Shoreline Community College v. na
Claim Number: FA0110000101518
Complainant is Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA (“Complainant”) represented by Derek Edwards, of Attorney General of Washington Office. Respondent is na, New York, NY (“Respondent”).
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <shorelinecommunitycollege.com>, registered with Tucows, Inc.
On December 12, 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 30, 2001; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on November 2, 2001.
On October 31, 2001, Tucows, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name <shorelinecommunitycollege.com> is registered with Tucows, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Tucows, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Tucows, Inc. 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 November 2, 2001, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of November 23, 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 email@example.com 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 <shorelinecommunitycollege.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's mark; that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
No Response was received.
Complainant is a public two-year, post-secondary community college located in Shoreline, Washington. Complainant has been in existence since 1964 and enrolls about 12,000 full and part-time students. In 1967, Complainant became part of the post-secondary community college system. Wash. Rev. Code § 28B.50.040(7). Complainant has continuously used its name since 1964.
Complainant is not limited to Washington State. It has an extensive international student program. Complainant also teaches courses through distance learning over the Internet. The distance-learning program gives students outside of Washington access to Complainant.
In the spring 2001, it came to the Complainant’s attention that an entity by the name of YourDomainIsForSale.com had registered <shorelinecommunitycollege.com> as a domain name. When Complainant contacted the registrant’s agent, Maxx1818@aol.com, to notify the registrant that the domain name infringed on the Complainant’s trade name, the registrant offered to sell the College the domain name for $149. April 5, 2001, e-mail from Maxx1818@aol.com to Complainant. Complainant thereupon threatened litigation.
On April 23, 2001, Complainant noted that the domain site registrant had been changed to jm and the administrative contact to the site was John McNair. On May 2, 2001, Complainant sent Mr. McNair a demand to cease and desist using the domain site. Mr. McNair did not respond. As of September 1, 2001, the domain registrant was changed once again to “na.” The administrative contact was Tom Mann. The e-mail address and telephone number of Mr. Mann are identical to those of Mr. McNair.
While the names of the domain registrant for <shorelinecommunitycollege.com> have changed since April 2001, the domain site continues to direct people to the same anti-abortion, pro-life, site. The site contains graphic images of aborted fetuses.
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 and extensive use has established that it has rights in the SHORELINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE mark. Furthermore, the <shorelinecommunitycollege.com> domain name is identical to Complainant's mark. The addition of a top-level indicator such as ".com" or ".org" does not affect the determination of identical or confusingly similar under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). 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 is using the Complainant's mark to attract Internet users to an anti-abortion, pro-life, site, which is not related to either party. It has been found that this kind of use does not create rights or legitimate interests in the domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i). Furthermore, Respondent can present no fair use or noncommercial use of the domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii) because <shorelinecommunitycollege.com> is used only to redirect Internet users to an unconnected website. See AltaVista v. Krotov, D2000-1091 (WIPO Oct. 25, 2000) (finding that use of the domain name to direct users to other, unconnected websites does not constitute a legitimate interest in the domain name).
Respondent is not commonly known by the SHORELINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) and therefore has no rights or legitimate interests. See Nokia Corp. v. Private, D2000-1271 (WIPO Nov. 3, 2000) (finding that Respondent is not commonly known by the mark contained in the domain name where Complainant has not permitted Respondent to use the NOKIA mark and no other facts or elements can justify prior rights or a legitimate connection to the names “Nokia” and/or “wwwNokia”).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4 (a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
Given Complainant’s reputation, it is not possible to conceive of a plausible circumstance in which Respondent could legitimately use the domain name or that Respondent would not have been aware of the Complainant’s marks. Respondent has no independent trademark rights or applications filed with respect to the SHORELINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE mark. Respondent is not known by the mark’s name and is not making any legitimate noncommercial use of the domain name. The only valid conclusion to Respondent’s conduct is that Respondent has chosen and registered the domain name in bad faith with the intention to capitalize on the public recognition of the Complainant’s mark. See Samsonite Corp. v. Colony Holding, FA 94313 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 17, 2000) (evidence of bad faith includes actual or constructive knowledge of commonly known mark at the time of registration).
Therefore, the Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4 (a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that the requested relief shall be and is hereby granted.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the domain name <shorelinecommunitycollege.com> be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
James P. Buchele, Panelist
Dated: December 19, 2001
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