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Posts Tagged ‘Failure To Respond’

No Party for PARTY BOOTHS!

Friday, August 12th, 2011

In a recent domain name dispute decision, Party Booths, LLC v. Cornelius Angsuco (Nat. Arb. Forum, FA1398420 August 10, 2011) a single member panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.envypartybooths.com.  Complainant, Party Booths, LLC, owns the PARTYBOOTHS mark which it uses in connection with its photo booth rental services. Complainant also maintains a website at www.partybooths.com. The disputed domain was registered on September 9, 2009, prior to the January 13, 2010 filing date of Complainant’s trademark application.  Respondent failed to respond to the Complaint.

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1)  the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2)  Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3)  the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In addressing the first element, the Panel found that Complainant established rights  in the PARTYBOOTHS mark and that the domain name was confusingly similar. Moving to the second element, the Panel found that respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). Regarding the offering of bona fide goods or services, the Panel explained:

The <envypartybooths.com> domain name resolves to a website whichsolicits photo booth rentals. This is precisely the same service which Complainant offers through its own website. The Panel therefore finds that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is neither a Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) bona fide offering of goods or services nor a Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii) legitimate noncommercial or fair use.

For these reasons, the Panel found that the Respondent did not have a legitimate interest in the domain. Moving to the final element, bad faith registration and use, the Panel recognized that the disputed domain was registered prior to the filing date and registration of the trademark. The Panel went further to explain:

Although Complainant claims that the mark had been used prior to the registration of the <envypartybooths.com> domain name, Complainant provides no evidence of such use and fails to state in what way it was used prior to its filing with the USPTO. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent could not have registered the disputed domain name in bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) because its registration of the disputed domain name predated the registration of Complainant’s mark.

Ultimately, the Panel found that Complainant did not satisfy all three elements and DENIED the request to transfer the domain.

American Express Loses UDRP Based on Inadequate “Bad Faith” Arguments

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

In a recent domain name dispute over the domain, www.syncard.com, a single member Panel let American Express “Leave Home Without It” and denied a request to transfer a purported cybersquatters domain. See American Express Marketing & Development Corp. v. Admin Support / SEOMarketing.org (Nat. Arb. Forum FA1392387, July 14, 2011). American Express needs no introduction, so let’s skip ahead to the important stuff. ( If you want to know more about AMEX, here is a link to their website www.americanexpress.com). American Express owns the mark ZYNC CARD (Reg. No. 3,848,858, issued on September 14, 2010). The disputed domain was registered on February 26, 2011. Respondent failed to submit a Response.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In addressing the first element, the Panel found that the disputed domain simply differed from the mark by deleting the letter “c” from the domain. For this reason, the Panel found that the domain was confusingly similar to American Express’ mark.

Moving onto the second prong, rights or legitimate interests, the Panel declined to review this element, citing to a case which essentially held that a failure to prove any one element was fatal. Therefore, the remainder of the analysis focused on the third prong, registration and use in bad faith. The Panel states its position best:

The Panel finds that Complainant has failed to sufficiently allege a use consonant with a finding of bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). Complainant has not only failed to allege a use that would constitute bad faith but has failed to allege any use whatsoever. Thus, the Panel finds that Complainant has failed to prove bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).

As a result, the Panel DENIED Complaint American Express’ request to get the disputed domain.

Fender Guitars Playing Sad Song After Losing Dispute

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

     

In the recent case of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation v. Christopher Ruth (Nat. Arb. Forum FA1333857 August 9, 2010), a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.fendercustomshop.com. Complainant Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, is the well known seller of musical instruments, amplifiers, and accessories.  Complainant holds numerous trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for the FENDER mark (e.g., Reg. No. 805,075 registered on March 8, 1966). Fender maintains a website at www.fender.com. Respondent registered the disputed domain in 2003 and failed to respond to this complaint.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel quickly dispensed with the first prong, noting that “Based on precedent and Complainant’s trademark registrations, the Panel finds Complainant has sufficiently proved its rights in the FENDER mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(I).” The Panel found that Respondent merely added the descriptive phrase “custom shop “ at the end of the domain, which was not enough to distinguish it from the FENDER mark.

Moving to the second prong, the Panel explained that Fender must make a prima facie case that Respondent lacked any rights or legitimate interests in the domain. The Panel found as follows:

Here, Complainant claims Respondent made no use of, or any demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.  However, Complainant fails to allege any facts related to Respondent’s use or provide any screen shots of Respondent’s resolving website.  The Panel finds Complainant’s assertions, without any supporting evidence or analysis, do not sufficiently establish Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the <fendercustomshop.com> domain name.  Therefore, the Panel finds Complainant has failed to make a prima facie case showing Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).

