Valero.xxx Transferred to Fortune 500 Oil Giant

Rhett Pardon

BRUSSELS — More resolutions are coming forth in .XXX cybersquatter cases.

Valero Energy Corp., which complained to the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center over Valero.xxx, recently became the registered owner of the domain.

The case ended up "terminated" without a tranfer, but a Whois record shows the domain was transferred March 7 to the oil giant. Valero.xxx originally was registered on Dec. 6 to J Leegsma of the Netherlands, the day ICM Registry made the .XXX extension available for public sale.

Valero is a Fortune 500 international manufacturer and marketer of fuel based in San Antonio, Texas, whose U.S. and U.K. gasoline brands include Valero, Shamrock, Diamond Shamrock, Ultramar, Beacon and Total.  

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center also recently decided for complainants involving two other multinational brands, including:

  • Borusan Holding of Turkey was awarded the BorusanHolding.xxx domain from Mahmut Erdogan, who did not respond to the complaint. Borusan Holding operates companies involved in steel products, dried fruit and markets and distributes BMW, Land Rover and Caterpillar vehicles.
  • DenizBank A.S. of Turkey filed and won against Kader Yilmaz of France over the use of DenizBank.xxx. Yilmaz did not respond to the arbitration case.

A number of other WIPO .XXX cases are either active or pending, including one claim for the website KayJewelers.xxx by Kay Jewelers, a nationwide retailer of engagement rings, wedding rings and promise rings, as well as personalized jewelry.

Another claim, brought on by 20th Century Fox, was dropped. The studio filed over the domain name FoxStudios.xxx.

The victories keep mounting for .XXX complainants in the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, or UDRP, cases, particularly since nearly all of the cases involve non-adult companies purchasing mainstream brands.

Last month, HEB Grocery Co. filed and won with its case over HEB.xxx through the National Arbitration Forum, another group that settles domain cybersquatter disputes.

So did Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, who was the complainant over RichardBranson.xxx.

What remains to be seen, however, is how these cases will be decided when the registrant is a member of the adult entertainment industry and is making active use of the website in connection with adult content.

.XXX domain names became available for the first time last year through various roll-out stages; general availability began last December through accredited registrars.

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