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Ah the joy of it all.
First we had the quite public squabbling over .eco that I mentioned recently, now it looks like we’re going to have a full on “food fight”.
If nothing else the new TLD process is going to be great fun for anyone who likes a bit of word play!
So what’s happening this time?
Remember Wolfgang Puck joining forces with Minds and Machines to launch .food? Well it obviously wasn’t exactly a marriage made in heaven and if the filings are anything to go by “too many cooks spoil the broth”.
In the last few days lawyers representing the Pucks sent a nastygram to Minds and Machines, Top Level Domain Holdings and Fred Krueger. In the letter Puck claimed that M + M were in breach of contract, however this is strongly opposed by M + M.
Of course if it was just a simple matter of a contract dispute it wouldn’t be that colourful, but with celebrity chefs and new TLDs in the mix there’s a lot more to it.
The Minds and Machines’ filing goes into great detail, not only refuting any and all claims being made by Puck, but also going on the offensive. According to Minds and Machines Puck’s wife caused them no end of trouble, insulting clients, potential clients and business partners.
To quote a couple of choice slices:
“For example, Gelila publicly and personally insulted an agent for
professional football player Dhani Jones, with whom Minds+Machines was working in
connection with <.LOVE>.
55. Gelila also publicly insulted an associate of Shaquille O’Neal, with whom
Minds+Machines had been working in connection with <.BASKETBALL>. Gelila
publicly attacked Shaquille O’Neal by claiming that Mr. O’Neal is “not a brand. He may
be rich, but he’s not a brand like Wolfgang Puck Worldwide.”
56. During the ICANN meeting in Sydney, Australia, Gelila Puck shouted
within earshot of dozens of ICANN participants, that Minds+Machines should not
proceed with its application for <.ZULU>, which had already been approved by the King
of the Zulu nation with assistance of the daughter of the President of the Republic of
It also appears as if Mrs Puck likes to have certain creature comforts, but doesn’t seem to want to pay for them:
Gelila Puck also spent Minds+Machines’ money without permission,
costing it a substantial amount of money. For example, Gelila Puck flew two of Wolfgang Puck’s sous chefs to Sydney to prepare food for the <.FOOD> launch party.
Also for the <.FOOD> launch party, Gelila Puck booked the most expensive hotel suite
in Sydney when Minds+Machines had already arranged for more reasonable, but still
The document also talks of how Mrs Puck also interfered in the day to day business of Minds and Machines!
So what now?
The new TLDs haven’t even launched, yet we’ve already had two public spats, while others are continuing in other circles (some of the exchanges surrounding the registrar – registry split are beginning to move into areas that are bordering on legal actions).
We can be pretty sure that the .food fight is just one of many to come. Maybe someone could launch a reality TV show? It might be better entertainment than Big Brother!
Update: Here’s the actual filing from Minds and Machines: