Former US president Donald Trump has lost a second cybersquatting case related to his Mar-a-Lago resort, where he lives in Florida.
A three-person WIPO panel late last month ruled that DTTM Holdings, which has owned a trademark on the term Mar-a-Lago since 1997, had failed to show that the registrant of maralago.com, Michael Gargiulo, did not have a legitimate interest in the domain.
Gargiulo, an investor who bought the domain from a third party in 2021, had argued that “mar a lago” is a generic term, meaning “sea to lake” in Spanish and other languages. He also said it could mean the personal name “Mara Lago”.
DTTM failed to convince the WIPO panel otherwise. It ruled (pdf) that “the Complainant was unable to provide persuasive specific evidence to overcome the Respondent’s arguments”. It did not rule on whether the registration was made in bad faith.
It’s the second Mar-a-Lago case DTTM has lost recently. Late last year it lost a UDRP complaint against a company called Marq Quarius (from which Gargiulo acquired maralago.com) over the domain mar-a-lago.com.
The single panelist in the earlier case (pdf) ruled that while the registrant’s defense (that the three words in the domain corresponded to the names of dead pets) strained credulity, there was no evidence of bad-faith cybersquatting.
Trump uses maralagoclub.com for the club’s official web site.