I Just Lost ini.gr To PepsiCo Greece Because Someone Decided That It Is Similar To ivi.gr

grIn what seems to be one of the worst decisions in domain name history I just lost the domain name ini.gr (INI.gr) to PepsiCo Greece. PepsiCo wanted to register ivi.gr (IVI.gr) but couldn’t because I had registered the domain name ini.gr before.

Why couldn’t PepsiCo register ivi.gr you might ask. The domain ivi.gr was not registered but it was not available either. It was reserved for me to register if I ever wanted it as it is considered a confusingly similar written domain name to my ini.gr.

This is because of some crazy .gr rule that mandates that similar (to Greek letters) written domain names (in latin characters) are all bundled together.

The decision was issued by EETT (Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission)* which handles the Greek ccTLD .gr. They are both writing the .gr Domain Policy and handling any domain name disputes in what seems like a conflict that has been addressed by various people here in Greece.

But let’s see why they took my domain name ini.gr and gave it to PepsiCo. PepsiCo says that it owns a trademark for both ‘ΗΒΗ’ (Greek) and IVI (latin) here in Greece. They wanted to register ivi.gr but couldn’t. Why is this my fault you might ask? It isn’t but according to EETT it is me that is punished.

I registered, the totally unrelated to the PepsiCo trademarks, domain name ini.gr. Any of you computer geeks like me would be familiar with the ini files in windows.

So EETT simply said that because ini.gr is written confusingly similar to ivi.gr and because PepsiCo owns a trademark for ivi and I don’t own a trademark for ini, then my domain ini.gr will be deleted so that PepsiCo can register ivi.gr.

What?

And now the best part. How is ini.gr confusingly similar to ivi.gr according to EETT?

You take ‘ini’ (written in latin characters), write it in capital letters ‘INI’, write it in Greek characters ‘ΙΝΙ’ (because it seems similar), then write it in lower case Greek ‘ινι’. So Greek letter ‘ινι’ is similar to latin letter ‘ivi’ because it looks similar. Simple???

NO! This does not make sense to anyone except EETT.

Greek letter ‘ινι’ still sounds like ‘ini’. And greek capital letter ‘ινι’ that is INI does not look like latin capital letter ‘ivi’ that is IVI.

As you can see the decision puts together Greek and latin characters, capital and lower case letters, confusingly similar written letters to reach an incomprehensible decision. The 2 domain names could never been confusingly similar. ‘ini’ is not confusingly similar to ‘ivi’ and ‘INI’ is not confusingly similar to ‘IVI’. Period.

This is a simple big fish eats little fish type of situation. See you in Greek court.

*ΕΕΤΤ (ΕΘΝΙΚΗ ΕΠΙΤΡΟΠΗ ΤΗΛΕΠΙΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΩΝ & ΤΑΧΥΔΡΟΜΕΙΩΝ)

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

33 comments

  1. For us to truly understand this I think we would have to speak Greek or know the language. But I am on your side anyway. Mostly because I like you, but I also am a Diet coke drinker

    • There are plenty of Greek domainers among us 😉 Also, the explanation was very detailed; the Greek lower case “N” is “ν” which is visually – almost – identical to the Latin “V”.

    • 🙂
      It’s very simple… lol Why can’t you understand it?? 🙂
      My lawyer was reading the decision and was trying to get what the f… is going on in their minds.

      • hi there

        all this is a proof of human stupidity

        i lost the domain : dads.tv because the german rt. tv show dads.de ( deutschland such den superstar ) have a trademark
        BUT
        there are more than 1 trademark for dsds !!!

        and the kicker is :
        a german lawyer ( andrea jaeger lenz ) decided the case

        the WIPO in switzerland handled the case

        RTL ( dsds.de ) is in germany

        f*ck GERMANY

        for example :
        kaffee ( coffee )
        850 TM ( trademarks ) so you tell me who owns now the domains ????

        it is time for revolution
        all this crazy TM

        there is only one law :

        first come – first safe

        we should learn from the americans

        free the internet

        me

  2. mind-boggling feat of mental gymnastics!

  3. Sounds like EETT is caving in from pressure from a major corporation. Anyone with any kind of common sense would see that INI is not confusingly similar to IVI. Bad decision.

  4. I did some research in the EETT regulations for the registration and management of .GR domains, and in the PDF link provided at http://www.eett.gr/opencms/opencms/admin_EN/News/news_0335.html – on pages 70 & 71 (ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ ΙΕ) there is a table.

    It corresponds Greek letters to Latin letters for the sake of writing, based on some protocol I’ve not heard of before.

    It reminds me of Greeklish, the practice of transliterating Greek using a combination of Latin letters, and numbers based on their visuals. On that table, the lower case letter “ν” is listed as corresponding to the lower case Latin “v”. However, in a letter for letter transliteration, ΗΒΗ would have gotten a different set of letters altogether.

  5. So for the sake of sanity, let’s say ΗΒΗ – that sounds like IVI (ee-vee) was to be written in all lower case, that’d be – using the table – n[?]n – The missing letter ‘beta’ has no corresponding entry, and I’d assume it’s either “B” or “V”, but it doesn’t matter as the domain would be completely different from ini.gr. Clearly someone pulled this decision out of thin air.

  6. Furthermore, proof of any marks are for “ivi” and not “ini” as seen at http://www.christosmarket.com/v/vspfiles/templates/Custom/images/images/ivi-peac.jpg

  7. amazing! can’t believe that decision!

