Subject of UDRP at WIPO (Updated)

A UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) over the domain name. This is WIPO Case D2018-0168.

According to, “Rioja is arguably Spain’s top wine region and is one of only two regions classified under the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) system. Its two most important red grapes are Tempranillo and Garnacha.” The domain name was created in November of 1996, making the domain name more than 20 years old. The domain name is registered under Whois privacy and has been like that for more than 5 years, so I am unsure about who owns the domain name. is parked with pay per click advertising links related to the region and some other unrelated links. There should not be anything wrong with generating revenue via PPC advertising.

The complainant in this UDRP is Regulatory Board of the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin (D.O.CA). A Google search shows me that this organization appears to own the domain name, which it uses for a website. I am not sure why the organization believes it has the rights to the domain name.

There have been quite a few UDRP filings involving geographical .com domain names. From what I can recall, most of these cases have been lost. Most recently, the Gstaad tourism office filed a UDRP against the domain name and lost. I will be keeping an eye on this UDRP filing.

Update: Complaint was denied.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. IMHO this will be interesting.
    Regulatory Board of the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin has many predating TMs, both figurative and word marks for the term “RIOJA”, including a word TM registered in 1978 for Nice class 33 (wines).
    La Rioja is a province and autonomous community in northern Spain with very strong ties to wine making.
    True, this is also a geo domain, but IMHO if you show ads related to wine the situation changes.
    Owning and using this domain is legitimate, but showing wine-related ads is very risky giving the above, since in addition to the TM protection there is also a “Designation of Origin” protection on anything wine with the term “RIOJA”.
    IMHO if the domain owner has shown ads related to wine he/she’ll probably lose the domain. Not 100% sure, but I see high chances of this happening.
    Just my two cents. 🙂

    • @Andrea Raises some good points. I think this is a very interesting UDRP to follow too. If there were lots of wine ads and no disclaimers on the page, this might be a in for the complainant. Either way, Trademark and unfair competition laws regulate your activities as domain speculators. However, its one of the topics that too many people minimize. IMO, moving forward, speculators need to become experts on the subject. The boundaries for domain speculators will only tighten, and more than likely, the bias at WIPO against domain speculators will become more blatant moving forward.

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