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Ottomanelli cousins feud over .NYC domain in UDRP

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The Ottomanelli name is apparently famous in New York City, as far as meats and cold cuts go; the family name has been recognized in the food business in Manhattan since 1917.

In a UDRP for the domain name Ottomanelli.NYC, the Complainant’s principal, Mr. Nicolo Ottomanelli, and the Respondent’s son, Mr. Frank Ottomanelli are cousins.

Despite an early start in the family business, the Complainant obtained a registration of the OTTOMANELLI mark almost 90 years later, in 2008.

Following litigation, Mr. Frank Ottomanelli and his company Ottomanelli Gourmet Foods, Inc. entered into a Consent Decree with Mr. Nicolo Ottomanelli and Complainant in May 2005.

The consent decree prohibits Mr. Frank Ottomanelli from registering any domain name that contains “ottomanelli” unless, among other things, the word “ottomanelli” is “directly and ‘immediately preceded by the first name ‘Frank” or the first initial letter ‘F’.

Ottomanelli Meats - Image search on Google.

Ottomanelli Meats – Image search on Google.

It seems that Mr. Frank Ottomanelli is listed as the .NYC Contact in the domain Ottomanelli.NYC, per DomainTools. Furthermore, the domain’s Registrant and Respondent in this case, is Ms. Mary Ottomanelli, mother of Mr. Frank Ottomanelli.

The Respondent argued that the domain’s use is fair use of a family name that has been in business for a long time, and that the Complainant failed to police their mark for almost a century:

“Respondent states that “Complainant’s businesses are not the only New York­ area businesses in the food industry bearing the name Ottomanelli”; “[m]uch of this usage by family members of the family name in the food industry predated Complainant’s trademark registrations in 2008, and has continued for the seven years since the trademark registrations were issued”; and a “meat store in Woodside, New York” known as “S. Ottomanelli & Sons” “has been operating, in this same location , continuously for over 55 years” and is owned by “Mary Ottomanelli, who is also the owner of the disputed domain name, <ottomanelli.nyc>, which she will be using in connection with her business, S. Ottomanelli & Sons.” “

The UDRP about Ottomanelli.NYC is a rare case of “family feud”; in its closing statement, the panelist concluded that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name as defined by the UDRP.

The domain Ottomanelli.NYC was thus ordered to remain with the Respondent, and you can read all about it here.


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