For these reasons, the Panel found that Fender failed to prove up its case, and the Panel declined to review the final element. Ultimately, the Panel DENIED Fender’s request for transfer of the domain.

RAPIDSHARE Doesn’t Own the Rights to RAPID

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

         rapidhsare

In the recent domain name dispute decision of RapidShare AG , Christian Schmid v. N/A Maxim Tvortsov WIPO Case No. D2010-0696 (June 22, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.rapidbay.net. Complaint, Rapid Share is the well known file-hosting website which maintains a website at www.rapidshare.com. The respondent did not reply to the Complaint, but the domain was registered on September 22, 2009. Complainant owns a Community Trademark for RAPIDSHARE with a priority date of 2005.

Under Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy, a complainant has the burden of proving the following: (i) That the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and (ii) That the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) That the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel addressed the first prong of the test, and noted that Complainant was unable to establish ownership rights to RAPIDBAY or to the word RAPID. The Panel compare the mark RAPIDSHARE with the disputed domain and could not find enough of a similarity. The Panel explained that there was no evidence presented by Complainant to show how the two names were confusingly similar. Interestingly, the Panel noted there was a disclaimer present on the website, based on a review of a cached page of the disputed domain, which noted they were not affiliated with RAPIDSHARE. Hoever, this was not addressed in the substantive portions of the decision. The Panel found that this prong was not met and declined to review the remainder of the prongs. The Panel ended its decision with this statement.

Where a complainant’s mark consists of a combination of two common descriptive or generic words, and only one of those words has been used in the disputed domain name, satisfying the requirements of Paragraph 4(a)(i) can be a formidable task. So it has proved in this case.

Ultimately, the Panel DENIED the request for transfer.

JAGER BOMBS Are Fun And Are Protected Trademarks

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

jager

Walk over to any college campus bar and just say the words JAGER BOMB and you will likely get mixed reactions of joy and pain from the students. For years the JAGER BOMB has been a popular drink at bars across the country, and around the world. The people at Mast-Jaegermeister AG know this and made sure to get protection for this famous mixed drink. They have a registration for the JAGER BOMB mark and filed a UDRP domain dispute for the domain www.jager-bomb.com. In Mast-Jaegermeister AG v. John Marzlak FA1317337 (Nat. Arb. Forum, May 18, 2010) a single member Panel agreed with the liquor manufacturer and agreed to transfer the domain. Complainant maintains a website at www.jager.com.

The decision did highlight one relevant fact, which had respondent provided a response may have been fleshed out in more detail. The disputed domain was being used to promote the sale of Jager Bomb Shot Cups. Complainant made note of this and the Panel explained:

Respondent capitalizes on the confusingly similar domain name to attract Internet users seeking Complainant’s website to a website offering plastic cups for consumers to use with Complainant’s product.  Therefore, the Panel finds that such diversionary use of the disputed domain name for Respondent’s own commercial gain does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). 

          jager-2

There wasn’t anything too exciting or different about this decision. One side note, the domain www.jagebomb.com is parked with “coming soon” text and an info@jagerbomb.com email address. The domain has a privacy service so it is unclear whether Complainant owns it or whether it will be developed. Complainant appears to operate or at least authorize a website devoted to cups just for Jager bombs, namely www.jagerbombcups.com.

ASHLEY MADISON Gives Cheaters 101 More Domains

Monday, May 17th, 2010

ashleymadison

If you haven’t heard about Ashley Madison, then you are likely in a committed relationship and would never even consider cheating or you don’t pay much attention to commercials. In the recent cybersquatting case of Avid Dating Life, Inc. v. Private Whois Service FA1318204 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 13, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over 101 domains. A full list of the domains is provided in the decision. Complainant is the owner of the well known website www.AshleyMadison.com where people can seek out others who are in committed relationships seeking to have an affair. As their own tag line states “Life is Short. Have an Affair.” No matter what you may think about such a service, it has become wildly popular and boasts nearly 6 million anonymous members. One of the disputed domains was registered in 2005, while all the others were registered in 2008 and 2009. Complainant has federal trademark rights dating back to at least 2004.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel began its analysis noting that Complainant established rights in its ASHLEY MADISON mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through its trademark registrations with the USPTO. All of the disputed domain names contained some typographical modification to the registered mark. The Panel found these domains were confusingly similar to the registered mark since they were common misspellings. For this reason, the Panel found that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) had been satisfied.

