A UDRP has been filed against DeCecco.com at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is WIPO Case D2016-1273. The complainant in this UDRP is listed as F.lli De Cecco S.p.A.
The DeCecco.com domain name sounded familiar to me because I was a bidder when it went to auction at NameJet in 2013. There were 42 bids placed in the auction from 29 bidders, and the domain name sold for a modest $505. A historical Whois search at DomainTools just prior to the original auction shows the registrant as “Pending Renewal or Deletion,” so this leads me to believe it was an expired domain name auction at NameJet.
DeCecco.com was listed again in a private auction at NameJet in February of this year. The high bid in this most recent auction was $500, and the reserve price was not met. As of right now, the domain name is not resolving for me. I am unsure if that is due to the UDRP proceeding or if the owner simply isn’t using it.
A Google search for the complaint shows that it is the well known pasta company called DeCecco that filed the UDRP. A Whois search for the pasta company’s domain name, DeCecco.it, seems to confirm that this is the complainant. A screenshot from 2011 seems to show that the pasta company previously used this domain name. Interestingly, the domain name in the registrant email address from that era is @dececcousa.com, and visiting dececcousa.com takes you to the DeCecco.it website.
The reason I bid on the domain name at the time was that I felt DeCecco was a defensible domain name because it is a last name. In fact, a search of LinkedIn shows quite a few people with that last name. A Wikipedia search also shows quite a few people with the last name DeCecco.
This is going to be an interesting UDRP case to follow because I would imagine the pasta brand is likely the most famous De Cecco, but DeCecco is a last name. Additionally, it appears to me that an entity related / associated with the complainant let the domain name registration lapse a few years ago. This will be a proceeding to monitor.
Update: According to UDRPSearch.com, a transfer of the domain name has been ordered. The decision has not yet been published.
Let’s start by saying that De Cecco is my favorite pasta brand, I think it’s the best in the world (if we exclude handmade and some small artisan brands), way higher quality 🙂
That said, it looks the original registrant, in 1996, was another DeCecco company, active in the canned tomatoes business, a division of Williamsburg Canning Co., Inc., based in Williamsburg, MD, later acquired (in 1998) by Furman Foods, dba Furmano Foods or Furmano’s.
Starting from 2004 until 2011 the domain looks registered to F.lli De Cecco S.p.A.
Probably there were some agreements between F.lli De Cecco S.p.A. and Furman Foods, because I see that one of their US TMs (“DeCecco”) for Tomato Puree and Canned Tomatoes was previously owned by an entity based in Northumberland, PA since the 50s.
Then I guess they forgot to renew it (maybe an old email not updated?), because it stopped resolving and expired.
F.lli De Cecco S.p.A. owns plenty of TMs, both in US and Europe, for some Nice Classes, typically related to food and water, mainly class 29,30, 32, but also a few complementary others, going back many decades ago.
IMHO the domain would be defensible if current owner had a legitimate interest, for ex. if it were another individual or company with the DeCecco name, in a Nice class not covered by F.lli De Cecco TMs.
In our case the domain looks owned by someone in China, covered by Whois Privacy, and the De Cecco pasta brand has been popular for decades worldwide, so I’m not sure it’s so defensible in this specific situation.
In this case the notoriety of the brand is IMHO higher than the last name itself (which in Italy is used mainly in some regions: http://www.cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognomi-italiani/DE_CECCO), so I’d not bet so much on that. 🙂
Bad faith in registration in this case looks easy to prove, given the change of ownership, while, unless the current owner offered to sell the domain to F.lli De Cecco, bad faith in use is more difficult to demonstrate.
IMHO probably F.lli De Cecco will get it, in light of the high brand notoriety and the lack of a legitimate interest from a buyer who’s hiding …
Interesting case to follow … 🙂 … and it made me hungry 😉
Nice analysis… Thanks!
I agree that bad faith use is difficult to demonstrate here, since as far as we know there was no use. I’m also not seeing any evidence of bad faith registration. It was a deleted domain that the prior owner did not renew, that attracted 29 different bidders, and as Elliot says it is a last name. LinkedIn has around 250 members with the last name of DeCecco.
If DeCecco pasta wanted the domain they could have participated in the auction, and if they were the prior registrant then they should have renewed the domain if they wanted to keep it. If DeCecco pasta was the prior owner and they let it drop after a couple of months where it was deactivated that would be an indication to any bidder that DeCecco no longer had an interest in the domain, and that it wasn’t even worth the $10 renewal fee to them. That would argue against a bad faith registration with an intent to sell to DeCecco.
More importantly, Elliot was a bidder and he wouldn’t register a domain in bad faith. Case closed.
The domain was never deleted, it still bears its original registration date, 1996-04-05.
As I said before, I think probably F.lli De Cecco forgot to renew it, not on purpose, maybe the name was linked to an old admin email not in use, and they didn’t realize for some time. Not all companies are all that tech savvy, and mistakes can happen.
