Liquor company says that Rufino.com is a typo of its Ruffino brand.
A Texas man who owns 60,000 domain names has sued Fortune 500 liquor company Constellation Brands, Inc in an effort to overturn an adverse Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) decision.
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) and its wine-making subsidiary Ruffino SRL filed a UDRP against Flower Mound, Texas resident Stanley Pace arguing that his domain name Rufino.com (one ‘f’) was typosquatting and an attempt to take advantage of the Ruffino brand. Pace countered that he owns 10,000 domain names that match surnames and that Rufino is a surname.
The UDRP panel sided with Constellation Brands. Pace filed suit in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas to try to overturn the decision.
The suit asks for declaratory relief stating that Pace is not cybersquatting and damages for reverse domain name hijacking.
Among Pace’s claims is that Constellation Brands falsely claimed in the UDRP that the parked page at Rufino.com showed ads for Constellation’s competitors. Although I didn’t see the evidence Constellation would generally be required to file in a UDRP, screenshots from the past several years recorded at Screenshots.com do not have any liquor-related ad links.
(Do not visit Rufino.com. It is now parked with Above.com and zero click landers, one of which led to a scam page that my antivirus software blocked.)
Howard Neu represented Pace in the UDRP and is representing him in the lawsuit.