The second part of the analysis the Panel noted that Complainant presented a prima facie case, and although Respondent failed to respond, it still chose to review the facts. The Panel found that Respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domains. Evidence presented to the Panel included proof that two of the disputed domains contained links to competing adult dating websites.

The Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the <ashleymadis0on.com> and <ashleymadision.com> domain names to display third-party links to competitors of Complainant is not a use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).

The Complainant noted that the other 99 domains did not resolve to active websites. The Panl found that failure to make active use of the domains meant they were “not connected with a bona fide offering or goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).” And lastly under this section, the Panel found “registration of the disputed domain names containing misspelled versions of Complainant’s mark is further evidence of Respondent’s lack of rights and legitimate interests in the names under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).” For all these reasons, Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) had been satisfied.

Moving to the final element, bad faith, the Panel repeated many of the same facts and applied them in this section as stated earlier. This includes, the third party links, the inactive websites, the typographical variations on the domain names. The Panel also found that “Respondent’s registration of many trademark infringing domain names within a short period of time is evidence of bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(ii).” For all these reasons, Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) had been satisfied.

Ultimately, the Panel found that Complainant presented and proved all three elements, and ordered the domains be TRANSFERRED.

24 Hour Fitness Doesn’t Close and Doesn’t Like Typosquatters

Friday, May 7th, 2010

24hrfitness

In the recent domain name dispute decision of 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. v. Privacy Locked c/o Privacy Locked LLC FA1315677 (Nat. Arb. Forum, May 6, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.24horfitness.com. Complainant is the well known national chain of fitness centers and maintains a website at www.24hourfitness.com. Complainant has a trademark registration for 24HOURFITNESS.COM since October 2000. Respondent failed to respond to the Complaint. 

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel began with a discussion of finding that the Complaint’s rights in the mark 24HOURFITNESS.COM were sufficient to establish trademark rights for the purposes of this dispute. “The Panel finds the misspelling of the mark in the disputed domain name does not differentiate the disputed domain name from Complainant’s mark and that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark, pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).” 

For the second element, whether or not respondent had any rights or legitimate interests in the domain, the Panel explained that 24 Hour Fitness had presented a prima facie case, and that although the Respondent did not respond, the Panel still reviewed the facts and evidence presented. First the Panel found that Respondent’s WHOIS information showed it was not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Second the domain name resolved to a web directory with third party competitor links. For this reason, Respondent had failed to use the domain for a bona fide offering of goods ro services. Lastly since this domain was an intentional misspelling of the mark, it was considered typosquatting and thus violated the Policy.

Moving to the final element, bad faith, the Panel explained that the third party competitor links were evidence of bad faith since it would disrupt Complainant’s business. Additionally, the practice of typosquatting was found to be bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). 

For all these reasons, the Panel found that Complainant met the requirements and ruled that the domain be TRANSFERRED.

Two Mattress Companies In Pillow Fight Over Domain

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

   Print

In the recent cybersquatting case of National Bedding Company L.L.C. v. Back To Bed, Inc. (WIPO D2010-0106, March 24, 2010), a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.americasmatresses.com. Complainant sells mattresses using the service mark AMERICA’S MATTRESS. It maintains a web site at www.americasmattress.com. Complainant has two registered marks relating to mattresses. The Respondent operates a number of mattress stores, also in the state of Illinois. Respondent failed to respond to the dispute. Respondent maintains a web site at www.backtobed.com. The disputed domain name was first registered in 2004.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy requires that the complainant prove each of the following three elements to obtain a decision that a domain name should be either cancelled or transferred: (i) The domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and (ii) The respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain name; and (iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In addressing the first element, the Panel found that “the disputed domain name, which is merely the plural form of the Complainant’s mark, unquestionably is confusingly similar to the mark.”

The Panel next addressed whether Respondent had any rights or legitimate interests in the domain, and recognized that although there was no response by the Respondent, the Panel chose to review the facts.

The Panel is not persuaded from the record of this case that the Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name based on a good faith belief that the disputed domain name’s value was attributable to its generic or descriptive characteristics. It can scarcely be gainsaid from the record that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant’s prior use of the AMERICA’S MATTRESS mark, given that the Complainant and the Respondent compete directly with each other in the Chicago, Illinois area and over the Internet. To the contrary, the Panel concludes that the Respondent most likely registered the disputed domain name in order to trade on the initial interest confusion between the domain name and the Complainant’s mark, intending to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website. This does not constitute use of the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services within the meaning of paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy.

