Arbitrator Rules in Favor of Lovehoney in UDRP Case

Rhett Pardon

BATH, England — Lovehoney Ltd. last week scored a victory at WIPO after the sex toy retailer filed a claim over a company that had registered and apparently profited from the domain Lovehoney.co.

The Bath-based retailer operates Lovehoney.co.uk in the U.K. and Lovehoney.com in the U.S. and elsewhere. The company has trademarks in the U.S. and U.K. for the "Lovehoney" mark in association with adult sexual products, as well as other trademarks for an array of adult sexual stimulation aids.

On Wednesday, a WIPO arbitrator deciding the UDRP (uniform domain name dispute resolution policy) case ordered the Lovehoney.co domain transferred to the U.K. sex toy retailer.

The Lovehoney.co domain was registered in 2010 by Mumbai-based Sinjin Tiwali (Star Holdings) but parked ever since. (The site has yet to be formally transferred and continues to point to the Sinjin Tiwali page at post time.)

The Lovehoney.co site, however, apparently made affiliate commissions through click through links to numerous outlets that sell sex toys, including Amazon, as well as Lovehoney's U.S. site.

Lovehoney, operated by co-owners Richard Longhurst and Neil Slateford, is a sex toy retailing powerhouse with more than 400 of its own brand products, including the Lovehoney Sqweel Oral Sex Simulator. It also owns numerous sub-brands — BASIC Sex Toys, Bondage Boutique, Death By Orgasm, Pin Ups, Shag Factory, Swoon  and VibraExciter.

The company, which started as an online entity in 2002, also holds the official license to design, manufacture and sell adult pleasure products based on the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy by E. L. James, as well as the official license to design, manufacture and sell products inspired by pin-up model Bettie Page.

Lovehoney received industry honors at the XBIZ Awards in 2013 and 2014 for International-Based Pleasure Products Company of the Year, as well as winning the XBIZ Award for Pleasure Products Company of the Year in 2014.

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