’ which can beget more filings, and more income for panelists. Also, the UDRP puts multi-million dollar assets at direct risk, and is the instrument of 5-10K in legal fees borne by respondents, but it makes no recompense when the filing is abusive. That’s a recipe for foreseeable harm and liability. That’s why the UDRP’s self-protective mandate is ‘shall find RDNH.’
We would not be bankrolling this rat king lawsuit if panelists would reliably adhere to the mandate they’ve been issued. It is not just sloven, it is suspect.
CS Watch. Could you please contact me. I would love to chat a little about this comment you wrote. I am the defendant dealing with this nonsense. 610-220-0128