Trump Organization Files 2 UDRPs
Neustar Domain Names

Trump Organization Files 2 UDRPs for TrumpWine.com and TrumpWines.com

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A little over a month ago, members of the Trump Organization and Trump family celebrated the grand opening of the Trump Vineyard Estates winery. The company had purchased the former Kluge Estates vineyard and winery for somewhere over $6 million in an April foreclosure sale.

The winery is being run by Donald Trump’s son, Eric F. Trump, and it is currently using TrumpWinery.com for its website. Because the winery will likely produce a Trump brand of wines, the Trump Organization has filed a UDRP for two domain names: TrumpWine.com and TrumpWines.com.

TrumpWine.com is owned by someone in New Jersey, and it was initially registered in 2007. TrumpWines.com is owned by someone in New York, and it was initially registered in December of 2005. The singular domain name currently resolves to a standard GoDaddy landing page, while the plural doesn’t resolve for me.

While it may seem cut and dry, it will be interesting to read the responses from the domain owners. One of the three major tenets of a UDRP is that the domain name was registered in bad faith. Since there wasn’t a Trump brand of wine (to my knowledge) when the names were registered, this may be difficult to prove. That said, the “Trump” brand is well known, so the panel could rule that respondents registered the domain names under the belief that the Trump Organization may wish to have a Trump wine brand.

These two UDRP cases will be interesting to follow.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (13)

    gaetano marano

    I think it isn’t correct

    November 11th, 2011 at 10:53 am

    mark

    Given that “trump” is also a common word with a relevant meaning, I think it’s entirely reasonable that a person might register those names without even considering the Donald might want them.

    This will be an interesting case, and I hope the UDRP fails. I don’t think they should be able to steal a valuable property simply because they pick the same name as your pre-existing domain. Of course, I’m highly biased, as I am in this exact situation myself. 😉

    November 11th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Dave Zan

    it will be interesting to read the responses from the domain owners.

    That’s basically the only chance (even the slightest bit) those domain registrants have if they truly wish to keep those domain names. Not unless certain extenuating circumstances might be brought out that (e.g. threatening to sell to other parties after communicating with them) could work against them.

    Time will tell how these two will go.

    November 11th, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Calan

    If I owned either I’d spend a couple grand on a site design and put up a quick shop selling or affiliating fine wine. Then back-date a brief business plan outlining an idea for a shop that sells good (ie. trump, to win, have the best) wine. Then good luck taking it Donald. How bout you just write out a nice cheque and we’ll all share a glass.

    November 15th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ Calan

    I am confident that the lawyers would have a time stamped screenshot of the landing page at present to document.

    That said, why would you spend $2,000 + legal fees ($5,000 +/-) to defend names like those? It’s not like they own a name like Trump.com, which happens to be a descriptive domain name with its own merits. I don’t see much value in the names to anyone but the Trump organization.

    November 15th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Calan

    The screenshot is irrelevant. Any company is well within their rights to purchase a domain while they are planning a project. That project could take years before it is launched.

    It won’t cost anything in legal fees as they can simply state their case themselves. And it doesn’t cost much to setup a quick store either.

    Providing the domain was purchased for the purpose of developing it into a project, taking it away will be next to impossible, especially given it was purchased before trump decided to own a winery, and the word trump is a common word, not simply his name.

    In terms of its value, the value is in the fact that the term ‘trump wine’ will be Googled a lot given his popularity and it’ll be an easy domain to rank well on. That’s a lot of potential wine sales for little effort.

    Regardless, if it annoyed the Trumps, they’d stump up some cash for it.

    November 15th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I disagree. I would only spend time and money on projects that have a decent chance of success.

      “the value is in the fact that the term ‘trump wine’ will be Googled a lot given his popularity and it’ll be an easy domain to rank well on.”

      In any case, if the owners bought the names because of a potential wine brand by Trump, then that would indicate bad faith – at least in my POV.

      November 15th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Calan

    With respect, I think you’re being slightly hypocritical.

    Given the domain was registered a long time ago, and the guy (by his email addy) is already in the wine business, there’s no reason to make a connection to Trump the man and therefore assume the domain purchase was disingenuous. He selected a name for a future project and might end up being able to sell it due to someone else being able to make a bigger business out of it.

