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Dirty tricks claimed over .wine gTLD project

Kevin Murphy, February 7, 2012, 16:26:02 (UTC), Domain Registries

Jean Guillon, who has been openly working on an idea for a .wine generic top-level domain for the last few years, claims his erstwhile partner in the project has sold him out.

According to Guillon, he worked with an unnamed partner – apparently a big player which had committed to fund the application – for five months.

Guillon says he worked on critical strategic elements of his .wine plan, such as recruiting registrars and finding potential buyers for premium .wine domains worth “hundreds of thousand Euros”.

But because he never signed a contract, Guillon says this partner has now cut him loose and plans to apply for .wine without him, using the knowledge he provided.

He does not reveal the identity of the partner (I have my suspicions) other than to say “there is a very rich organization coming out on the market, with a lot of money to hammer down any competing applicant.”

In a blog post discussing his predicament, he also threatens to reveal his former partner’s strategy to apply for “dozens” of gTLDs.

Guillon says he didn’t sign anything. Presumably that includes an NDA.

Dirty tricks? Sour grapes?

With only one side of the story it’s difficult to say right now.

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Comments (8)

  1. Tim says:

    I do feel for Jean, if this indeed has happened.

    It would also make for a nice publicity stunt, for anyone wishing to intimidate potential .wine competitors…

  2. Nic says:

    Depending on where you are, a partnership does not always require parties to enter into an “agreement”. If you work together and make certain decisions together and it looks and smells like a partnership, then one may well exist, legally, whether anyone agreed to it or not.

    But that is in the past because Mr Guillon publicly confirms that he “put an end” to the “partnership” in his blog post.

    Moreover, signing something, or a written document, is not a legal ingredient of a contract. The issue is whether or not these two people made an agreement. Mr Guillon doesn’t claim that they did, in his post.

    Sounds like he’ll be a better businessman moving forward.

    “Sour grapes” is vey cute.

  3. steve says:

    Great so he is trying to get them to pay up by almost exposing them??? haha
    Good luck with that.

  4. Having corresponded with Jean about this briefly I am certain that he feels genuinely aggrieved. It’s an ugly story, at least as much as I know of it.

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