As regards the last name thing, I’ve already commented.
As Elliot knows, I’m not accusing him of anything, so please moderate your harsh tone.
With all due respect, “case closed” will be the panelist/s decision, not yours.
I’m really surprised by your tone, it looks like you’re taking it somewhat “personal”, a little more respect for professionals who have a different view would be appreciated.
The real news here is that the current Registrant, a Chinese entity as I thought, suddenly removed the Whois Privacy: current owner is AGRINOON (FUJIAN) ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE CO.,LTD., from Xiamen, Fujan, China, website: agrinoon.com
Raw WHOIS Record
Domain Name: dececco.com
Registry Domain ID:
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.ename.com
Registrar URL: http://www.ename.net
Updated Date: 2016-03-06 T22:07:04Z
Creation Date: 1996-04-05 T05:00:00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2017-04-06 T04:00:00Z
Registrar: eName Technology Co.,Ltd.
Registrar IANA ID: 1331
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +86.4000044400
Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited https://www.icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://www.icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:Not Available From Registry
Registrant Name: CAIHEQIONG
Registrant Organization: AGRINOON (FUJIAN) ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE CO.,LTD.
Registrant Street: B2102 No 176, 21 Jiahe Road, Xiamen, China
Registrant City: xia men shi
Registrant State/Province: fu jian
Registrant Postal Code: 361009
Registrant Country: CN
Registrant Phone: +86.5925564900
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +86.5925564911
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: email@example.com
Registry Admin ID:Not Available From Registry
Admin Name: CAIHEQIONG
Admin Organization: AGRINOON (FUJIAN) ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE CO.,LTD.
Admin Street: B2102 No 176, 21 Jiahe Road, Xiamen, China
Admin City: xia men shi
Admin State/Province: fu jian
Admin Postal Code: 361009
Admin Country: CN
Admin Phone: +86.5925564900
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax: +86.5925564911
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registry Tech ID:Not Available From Registry
Tech Name: CAIHEQIONG
Tech Organization: AGRINOON (FUJIAN) ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE CO.,LTD.
Tech Street: B2102 No 176, 21 Jiahe Road, Xiamen, China
Tech City: xia men shi
Tech State/Province: fu jian
Tech Postal Code: 361009
Tech Country: CN
Tech Phone: +86.5925564900
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax: +86.5925564911
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email: email@example.com
Name Server: dns1.iidns.com
Name Server: dns2.iidns.com
Name Server: dns3.iidns.com
Name Server: dns4.iidns.com
Name Server: dns5.iidns.com
Name Server: dns6.iidns.com
URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/
>>> Last update of WHOIS database: 2016-06-24 T10:27:57Z <<<
The comment about Elliot was meant to be humorous.
Rereading it now, I can see that it wasn’t clear. I apologize that it came across as harsh.
De Cecco is a common surname.
For example http://www.DECECCO.net is a completely different Italian company selling workwear. The owner’s name is Mario De Cecco.
http://www.aDECECCOtiles.co.uk is a company in the UK selling tiles. The founder’s name is Alberto Domenico De Cecco.
http://www.DECECCOdiseno.com is a design company in Argentina. The owner is Lucas De Cecco.
http://www.nathaliedececco-photographe.com is a French photographer Nathalie De Cecco.
De Cecco is generic. De Cecco is a common surname. A bit like Smith. Registering a common generic term isn’t bad faith.
Going to http://www.dececco.com doesn’t resolve, so it isn’t being used in bad faith. Not as if it were parked with links to pasta products, say.
As Nat Cohen says above “I agree that bad faith use is difficult to demonstrate here, since as far as we know there was no use. I’m also not seeing any evidence of bad faith registration.”
As the UDRP requires that “the domain name has been registered AND the domain name is being used in bad faith”, then this UDRP cannot succeed, can it?
They lost and had to transfer the domain name.
Very poor decision. Essentially giving a prior owner continuing rights to a generic domain after the company let it drop.
The evidence was that the prior owner no longer wanted the domain and wasn’t willing to pay $10 to renew it. It makes no sense that someone would bid higher to acquire the domain with the intention of selling it to a company that can’t be bothered to renew it.
There was no use of the domain – so the panel had to invent a bad faith use when none existed. As Italiano says above there are many commercial uses of Dececco by other businesses. The domain owner could have registered it in the hopes that one of these many businesses would have an interest in the domain, or a new company would want to use the dececco.com domain, which would have been entirely legitimate.
If a company with a trademark on ‘Smith’ that owns smith.com lets it drop – does that mean that it is bad faith for anyone else to register Smith.com speculatively?
The UDRP was supposed to address the problem of clear-cut cybersquatting, not to grab a domain from a legitimate registrant when the prior owner forgot to renew its domain.