    On the flip side you advocate buying Occupy.com, which is essentially exactly the same thing – a term that has come to have a broader attachment. Domainers buy up every name for the precise purpose of selling them on when someone has a project that fits the domain and is willing to pay for it.

    In this case, the word trump is a common word – to trump something, etc – it just so happens its also the name of a very wealthy man.

    With regards to only spending time and money on projects that have a chance of success, you are completely overlooking the value of creating a brand. Domainers have a slight tendency to place all the value in a generic word, forgetting that almost every big brand in the world today has a unique and recognisable brand name. Even down to your geo names, most of the really big tourism websites are not built on the geo domain. There is no reason TrumpWines.com couldn’t be a profitable wine merchant in its own right.

    November 15th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ Calan

    Occupy is a completely descriptive word, and even the Occupy movement is using it in the descriptive way. Clearly the owner didn’t buy Occupy.com many years ago because of the current Occupy movement.

    I don’t know if the same can be said about the Trump domain names. Trump was a famous “brand” long before these domain names were registered. Trump has everything from real estate to water and things in between.

    I don’t know the owner of either name (to my knowledge), so I have no clue if they knew about the Trump “brand” or not.

    The facts I do know are that the Trump name was famous way before these names were registered and Occupy.com was registered way before this Occupy movement. In addition, there are many trademarks for “Trump” owned by the Trump Organization. There are no trademarks owned by any Occupy movement, to my knowledge.

    Say what you want, but the facts are the facts. We won’t have any idea about the motivation of the domain owners until they reply to the UDRP filing, and I won’t speculate about their intentions with the domain names.

    With regards to “Trump Wines” though, I think you can say the same thing about any brand. Trump just happens to have many trademarks for luxury goods. If I saw a bottle of Trump cabernet at the wine store, I would assume it was one of Mr. Trump’s companies. To compare it to another descriptive brand, Apple, I would not confuse Apple cabernet with the computer company since it doesn’t operate in the same type of categories.

    In any case, I think we will have to agree to disagree on this and I am sure we will learn more once the UDRP is decided and we can read the responses from the domain owners. It’s also difficult to assume intent when

    November 15th, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Calan

    Ah, I think you’re misunderstanding what I’m suggesting.

    I’m not saying that he should create a brand of wine using the Trump name in order to fool or confuse buyers.

    What I’m saying is that he likely earmarked it for a wine shop, either bricks and mortar or online, that would sell wine, and it could easily have been called Trump Wines because he liked the name, which is a common word aside from any relation to Trump, much like Majestic Wine, a huge UK retailer.

    On the issue of Trump’s name, he made the decision to use his name as his brand and because his name is also a common word, he cannot automatically have ownership of it, that would be insanity.

    If we were to assume any unfair play, the current owner would likely also own a number of other domains, using other celebrity names, or Trump+product, etc.

    Anyway, it’s all irrelevant. Trump uses his name because he’s an egotistical maniac, which is his right, and should cough up some cash when he wants a domain that someone else owns and he didn’t own a brand to prior to the name being used. It would be very different if the domain in question was TrumpHotels.com and the brand existed prior to the domain being bought.

    November 15th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      Elliot Silver

      @ Calan

      I have no love for overreaching brand owners. I just happen to think the Trump brand is very strong, and perhaps it’s because here in NYC, Trump is all over the place, especially in my neighborhood. I don’t know why it took so long for the company to file the UDRP, although I would think it’s because they just started the wine business. I have no idea how long they’ve been planning it, don’t know if either owner tried to sell either name to the Trump brands, and have no idea why they registered the names.

      Again, it’s silly to debate this before we have all the details that will emerge in the UDRP responses and decision.

      November 15th, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Elliot Silver

    Update:

    The panelist in the TrumpWine.com UDRP ruled in favor of the Trump Organization and the domain name has been ordered to be transferred to Trump: http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/text.jsp?case=D2011-1946

    February 7th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Elliot Silver

    One final update: It looks like TrumpWines.com has now been turned over to a law firm, which appears to be the firm that owns the singular name that was already awarded to Mr. Trump:

    http://whois.domaintools.com/trumpwines.com

    February 23rd, 2012 at 8:37 am

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