Florists' Transworld Delivery, Inc. v. Mike Lopez
Claim Number: FA0707001045128
Complainant is Florists' Transworld Delivery, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Scott
J. Major, of Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan, P.C.,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <1800sendftds.com>, registered with Netfirms, Inc.
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.
Honorable Karl V. Fink (Ret.), as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on July 24, 2007; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on July 25, 2007.
On July 26, 2007, Netfirms, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <1800sendftds.com> domain name is registered with Netfirms, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Netfirms, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Netfirms, 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 July 30, 2007, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of August 20, 2007 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, the National Arbitration Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On August 23, 2007, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Honorable Karl V. Fink (Ret.), as Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the National Arbitration 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 National Arbitration 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.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <1800sendftds.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s 1-800-SEND-FTD mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <1800sendftds.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <1800sendftds.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Florists’ Transworld Delivery, Inc. (“FTD”),
operates an international floral delivery network in over 150 countries. In addition, Complainant has operated a
website at the <ftd.com> domain name for direct marketing of floral
arrangements and related gifts since 1995.
Complainant has a primary number for the taking of floral and gift
orders by telephone in the
Respondent’s <1800sendftds.com> domain name was registered on April 22, 2007. It redirects Internet users to the retail floral site at the <transendfloral.com> domain name. This site offers services that compete with those services offered under Complainant’s mark.
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 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. The Panel is entitled to accept all reasonable allegations and inferences set forth in the Complaint as true unless the evidence is clearly contradictory. See Vertical Solutions Mgmt., Inc. v. webnet-marketing, inc., FA 95095 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 31, 2000) (holding that the respondent’s failure to respond allows all reasonable inferences of fact in the allegations of the complaint to be deemed true); see also 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.”).
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.
Respondent’s <1800sendftds.com> domain name differs from Complainant’s 1-800-SEND-FTD mark in three ways: (1) it omits the hyphens; (2) it adds an “s” at to the end of the mark; and (3) it includes a generic top-level domain (“gTLD”). It is well established that these three differences do not negate a finding of confusing similarity. The Panel thus finds that the disputed domain name is confusing similar to Complainant’s mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. v. Club Car Executive Transp., D2000-0611 (WIPO Sept. 18, 2000) (finding that removing a hyphen in the domain names is not sufficient to differentiate the domain names from the mark); see also Nat’l Geographic Soc’y v. Stoneybrook Invs., FA 96263 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 11, 2001) (finding that the domain name <nationalgeographics.com> was confusingly similar to the complainant’s NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC mark); see also 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 Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), Complainant must initially make out
a prima facie case that Respondent
has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue. See
Inc. v. VeneSign
Respondent has failed to submit a Response to the Complaint. The Panel thus presumes that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <1800sendftds.com> domain name, but will still consider all the available evidence with respect to the factors listed in Policy ¶ 4(c) before making its final determination. See Am. Express Co. v. Fang Suhendro, FA 129120 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 30, 2002) (“[B]ased on Respondent's failure to respond, it is presumed that Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.”); see also G.D. Searle v. Martin Mktg., FA 118277 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 1, 2002) (“Respondent’s failure to respond means that Respondent has not presented any circumstances that would promote its rights or legitimate interests in the subject domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).”).
Nowhere in the record, including Respondent’s WHOIS information, does it indicate that Respondent is or ever has been commonly known by either the <1800sendftds.com> domain name. Further, Respondent has not sought, nor has Complainant granted, a license or permission to Respondent to use Complainant’s mark in any way. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Compagnie de Saint Gobain v. Com-Union Corp., D2000-0020 (WIPO Mar. 14, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interest where the respondent was not commonly known by the mark and never applied for a license or permission from the complainant to use the trademarked name); see also Charles Jourdan Holding AG v. AAIM, D2000-0403 (WIPO June 27, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests where (1) the respondent is not a licensee of the complainant; (2) the complainant’s prior rights in the domain name precede the respondent’s registration; (3) the respondent is not commonly known by the domain name in question).
Respondent’s <1800sendftds.com> domain name redirects Internet users to a retail floral site that offers services that compete with those services offered under Complainant’s mark. As such, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name because it is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or in a legitimate noncommercial or fair way pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Glaxo Group Ltd. v. WWW Zban, FA 203164 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 1, 2003) (finding that the respondent was not using the domain name within the parameters of Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or (iii) because the respondent used the domain name to take advantage of the complainant's mark by diverting Internet users to a competing commercial site); see also Gardens Alive, Inc. v. D&S Linx, FA 203126 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 20, 2003) (finding that the respondent used a domain name for commercial benefit by diverting Internet users to a website that sold goods and services similar to those offered by the complainant and thus, was not using the name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use).
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
The <1800sendftds.com> domain name redirects Internet users to a retail floral site that offers services that compete with those services offered under Complainant’s mark. Consequently, the Panel finds that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith for the purpose of disrupting Complainant’s business pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See EthnicGrocer.com, Inc. v. Latingrocer.com, FA 94384 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 7, 2000) (finding bad faith where the respondent’s sites pass users through to the respondent’s competing business); see also Disney Enters., Inc. v. Noel, FA 198805 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 11, 2003) (“Respondent registered a domain name confusingly similar to Complainant's mark to divert Internet users to a competitor's website. It is a reasonable inference that Respondent's purpose of registration and use was to either disrupt or create confusion for Complainant's business in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) [and] (iv).”).
Since the <1800sendftds.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s 1-800-SEND-FTD mark and redirects Internet users potentially looking for a website associated with the said mark to a commercial site that competes with Complainant, it is presumed that Respondent is financially benefiting from such use. The Panel finds this to be further evidence of bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See TM Acquisition Corp. v. Warren, FA 204147 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 8, 2003) (“Although Complainant’s principal website is <century21.com>, many Internet users are likely to use search engines to find Complainant’s website, only to be mislead to Respondent’s website at the <century21realty.biz> domain name, which features links for competing real estate websites. Therefore, it is likely that Internet users seeking Complainant’s website, but who end up at Respondent’s website, will be confused as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent’s website.”); see also Kmart v. Khan, FA 127708 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 22, 2002) (finding that if the respondent profits from its diversionary use of the complainant's mark when the domain name resolves to commercial websites and the respondent fails to contest the complaint, it may be concluded that the respondent is using the domain name in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv)).
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <1800sendftds.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Honorable Karl V. Fink (Ret.), Panelist
Dated: September 5, 2007
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