Vicini Group lost intl. arbitration complaint against Dominican Watchdog allegedly aimed at preventing the spread of information on labour abuses at firm's sugar plantations in Dom. Rep.

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Company response
13 January 2012

[Grupo Vicini's response

Author: Grupo Vicini

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has given us the opportunity to respond and state our position on administrative decision No. D2011-0552...We respect both the WIPO and the panel’s decision, although we disagree with it for the following reasons: The case concerns a dispute over the use of domain names...felipevicini.com and vicinigroup.com...In its conclusions, the panel ignored the protection of an individual’s rights in relation to the use of personal domains, as they continue to privilege and allow the exchange and publishing of unfounded online articles that lack, at best, objective evidence, and at worst, are malicious and misleading because they present inaccurate and biased information and data. It does this by using websites identified by the same name of the person whom it attacks, and the company he represents.

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Article
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Author: Grupo Vicini

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre nos ha dado la oportunidad de fijar nuestra posición en torno a la decisión administrativa No.D2011-0552, emitida por un panel de expertos del Centro de Arbitraje y Mediación de la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual, OMPI...Respetamos tanto a la OMPI...aunque no estamos de acuerdo con ella por las razones a continuación: 1. El caso de referencia concierne a una disputa por el uso de nombre de dominio dado que los nombres de dominio en litigio, felipevicini.com y vicinigroup.com, corresponden al nombre personal de nuestro CEO y, por motivos de su origen familiar, al de nuestra corporación...En sus conclusiones, la OMPI hizo caso omiso de la protección de los derechos del individuo en relación con el uso de los dominios personales, en la medida en que optó y privilegió el seguir permitiendo el intercambio y la publicación de artículos en línea infundados, carentes de sustentación objetiva y, peor aún, mal intencionada y tergiversada...

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Article
28 November 2011

Felipe Vicini, Vicini Group lost legal attack on Dominican Watchdog [Dominican Republic]

Author: Dominican Watchdog [Dominican Republic]

Felipe Vicini owner of Vicini Group, one of the biggest industrial groups in the Dominican Republic, lost his personal and corporate legal attack on Dominican Watchdog. Felipe Vicini and Vicini Group claimed the right to domains controlled by Dominican Watchdog in order to prevent negative information about the miserable Dominican sugar operations [allegations] reach[ing] American consumers…Vicini Group is desperate to hide the "dark side" of their Dominican operations. They have initiated several lawsuits in the United States and flexed their muscles against TV stations not to show the horrifying movie "The Price of Sugar"...about the poor sugar cane workers slavery conditions in the Dominican Republic.…[but] Dominican Watchdog is determined to inform U.S. companies who use or sell Dominican sugar about the unacceptable humanitarian consequences of this product…[also refers to Progreso Bank]

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Article
23 June 2011

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center – Administrative Panel Decision – Mr. Felipe Augusto Vicini Lluberes, Grupo Vicini, Ltd. v. Increase Web Traffic Inc- Case No. D2011-0552

Author: World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO

…The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center…on March 25, 2011…The first Complainant is a Dominican citizen and President of the second Complainant...The disputed domain names were registered on October 3, 2010 and are used in connection with websites criticizing the Complainants and providing information on Haitian cane workers in the Dominican Republic. The websites are part of a network named “DominicanWatchdog.org”, a consumer protection website for the Dominican Republic…In the present case, the Complaint and its annexes do not contain any evidence that “Vicini Group” or “Grupo Vicini” was ever used as a mark deserving protection as a de facto mark or common law mark or established mark, i.e. as a source of goods or services, or as an identifier for goods or services…For all the foregoing reasons, the Complaint is denied…

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