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.