  8. If you registered it BEFORE their trademarks then they definitely should not of received it. In Canada cira won’t even hear a complaint if the complaintants trademark was filed AFTER the respondents domain registration. Sounds like dirtbags with DEEP pockets get what they want.
    On another note we had a citizen living in Limassol, Cyprus steal funds last May (over 21k Euros) from our company via fraudulent documents and trying to get the authorities over there to do anything was like waiting for paint to peel. The banks were also of no help but then again they helped the government steal funds from citizens accounts when the system imploded. Fun times.
    Good luck.

    • It was after the trademark. But the funny thing is that at the time I registered ini.gr, the domain ivi.gr was sitting unregistered.
      It was who would register one of them first. I happened to register ini.gr without knowing that ivi.gr would be reserved.

      Sorry to hear that about the person from Cyprus.

      • Talk to Zak Muscovitch http://www.muscovitch.com/ he may be able to help.

        re: bandit in Cyprus – we have all of this info including cell number, photos, etc. I actually spoke with him several times and asked him to return our funds. He said no. Not much I can do other than possibly putting up a website warning people not to do business with him.

        Best of luck, that’s a nice name.

  9. i read it 3x, if I understood it correctly: ini.gr and ivi.gr cannot coexist because ivi and ini look very similar [visually] in Greek script ( even though ivi and ini are both latin script ). if so, that would be the equivalent of saying
    SS.com cannot coexist with 55.com due to its visual similarity ( or 88 and BB on a rough analogy ), and if that isnt insane enough they failed to recognise the obvious ini file purpose on favor of a trademark that looks similar in *LATIN*,
    did I get this right ? if so, that is insane, they are delusional!!!!

    sorry to hear about it, hope you get it back, their decision makes no sense whatsoever; it is all Greek to me 🙂

  10. Wow. That decision was absolutely ridiculous. I hope you get this worked out.

  11. Very well said by yyzyul.
    Poor decision and you have decided correctly to take them to court.
    Good luck Konstantinos! 🙂

  12. EETT’s actions in this case are completely baffling. This creates uncertainty for businesses with an online presence in Greece. What if you had put $100,000 into the development of a website on this domain?

    Ridiculous!

  13. Sue them and never buy a bottle of this crap Pepsi Cola again

  14. looka here. I said that’s jacked up right! Just for that ima not gonna buy no dang pepsi so there

    • dat’s right whenever im in the store all thirsty immona say look back in the day this company jacked my buddy Im getting an orange juice instead

  15. Always the same thing. EETT people are exactly like our corrupted politicians,they said pepsico is a big company something we’ll earn and they gave them the domain.
    Good luck with the court Kosta.

  16. Confusingly Similar is not a defense for theft. Trademarks are a Train Wreck. Confusingly similar because they both start with a T. Confusingly similar USE, INTENT, is the only defense for a Trademark. Abolish the Trademark system and KISS (keep it simple stupid). Keep the lawyers out of it, protect what ever it is any entity believes they have a claim to by simply buying it. Done.
    Who would have guessed that eminent domain would be used for profit ? ( In America it’s unconstitutional.) , yet it still happens. Public protest by and for Domain Property Owners is absolutely critical to stopping the Train Wreck ahead.
    Please sign the petition below
    Petition to abolish the Trademark system Globally, in favor of a simplified Arbitration process by and for Domain Property Owners.
    1.
    2.
    3.
    4.
    5.

    The first draft of the Bill of Rights for Domain Property Owners: Globally,

    1. The Domain Property was available for purchase on the public market. I bought it. I own it.
    2. You want it, You buy it. Can’t agree on the value?
    3. Agree to Domain Property Arbitration, by and for Domain Property Owners.
    Domain Property Owners are a great coalition capable of discerning INTENT IN Actual USE and reasonable compensation to the Owner from the Entity that wishes to extend the reach of protecting profits AFTER BEING GIVEN AMPLE TIME to protect prior to public release of the Domain Property in dispute. This is fair to both parties involved, greatly simplifies dispute resolution and no responsible Domain Property Owner or Entity would be a victim of a
    Train Wreck.

    Fact,
    Entities are given a reasonable time frame to acquire Domain Properties prior to public release.
    Entities also have the ability to acquire after public release.
    Entities have an obligation of due diligence to share holders and profits. If they are deficient in exercising due diligence after being given ample time, then they also have an obligation to fire the person that increased the cost of diligence and provide the Owner reasonable compensation
    determined by arbitration of a Domain Property Owner’s coalition NOT any government or court system that can be enticed, persuaded by one side or the other by any form of gain.
    Almost all laws that I can think of have a time limit and requires proof of intent to harm.
    Ownership only proves Ownership. For Sale only proves For Sale. If I own something I have a right to sell it. Selling something does not prove INTENT to harm. The only INTENT is to sell something I rightfully OWN purchased on a public market AFTER ALL OTHER Entity claim periods have been exercised.
    Disclaimer: Comments are the Owners Opinions not intended for legal use although it may be useful.

  17. This is unbelievable. I believe we domainer should assist each other and whenever someone experienced such an absurd experience we got to help them by perhaps providing the funds and lawyer service needed. It happened today to you, and you may have the ability to fight back but many other domainers may not. Its important that we stand together, before practices (taking away domains by bigger fish) becomes the norm and who knows whose domains will be next in the line??.

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