Expert Traders Inc v Jason Phillips
Claim Number: FA0110000100514
Complainant is Expert Traders, Inc., Wilmington, DE (“Complainant”) represented by Richard C. Balough. Respondent is Jason Phillips, Salisbury, MD (“Respondent”).
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <experttraders.com>, registered with Register.com.
On December 4, 2001, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed James P. Buchele as Panelist.
The undersigned certifies that he has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his knowledge, has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (the “Forum”) electronically on October 11, 2001; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on October 15, 2001.
On October 12, 2001, Register.com confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name <experttraders.com> is registered with Register.com and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Register.com has verified that Respondent is bound by the Register.com registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).
On October 17, 2001, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of November 6, 2001 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent via e-mail, post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts, and to firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail.
Having received no Response from Respondent, using the same contact details and methods as were used for the Commencement Notification, the Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the “Panel”) finds that the Forum has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”) “to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent.” Therefore, the Panel may issue its Decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, the Forum’s Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable, without the benefit of any Response from Respondent.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
The <experttraders.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's mark.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent failed to submit a Response.
Since November 1997, Complainant has used EXPERT TRADERS as the name for its Corporation. Complainant offers a day trading system for cash, futures, and e-mini Standard & Poors 500 stock index on the Internet at the <experttraders.net>, <sptrading.com>, <sptrading.net>, and <sptrading.org>. Complainant has operated on the Internet since 1998, and uses the EXPERT TRADERS mark on its websites to designate the source of the "sptrading" services provided at Complainant's domain names.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on January 25, 2000. Respondent's website features a banner advertisement for <register.com> and a heading with Respondent's full name and three links to news and sports websites including ESPN and MSNBC. Respondent does not have any content, other than the links and banner advertisement on its website.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to “decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
In view of Respondent's failure to submit a Response, the Panel shall decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of the Complainant's undisputed representations pursuant to paragraphs 5(e), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the 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 the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(2) the 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.
Identical and/or Confusingly Similar
Complainant, through continuous use, has established common law rights in the EXPERT TRADERS mark. See Great Plains Metromall, LLC v. Creach, FA 97044 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 18, 2001) (finding that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy does not require “that a trademark be registered by a governmental authority for such rights to exist”). Furthermore, Respondent's <experttraders.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's mark because it incorporate's the entirety of Complainant's mark and merely adds the top-level indicator ".com". It has been found that the addition of a top-level indicator is not enough to defeat a claim of confusing similarity. See Rollerblade, Inc. v. McCrady, D2000-0429 (WIPO June 25, 2000) (finding that the top level of the domain name such as “.net” or “.com” does not affect the domain name for the purpose of determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
Respondent has failed to come forward with a Response and therefore it is presumed that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <experttraders.com> domain name. See Pavillion Agency, Inc. v. Greenhouse Agency Ltd., D2000-1221 (WIPO Dec. 4, 2000) (finding that Respondents’ failure to respond can be construed as an admission that they have no legitimate interest in the domain names). Furthermore, when Respondent fails to submit a Response the Panel is permitted to make all inferences in favor of Complainant. See Talk City, Inc. v. Robertson, D2000-0009, (WIPO Feb. 29, 2000) (“In the absence of a response, it is appropriate to accept as true all allegations of the Complaint”).
There is no evidence on the record, and Respondent has not come forward to establish that it is commonly known by the <experttraders.com> domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Broadcom Corp. v. Intellifone Corp., FA 96356 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 5, 2001) (finding no rights or legitimate interests because Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name or using the domain name in connection with a legitimate or fair use); see also CBS Broadcasting, Inc. v. LA-Twilight-Zone, D2000-0397 (WIPO June 19, 2000) (finding that Respondent has failed to demonstrate any rights or legitimate interests in the <twilight-zone.net> domain name since Complainant had been using the TWILIGHT ZONE mark since 1959).
Furthermore, there is no evidence on record, and Respondent has not come forward to establish that it is providing a bona fide offering of goods or services at the disputed domain name even though it has owned <experttraders.com> for almost two years. See Ziegenfelder Co. v. VMH Enter., Inc., D2000-0039 (WIPO Mar. 14, 2000) (finding that failure to provide a product or service or develop the site demonstrates that Respondents have not established any rights or legitimate interests in said domain name); see also Computer Doctor Franchise Sys., Inc. v. The Computer Doctor, FA 95396 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 8, 2000) (finding that the Respondent’s website, which is blank but for links to other websites, is not a legitimate use of the domain names).
Finally, there is no evidence that Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial use of the disputed domain name. See BMW AG v. Loophole, D2000-1156 (WIPO Oct. 26, 2000) (finding no rights in the domain name where Respondent claimed to be using the domain name for a non-commercial purpose but had made no actual use of the domain name); see also Broadcom Corp. v. Intellifone Corp., FA 96356 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 5, 2001) (finding no rights or legitimate interests because Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name or using the domain name in connection with a legitimate or fair use).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
Respondent's use of Complainant's mark is a misappropriation of Complainant's goodwill. See National Rifle Ass'n. v. fredg.com, FA 95837 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 30, 2000) (finding bad faith where Respondent registered the domain names “friendsofnra.com”, “friendsofnra.net”, and “friendsofnra.org” with the intention of using the domain names in connection with individual NRA fundraising, but without permission from Complainant to use the registered marks); see also Reuters Ltd. v. Global Net 2000, Inc., D2000-0441 (WIPO July 13, 2000) (finding bad faith where the Respondent attracted users to a website sponsored by the Respondent and created confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of that website.
The <experttraders.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's mark and the Internet user will likely believe that there is an affiliation between Respondent and Complainant. Registration of the <experttraders.com> the confusing similarity domain name is evidence of bad faith. See Sony Kabushiki Kaisha v. Inja, Kil, D2000-1409 (WIPO Dec. 9, 2000) (finding that bad faith registration and use where it is “inconceivable that the respondent could make any active use of the disputed domain names without creating a false impression of association with the Complainant”).
Furthermore, Respondent's registration of the <experttraders.com> domain name prevents Complainant from reflecting its mark in a corresponding domain name. See Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha v. S&S Enter. Ltd., D2000-0802 (WIPO Sept. 9, 2000) (finding that “Registration of a domain name (by Respondent that incorporates another’s trademark) goes further than merely correctly using in an advertisement the trade mark of another in connection with that other’s goods or services: it prevents the trade mark owner from reflecting that mark in a corresponding domain name”).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that the requested relief shall be hereby granted.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the domain name <experttraders.com> be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
James P. Buchele, Panelist
Dated: December 12, 2001
Click Here to return to the main Domain Decisions Page.
Click Here to return to our Home Page