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Texas man sues Fortune 500 liquor company to overturn cybersquatting decision

Liquor company says that Rufino.com is a typo of its Ruffino brand.

Wine maker Ruffino claims that Rufino.com is a typosquatting domain.

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.

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  1. Jack M. says

    One of the most prolific cybersquatters ever. Long rap sheet as a losing respondent on dozens of UDRPs according to UDRPSearch…as well as the many aliases (Stanley Pace, Tammy Caffey, etc). A history of bad faith registrations to say the least.

    I assume SonyEntertainment, findmyipad, wwwassuranthealth, and
    24houfitness are common surnames? Lol

  2. John Berryhill says

    “(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.)”

    Brilliant.

  3. David says

    Hi, the comment is a touch misleading. The domain’s traffic is being rotated to parking comanies via the above.com platform. The parking companies are the ones selling the traffic to their direct advertisers. Any traffic that Above.com sells to direct advertisers are vetted and check and constantly re-checked. We do not sell the traffic exchanges which is where the bulk of such bad advertisers come from.

  4. C.S. Watch says

    While this registrant may be out there embarrassing domain investors like it’s his job, the domain ‘rufino’ was clearly hijacked, and one can be sure the judge will be savvy enough to nail Constellation for the theft.

    There are ~100 trademark filings for ‘Rufino’ marks in the WIPO database, https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/bookmark?s=rnrp69qgi8ocp473hetsp8u196, and there are ~959 persons named ‘Rufino’ in the US alone, even though the family name is primarily concentrated in Italy and Mexico.

    This raises the old chestnut, why are ‘links pages’ still being discussed in the UDRP as relevant to any risk of consumer confusion? What an embarrassing vestigial tell-tale. Any consumer capable of poiking away at a keyboard has used Google, and knows what a page of text hyperlinks is.

    ‘Upon squeezing this Yellow Pages book I am unable to dispense wine unto myself! ‘Disappointed!’

    https://youtu.be/_O1hM-k3aUY

    (Nope. Still not tired of that Kevin Sorbo meme.)

  5. Ramiro Canales says

    Welcome to Texas, Howard! Fortunately, the federal courts in the Eastern District of Texas are well versed in intellectual property law. The federal court in Sherman is a no-nonsense court.

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