A UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) over the Rioja.com domain name. This is WIPO Case D2018-0168.
According to Vivino.com, “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 Rioja.com 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.
Rioja.com 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 RiojaWine.com domain name, which it uses for a website. I am not sure why the organization believes it has the rights to the Rioja.com 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 Gstaad.com domain name and lost. I will be keeping an eye on this UDRP filing.
Update: Complaint was denied.