Ordered Transferred to Perfume Maker

Rhett Pardon

NEW YORK — Azzaro, the designer perfume brand, was victorious last month when arbitrators awarded the French company the domain name used by an Italian-language porn website.

The UDRP case focused on, an Italian-language adult website offering a community forum, live chat and sponsored links to tube sites and peer-to-peer sites., according to Azzaro's complaint, was referred to as “Italy’s No. 1 porn forum” and had been operating since 2011.

Azzaro, launched in the 1970s, is one of the world leaders in the field of perfumes and has trademarks worldwide, including in the U.S. and Italy, predating the operation of the porn site.

The complaint, filed at WIPO's arbitration and mediation center, contended that the site's operator — identified as Robin Hills of Middleton, Dele. — cybersquatted on its trade name, creating confusion over the brand.

An arbitrator agreed with Azzaro.

"[Azzaro] states that the respondent has masked its identity, which may be regarded as evidence of bad faith," the arbitrator said. "Moreover, [Azzaro] argues that the pornographic content of the respondent’s website, as it existed when the complaint was initiated, constitutes significant proof of bad faith.

"In this respect, the complainant refers to UDRP precedent, stating that many prior decisions have supported this position, based on the concept of tarnishment."

Hills, who did not defend against the cybersquatting complaint, was ordered to hand over the site to the perfume maker.