Regarding the final element, the Panel relied on its prior conclusions regarding that Respondent must have known of Complainant due to the geographic proximity. The Panel found that Respondent “intentionally attract[ed] Internet users to its website for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship or affiliation.”

Ultimately, the Panel found that Complainant satisfied all three elements, and ordered the domain be TRANSFERRED.

Gay Porn Site Target of Typosquatting

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

It should come as no surprise that adult web sites are targeted for cybersquatting. In the recent domain name dispute of Blu Media Inc. v. Transure Enterprise Ltd c/o Host Master FA1307892 (Nat. Arb. Forum, March 30, 2010) a single member panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.justsuboys.com. Complainant uses its domain www.justusboys.com as a for profit adult website. The domain was originally launched in 2002, although complainant did not purchase it until January 2010. Respondent registered the disputed domain in October 2009.  Respondent failed to respond to the Complaint.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In addressing the first element, the Panel noted that Complainant does not have a registration for the mark JUSTUSBOYS.COM.  Thus the Panel was forced to determine if the Complainant’s mark had established secondary meaning.

In support of its contention Complainant has submitted evidence of awards received for its e-magazine as well as critic reviews of its website and magazine.  Complainant further provides evidence of high “Alexa” rankings for the number of visitors to its website.  The Panel finds that Complainant has produced sufficient evidence to show it has common law rights in the JUSTUSBOYS.COM mark for purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through continuous and extensive commercial use before Respondent registered the disputed domain name.

The Panel found that the disputed domain was confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark and that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) had been satisfied

Moving to the second element, the Panel noted that Complainant submitted evidence sufficient for a showing and establishment of a prima facie case. Regardless the Panel chose to review the evidence presented. The Panel found that Respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain. Additionally, the disputed domain was offering third party links to competing adult oriented web sites. “The Panel finds that Respondent’s reliance on typosquatting to create a confusingly similar disputed domain name, where it receives referral fees to websites in competition with Complainant is not a use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).” Also, Complainant put forth evidence that Respondent was seeking to sell the disputed domain publicly and to Complainant. Lastly, the Panel remarked that the domain was a typosquatted version of the mark. For all these reasons, the Panel found that Respondent lacked any rights or legitimate interests in the domain, and that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) had been satisfied

In addressing the final element, the Panel began by examining Respondent offer to sell the domain for $5,000.00 to Complainant. “The Panel finds that Respondent’s general listing of the disputed domain name for sale, as well as its attempts to sell the disputed domain name to Complainant for amounts in excess of its initial costs are evidence of bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(i).” The Panel also found that Respondent intentionally disrupted Complainant’s business. Additionally, the Panel found that the use of competitive third party links for financial gain was evidence of bad faith registration and use. Ultimately, the Panel ruled  that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) had been satisfied            

After review of all the elements the Panel ruled that Complainant met all three and ordered the domain be TRANSFERRED.

Time Has Run Out for OMEGA Cybersquatter

Monday, March 1st, 2010

          omega

In the recent cybersquatting case of Omega SA v. Domain Admin1302921 (Nat Arb. Forum, February 24, 2010) a single member Panel was faced with a dispute over the domain www.omegawatchstore.com. Omega is the well known watch maker with rights to the mark OMEGA. They maintain a web site at www.omegawatches.com. Respondent registered the disputed domain on March 6, 2009 and failed to respond to the Complaint.

Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN UDRP Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred: (1)  the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In addressing the first element, the Panel noted that Complainant established rights to the OMEGA mark pursuant to Policy ¶4(a)(i). The Panel found that the disputed domain merely added the descriptive phrase watch store, creating a confusingly similar domain to that of Complainant’s mark. The Panel found Complainant satisfied this element.

Moving to the second element, the Panel found that OMEGA set forth a prima facie case, but decided to review the evidence anyway. The Panel found that the Whois information for Respondent did not show that it was commonly known by the domain. Additionally, it was determined that the disputed domain sold counterfeit watches, which was not a bona fide offering of goods. The Panel found this element was satisfied by OMEGA as well.

For the last element, bad faith, the Panel explained that the selling of counterfeit goods constituted a disruption of OMEGA’s business. This attempt to redirect consumers for profit was evidence of bad faith.

The Panel found that OMEGA proved all three elements, and ordered the domain be TRANSFERRED.

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