AMSTERDAM — The domain names PinSex.com and PinGay.com have been ordered transferred to the parent company of mainstream social networking site Pinterest.com, which claimed that the adult-oriented sites infringe on its own operations.
PinSex. com and PinGay.com, operated by Barcelona-based Pin Digital SL, both have been titans in driving traffic, registering 48.8 million and 3.4 million visits, respectively, since their inceptions. PinSex.com was registered in 2008 and operational in 2012; PinGay.com was registered in 2011 and operational in 2013.
San Francisco-based Pinterest is a gorilla when it comes to its numbers, reportedly driving more traffic to publishers than Twitter.com, LinkedIn.com and Reddit.com combined. The company started Pinterest.com in 2010, and has trademarked its brand in numerous countries, most recently in the U.S. just this year.
All three of the sites — Pinterest.com, PinSex. com and PinGay.com — operate on a similar concept: The sites are driven by a pin-up board content management system allowing users to drag and drop favorite items, creating their own unique collection.
But last week WIPO arbitrator Alfred Meijboom rejected Pin Digital's arguments that it should keep the PinSex. com and PinGay.com domain names, saying that the sites had the “look and feel” of Pinterest.
Meijboom also dismissed Pin Digital's contention that that the word “pin” is a generic term with various meanings, such as “a device used for fastening objects or material together.”
"The panel cannot agree with the respondent's argument that many websites have a similar look and feel as none of the examples shown by the respondent show the same amount of similarity as the respondent's websites," Meijboom wrote in his ruling. "For that reason it seems apparent that the respondent acquired the disputed domain names because it was familiar with the complainant, the complainant's website and the complainant's use of the term 'pin' when it acquired the disputed domain names.
"Therefore, the respondent has used the disputed domain names to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its websites, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant and the complainant's use of the term 'pin' as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its services on its websites under the disputed domain names. Consequently, the disputed domain names are used by the respondent in bad faith."
Pin Digital SL CEO and founder Christian Thorn earlier this year called the UDRP case "ridiculous" because he has trademarks for the two brands.
Thorn, who could retain the option to take the dispute to a court for independent resolution, told XBIZ on Tuesday that he's figuring out his company's next step.
"Not only do we believe this is deeply unfair and are in complete disagreement with the decision for reasons that are obvious that it is impossible for Pinterest to have ownership of a common law term as 'pin' as is the case herein, we are in discussions with our lawyers about the next best course of action to take," Thorn told XBIZ.