Time Warner Inc. v. Videos and Games
Claim Number: FA0709001076563
Complainant is Time Warner Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by James
R. Davis, of Arent Fox PLLC,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <timewarnersafaris.com>, registered with Godaddy.com, 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.
The Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr. (Ret.) as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on September 12, 2007; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on September 13, 2007.
On September 13, 2007, Godaddy.com, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <timewarnersafaris.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 September 17, 2007, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of October 9, 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 October 12, 2007, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed the Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr. (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 <timewarnersafaris.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s TIME WARNER mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <timewarnersafaris.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <timewarnersafaris.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Time Warner Inc., is a leading media and entertainment company that provides various goods and services, including interactive services, cable systems television networks and publishing. Complainant owns several trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for variations of the TIME WARNER mark (i.e. Reg. No. 1,816,474 issued January 11, 1994). Additionally, Complainant operates a website at the <timewarner.com> domain name.
Respondent registered the <timewarnersafaris.com> domain name on January 26, 2006. Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a website that displays information on travel services.
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’s registration of the TIME WARNER mark with the USPTO sufficiently establishes its rights in the mark for the purpose of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See VICORP Rests., Inc. v. Triantafillos, FA 485933 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 14, 2005) (“Complainant has established rights in the BAKERS SQUARE mark by registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).”); see also Reebok Int’l Ltd. v. Santos, FA 565685 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 21, 2005) (“Complainant owns a United States Patent and Trademark Office (‘USPTO’) registration issued September 5, 2000 for the RBK mark. This trademark registration is adequate to establish rights pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”).
domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s TIME WARNER mark as it
contains Complainant’s mark in its entirety with the addition of the term “safaris”
and the generic top-level domain “.com.”
Neither of these additions to Complainant’s mark sufficiently
distinguish the disputed domain name under the requirements of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See
Arthur Guinness Son & Co. (
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), Complainant must present a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the <timewarnersafaris.com> domain name. If Complainant can establish such a case, the burden then shifts to Respondent to show that it has rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name. See Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires v. Greenpeace Int’l, D2001-0376 (WIPO May 14, 2001) (“Proving that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name requires the Complainant to prove a negative. For the purposes of this sub paragraph, however, it is sufficient for the Complainant to show a prima facie case and the burden of proof is then shifted on to the shoulders of Respondent. In those circumstances, the common approach is for respondents to seek to bring themselves within one of the examples of paragraph 4(c) or put forward some other reason why they can fairly be said to have a relevant right or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name in question.”); see also G.D. Searle v. Martin Mktg., FA 118277 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 1, 2002) (“Because Complainant’s Submission constitutes a prima facie case under the Policy, the burden effectively shifts to Respondent. 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).”). The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied its burden, and thus Respondent must demonstrate rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent’s WHOIS information lists Respondent as “Videos and Games,” and there is no other evidence to indicate that Respondent is or has ever been known by the <timewarnersafaris.com> domain name. Additionally, as Complainant states that Respondent is not authorized to use its TIME WARNER mark, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See M. Shanken Commc’ns, Inc. v. WORLDTRAVELERSONLINE.COM, FA 740335 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 3, 2006) (finding that the respondent is not commonly known by the <cigaraficionada.com> domain name because the WHOIS information lists the registrant of the domain name as as “WORLDTRAVELERSONLINE.COM,” and no other evidence exists in the record indicating that the respondent is known by the domain name); see also RMO, Inc. v. Burbridge, FA 96949 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 16, 2001) (interpreting Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) "to require a showing that one has been commonly known by the domain name prior to registration of the domain name to prevail").
The evidence in the record shows that Respondent is using the disputed domain name to display a website that advertises travel services, a use that is presumably for Respondent’s own commercial benefit. Such use of a domain name that is confusingly similar to Complainant’s TIME WARNER mark is neither a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Bank of Am. Corp. v. Nw. Free Cmty. Access, FA 180704 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 30, 2003) (“Respondent's demonstrated intent to divert Internet users seeking Complainant's website to a website of Respondent and for Respondent's benefit is not a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) and it is not a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).”); see also Golden Bear Int’l, Inc. v. Kangdeock-ho, FA 190644 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 17, 2003) (“Respondent's use of a domain name confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark to divert Internet users to websites unrelated to Complainant's business does not represent a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).”).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent’s <timewarnersafaris.com> domain name is being used to display various travel-related services, which the Panel infers is for Respondent’s own commercial gain. Additionally, as the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s TIME WARNER mark, the disputed domain name is capable of creating a likelihood of confusion as to Complainant’s source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the disputed domain name and corresponding website. Thus, the Panel finds adequate evidence for a finding of bad faith registration and use under 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 Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc. v. Lalli, FA 95284 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 21, 2000) (finding bad faith where the respondent directed Internet users seeking the complainant’s site to its own website for commercial gain).
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 <timewarnersafaris.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
The Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr. (Ret.), Panelist
Dated: October 16, 2007
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