National Cable Satellite Corporation v. Telmex Management Services
Claim Number: FA0112000102820
Complainant is National Cable Satellite Corporation, Washington, DC (“Complainant”) represented by Marc Miller, of McLeod, Watkinson & Miller. Respondent is Telmex Management Services, Tortola, British Virgin Islands (“Respondent”).
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <cspantv.com>, registered with Intercosmos Media Group.
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.
James A. Carmody, Esq., as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (the “Forum”) electronically on December 11, 2001; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on December 17, 2001.
On December 12, 2001, Intercosmos Media Group confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name <cspantv.com> is registered with Intercosmos Media Group and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Intercosmos Media Group has verified that Respondent is bound by the Intercosmos Media Group 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 December 18, 2001, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of January 7, 2002 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.
On January 28, 2002, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed James A. Carmody, Esq., as Panelist.
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 the Respondent to the Complainant.
The <cspantv.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's C-SPAN, C-
SPAN2, C-SPAN3 marks.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent failed to submit a Response.
Since 1979, Complainant has used the C-SPAN mark in commerce in relation to its public affairs television channel. It has used the C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 marks since 1986 and 1995 respectively. All three marks are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Complainants marks are recognized world-wide and are associated with unedited, balanced and impartial non-partisan public affairs programming.
Complainant registered the <c-span.org> domain name in 1993 and the <c-span2.com> domain name in 2000. Complainant also holds the registration for <cspan2.org>, <c-span2.org>, and <cspan2.com>.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on November 15, 2001. As of December 4, 2001 the domain transported the user to a website offering women's escort and sexual services. The website at <cspantv.com> is also accessible through <girlhire.com>.
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 and draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) 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; and
(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 and registration has established that it has rights in the C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, and C-SPAN3 marks. Furthermore, the <cspantv.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's marks because it incorporates the entirety of Complainant's C-SPAN mark and merely adds the generic suffix "tv". The addition of generic words, terms, or suffixes to a trademark is not enough to create a distinct mark capable of overcoming a claim of confusing similarity. See Westfield Corp., Inc. v. Hobbs, D2000-0227 (WIPO May 18, 2000) (finding the <westfieldshopping.com> domain name confusingly similar because the WESTFIELD mark was the dominant element); see also Broadcom Corp. v. Domain Depot, FA 96854 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 23, 2001) (finding the <broadcomonline.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s BROADCOM mark).
Moreover, Respondent's <cspantv.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's mark because the addition of a top-level domain name indicator such as ".com" and ".org" does not create a distinct mark. See Pomellato S.p.A v. Tonetti, D2000-0493 (WIPO July 7, 2000) (finding <pomellato.com> identical to Complainant’s mark because the generic top-level domain (gTLD) “.com” after the name POMELLATO is not relevant); see also Americna Golf Corp. v. Perfect Web Corp., D2000-0908 (WIPO Oct. 23, 2000) (finding that the domain name <americangolf.net> is identical and confusingly similar to Complainant’s AMERICAN GOLF marks).
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 disputed 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”).
Respondent has used the disputed domain name for an adult content and sexual services website. It has been found that this type of use does not create rights or legitimate interests because it not a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i). See National Football League Prop., Inc., et al. v. One Sex Entm't. Co., D2000-0118 (WIPO Apr. 17, 2000) (finding that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain names "chargergirls.com" and "chargergirls.net" where the Respondent linked these domain names to its pornographic website); see also MatchNet plc. v. MAC Trading, D2000-0205 (WIPO May 11, 2000) (finding that it is not a bona fide offering of goods or services to use a domain name for commercial gain by attracting Internet users to third party sites offering sexually explicit and pornographic material where such use is calculated to mislead consumers and to tarnish the Complainant’s mark).
There is no evidence on the record, and Respondent has not come forward to establish that it is commonly known by the <cspantv.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).
Based on the commercial nature of the escort service website that <cspantv.com> diverts Internet users to, it can be inferred that Respondent is intentionally diverting Internet users to its website for its own commercial gain and is therefore not making legitimate noncommercial, or fair use of the disputed domain pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Kosmea Pty Ltd. v. Krpan, D2000-0948 (WIPO Oct. 3, 2000) (finding no rights in the domain name where Respondent has an intention to divert consumers of Complainant’s products to Respondent’s site by using Complainant’s mark); see also Brown & Bigelow, Inc. v. Rodela, FA 96466 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 5, 2001) (finding that infringing on another's well known mark to provide a link to a pornographic site is not a legitimate or fair use).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
Because of the famous and distinctive nature of Complainant's C-SPAN marks in the public affairs broadcasting arena, and the existence of one of Complainant's networks within every cable TV package, Respondent is thought to have been on notice of the existence of Complainant's mark at the time Respondent registered the infringing <cspantv.com> domain name. 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); see also Victoria's Secret et al v. Hardin, FA 96694 (Nat Arb. Forum Mar. 31, 2001) (finding that, in light of the notoriety of Complainants' famous marks, Respondent had actual or constructive knowledge of the BODY BY VICTORIA marks at the time she registered the disputed domain name and such knowledge constitutes bad faith).
Furthermore, the <cspantv.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's marks and its various domain names and therefore the Internet user is likely to believe that there is an affiliation between Complainant and Respondent. Respondent is using the disputed domain name to divert Internet users to an adult content website that offers sexual services. The association of Complainant's mark with Respondent's services will tarnish Complainant's mark. Therefore, Respondent's actions are evidence of bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). 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”); see also Ty, Inc. v. O.Z. Names, D2000-0370 (WIPO June 27, 2000) (finding that absent contrary evidence, linking the domain names in question to graphic, adult-oriented websites is evidence of bad faith).
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 <cspantv.com> be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
James A. Carmody, Esq., Panelist
Dated: February 4, 2002
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