Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in trade volume (as of January 2018) recently lost a domain dispute to Binancé, an Australian florist.
The domain in question here is binance.com.au. Binance filed the complaint on April 15, 2020, and the proceedings began on April 17, 2020. Ashurst Australia was representing Binance, and its lawyers argued that trademark for Binance had been registered in Australia since November 21, 2018, and that the florist registered the domain name on October 27, 2019.
Fast forward two months and Binance loses the case. Head over to the domain and you’ll find a snuggly florist resting there. “Who created flowers? As they dance, as they sway, single or binancé”. Quite enticing than Binance’s “exchange the world”.
Try buying a bouquet of flowers and you’ll be met with “Thank you for your purchase” and that “your credit card will be charged by Binancé Flowers.” Yes, you read that right! No payment, nothing. In addition to that, the case filing at WIPO Arbitration and Mediation reveals that flowers with the exact image are selling on eBay and Etsy at quite cheaper prices.
Another interesting thing is that Mr. Nawodycz, the florist’s director also runs a digital marketing agency, andworks for a company called “World Bookings” as a blockchain exchange researcher/decentralized exchange researcher, where he has been involved in creating projects in “the blockchain and crypto space”.
The word binancé is of importance to Mr. Nawodycz in the way that it means ‘balanced’ in French and ‘binancé flowers’ translates to ‘paired flowers’ in the same language. He considered that there is “no overlap between flowers and the goods and services covered by the Complainant’s registered trade mark.”
The panel decided in favour of the florist, and we quote, “Given the difference between a flower delivery service and the services provided by the Complainant and the goods and services included within the Complainant’s Trade Mark, therefore, the Panel finds with considerable hesitation that the Complainant has not discharged its onus of demonstrating the Respondent does not have rights or a legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.”
Who knows, Binancé might just send a bouquet of flowers as sympathy.