Virgin Reclaims Domain Name


Virgin Enterprises has reclaimed an infringing domain name after the original registrant tried to extort the company for money.

Richard Branson’s Virgin brand took its case to the World IP Organization’s (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center to dispute

WIPO’s three panelists in the case, William Towns, Andrew Lothian and Nicoletta Colombo, found that the domain infringed the Virgin Atlantic trademark and was clearly filed in bad faith.


The original registrant, Stefano Pino of Grosseto, Italy, claimed that he intended to use the disputed domain name with the English translation of a novel he is planning to write, titled Vergine Atlantica, which would be about the trafficking of virgins to the New World.

The panel said that there was no evidence that the Pino had any intention of writing the novel and that, in all likelihood, the registration was made deliberately to extract funds from Virgin.

In his communications with Virgin, Pino had “conveyed a message that he would transfer the disputed domain name only if he received a substantial offer to his liking”.

The panel said this “clearly demonstrated that his primary motive in relation to the registration and use of the disputed domain name was to capitalize on, or otherwise take advantage of, the Complainant’s trademark rights, for commercial gain”.


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