You can read the entire decision here on the WIPO site.
“Champagne” and related terms have been the subject of domain disputes in several constituencies over the last few years, with the champagne.co.uk decision still being appealed.
The decision is worth reading as it raises a few issues of questionable merit in particular in relation to rights and legitimate interests. While the panelist draws on previous WIPO decisions to guide him surely not all decisions can be seen as just?
The area where the respondent (the registrant) seems to have committed the fatal error was in trying to get too much money for the domain and asking for EUR19 thousand.
The panelist’s comments on this are quite damning:
The Respondent offered the domain name in dispute to the Complainant for €19,000.00, stating that he was “aware of the high value of such a domain name and the current value of potential future earnings of his name.” He subsequently reduced the price that he requested.
The Respondent argues that he expended a significant sum of money in designing the website and registration fees. Even accepting the figures put forward by the Respondent the sums that he was asking greatly exceeded his outlays. Furthermore, the greater part of the outlays to which he refers relates to design and business costs and are not directly related to the registration of the domain name.
The Respondent has stated that the domain name in dispute is of great value to a wine merchant. That is without doubt the case, but in the present case the Respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Even if one were to accept that the Respondent registered the domain name in good faith as he has argued, he subsequently used the domain name primarily for the purposes of selling or transferring the registration to the Complainant and the Complainant has submitted that the Respondent went as far as to threaten to sell the domain name to a competitor of the Complainant.
The use of the domain name as an address of a website on which competing wines and services not associated with the Protected Identifier have been offered amounts to use in bad faith.
The Complainant has therefore also established the third and final element required by paragraph 1.1 of the IEDR Policy and, subject to this Panel’s finding in relation to the remedies requested, is entitled to succeed in its application.
Champagne won and the domain will be transferred to them shortly (it’s still showing the original registrant’s details)