USANA Health Sciences, Inc. v. Antigua Domains
Claim Number: FA0708001055136
Complainant is USANA Health Sciences, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Kevin S. McMurray, of USANA Health Sciences, Inc., 3838 West Parkway Boulevard, Salt Lake City, UT 84120. Respondent is Antigua Domains (“Respondent”), Box C43891 Woods Centre, St. Johns 01001, Antigua and Barbuda.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <usanatoday.com>, registered with Godaddy.com, Inc.
The undersigned certifies that he or she has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his or her knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
James A. Crary as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on August 3, 2007; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on August 7, 2007.
On August 6, 2007, Godaddy.com, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <usanatoday.com> domain name is registered with Godaddy.com, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Godaddy.com, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Godaddy.com, 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 August 14, 2007, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of September 4, 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 September 13, 2007, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed James A. Crary 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 <usanatoday.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s USANA mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <usanatoday.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <usanatoday.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, USANA Health Services, Inc., manufactures and distributes vitamin, mineral, and nutritional supplements and drink mixes for use as meal replacements. Complainant uses the USANA mark, which is registered with the United States Patent and trademark Office (“USPTO”) (Reg. No. 1,909,069 issued August 1, 1995), to market and distribute these products.
Respondent registered the <usanatoday.com> domain name on November 4, 2005. Respondent’s domain name resolves to a website that contains links to various websites, some of which compete with Complainant’s business.
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.
Complainant asserts rights in the USANA mark through its ownership of a USPTO trademark registration. The Panel finds that Complainant’s evidence establishes its rights in the mark for purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Vivendi Universal Games v. XBNetVentures Inc., FA 198803 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 11, 2003) (“Complainant's federal trademark registrations establish Complainant's rights in the BLIZZARD mark.”); see also Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Hoffman, FA 874152 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 31, 2007) (finding that the complainant had sufficiently established rights in the SKUNK WORKS mark through its registration with the USPTO).
Moreover, Complainant contends that Respondent’s <usanatoday.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s USANA mark. Respondent’s domain name contains Complainant’s mark in its entirety, adding the term “today” and the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com.” The Panel finds that these minor additions do not significantly distinguish Respondent’s domain name from Complainant’s mark for purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Quixtar Inv., Inc. v. Smithberger, D2000-0138 (WIPO Apr. 19, 2000) (finding that because the domain name <quixtar-sign-up.com> incorporates in its entirety the complainant’s distinctive mark, QUIXTAR, the domain name is confusingly similar); see also Body Shop Int’l PLC v. CPIC NET, D2000-1214 (WIPO Nov. 26, 2000) (finding that the domain name <bodyshopdigital.com> is confusingly similar to the complainant’s THE BODY SHOP trademark); 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 Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant contends that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the <usanatoday.com> domain name. The Panel finds that Complainant’s assertion in this instance is enough to establish a prima facie case, shifting the burden from Complainant to Respondent to show that Respondent does have rights or legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See Clerical Med. Inv. Group Ltd. v. Clericalmedical.com, D2000-1228 (WIPO Nov. 28, 2000) (finding that, under certain circumstances, the mere assertion by the complainant that the respondent has no right or legitimate interest is sufficient to shift the burden of proof to the respondent to demonstrate that such a right or legitimate interest does exist); see also Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, D2000-0624 (WIPO Aug. 21, 2000) (holding that once the complainant asserts that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain, the burden shifts to the respondent to provide “concrete evidence that it has rights to or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue”).
Respondent is using the <usanatoday.com> domain name to operate a website that features links to various commercial websites, some of which compete with Complainant. The Panel infers from Respondent’s use that it is collecting referral fees for each misdirected Internet user. The Panel finds that such use is not a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See WeddingChannel.com Inc. v. Vasiliev, FA 156716 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 12, 2003) (finding that the respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to websites unrelated to the complainant’s mark, websites where the respondent presumably receives a referral fee for each misdirected Internet user, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services as contemplated by the Policy); see also Disney Enters., Inc. v. Dot Stop, FA 145227 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 17, 2003) (finding that the respondent’s diversionary use of the complainant’s mark to attract Internet users to its own website, which contained a series of hyperlinks to unrelated websites, was neither a bona fide offering of goods or services nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain names).
Finally, no evidence has been presented that Respondent is commonly known by the <usanatoday.com> domain name. The WHOIS information lists the registrant as “Antigua Domains.” In the absence of evidence suggesting otherwise, the Panel finds that Respondent has not established rights or legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Wells Fargo & Co. v. Onlyne Corp. Services11, Inc., FA 198969 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 17, 2003) (“Given the WHOIS contact information for the disputed domain [name], one can infer that Respondent, Onlyne Corporate Services11, is not commonly known by the name ‘welsfargo’ in any derivation.”); see also Am. W. Airlines, Inc. v. Paik, FA 206396 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 22, 2003) (“Respondent has registered the domain name under the name ‘Ilyoup Paik a/k/a David Sanders.’ Given the WHOIS domain name registration information, Respondent is not commonly known by the [<awvacations.com>] domain name.”).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent is using the <usanatoday.com> domain name to operate a website that features links to various related and unrelated commercial websites, presumably for the purpose of collecting referral fees. The Panel finds that Internet users searching for Complainant’s legitimate website will likely be confused when stumbling upon Respondent’s website as to Complainant’s sponsorship of or affiliation with the resulting website. Such use is evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Am. Univ. v. Cook, FA 208629 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 22, 2003) (“Registration and use of a domain name that incorporates another's mark with the intent to deceive Internet users in regard to the source or affiliation of the domain name is evidence of bad faith.”); see also G.D. Searle & Co. v. Celebrex Drugstore, FA 123933 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 21, 2002) (finding that the respondent registered and used the domain name in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) because the respondent was using the confusingly similar domain name to attract Internet users to its commercial website).
Finally, Complainant contends that Respondent’s use of the <usanatoday.com> domain name to connect Internet users to websites related to Complainant’s competing businesses is a disruption of Complainant’s business. The Panel finds such use to be further evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See S. Exposure v. S. Exposure, Inc., FA 94864 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 18, 2000) (finding that the respondent registered the domain name in question to disrupt the business of the complainant, a competitor of the respondent); 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).”).
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 relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <usanatoday.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
James A. Crary, Panelist
Dated: September 25, 2007
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