Hachette Filipacchi Presse v. Gim Hyeong Jeon
Claim Number: FA0204000109729
Complainant is Hachette Filipacchi Presse, Levallois Perret, FRANCE (“Complainant”) represented by Corrine Allard-Dornaletche, of Markplus International. Respondent is Gim Hyeong Jeon, Gwangju, KOREA (“Respondent”).
The domain name at issue is <parents.biz>, registered with Hangang Systems, 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.
John J. Upchurch as Panelist.
Complainant has standing to file a Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy (“STOP”) Complaint, as it timely filed the required Intellectual Property (IP) Claim Form with the Registry Operator, NeuLevel. As an IP Claimant, Complainant timely noted its intent to file a STOP Complaint against Respondent with the Registry Operator, NeuLevel and with the National Arbitration Forum (the “Forum”).
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on April 17, 2002; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on April 23, 2002.
On April 23, 2002, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of May 13, 2002 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent in compliance with paragraph 2(a) of the Rules for the Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy (the “STOP Rules”).
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 May 28, 2002, pursuant to STOP Rule 6(b), the Forum appointed John J. Upchurch as the single 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 STOP Rules. Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the STOP Policy, STOP Rules, the Forum’s STOP Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable, without the benefit of any Response from Respondent.
Transfer of the domain name from Respondent to Complainant.
1. The Respondent’s <parents.biz> domain name is identical to Complainant’s PARENTS mark.
2. Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <parents.biz> domain name.
3. Respondent registered the <parents.biz> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response.
Complainant is the owner of numerous trademark registrations and applications utilizing the PARENTS mark worldwide (e.g., Korean Trademark Registration No. 454.677 filed on May 1998; International Registration No. R404.113 filed on January 1994; and French Trademark Reg. No. 212.374 filed on September 1982, among others). Complainant has continually used the PARENTS mark internationally since 1979. Complainant’s Parents magazine is very popular in France and worldwide, thus, the mark is established.
Respondent registered the contested domain name on March 27, 2002 and has yet to establish a purpose for the domain or develop an attached website.
Paragraph 15(a) of the STOP 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 STOP Rules and draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the STOP Rules.
Paragraph 4(a) of the STOP Policy requires that the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be transferred:
(1) the domain name is identical 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 or is being used in bad faith.
Due to the common authority of the ICANN policy governing both the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) and these STOP proceedings, the Panel will exercise its discretion to rely on relevant UDRP precedent where applicable.
Under the STOP proceedings, a STOP Complaint may only be filed when the domain name in dispute is identical to a trademark or service mark for which a Complainant has registered an Intellectual Property (IP) claim form. Therefore, every STOP proceeding necessarily involves a disputed domain name that is identical to a trademark or service mark in which a Complainant asserts rights. The existence of the “.biz” generic top-level domain (gTLD) in the disputed domain name is not a factor for purposes of determining that a disputed domain name is not identical to the mark in which the Complainant asserts rights.
Complainant has established that it has rights in the PARENTS mark through registration throughout the world and subsequent continuous use of the mark since 1979. Respondent’s <parents.biz> domain name incorporates the Complainant’s mark in its entirety. Therefore, Respondent’s domain name is identical to Complainant’s PARENTS mark. See Princeton Linear Assoc., Inc. v. Copland o/b/o LAN Solutions Inc. FA 102811 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 8, 2001) (finding that, due to the nature of STOP proceedings, identicalness between Complainant's mark and disputed domain name should never be a threshold issue).
The Panel finds that STOP Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant has established that it has rights in the disputed domain name because it is the holder of the relevant registrations of the PARENTS mark throughout the world. Respondent has not come forward to proffer any evidence that it has trademark rights in the PARENTS mark anywhere in the world; Complainant’s investigation has confirmed this, as the domain name is not associated with any business or commerce. Therefore, Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <parents.biz> domain name pursuant to STOP Policy ¶ 4(c)(i).
In order for Respondent to establish demonstrable preparations to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services Respondent must establish evidence of a valid course of business. As stated, Respondent has never used the contested domain name in commerce, nor has it provided any evidentiary support that it intends to. The mere registration of <parents.biz> as a domain name is not sufficient to establish legitimate interests under STOP Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Gene Logic Inc. v. Bock, FA 103042 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 4, 2002) (finding that in order to show rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name Respondent must establish with valid evidence “a course of business under the name, or at least significant preparation for use of the name prior to learning of the possibility of a conflict” with an IP Claimant); see also Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. Benstein, FA 102962 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 27, 2002) (finding the Respondent’s assertion that she registered the domain name <foxstudios.biz> in order to get a website address for her planned dance studios, without evidentiary support, was insufficient to establish that she had rights or interests in respect to the domain name at issue).
Additionally, there is no evidence on the record and Respondent has not come forward to establish that it is commonly known by the <parents.biz> domain name pursuant to STOP Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Gallup Inc. v. Amish Country Store, FA 96209 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 23, 2001) (finding that Respondent does not have rights in domain name when Respondent is not known by the mark); see also 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).
The Panel finds that STOP Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Due to the nature of the STOP procedure, the notoriety of Complainant’s famous marks and Complainant’s trademark registration in Korea, Respondent’s country of domicile, Respondent was placed on constructive notice of Complainant’s rights in its mark. See Gene Logic Inc. v. Bock, FA 103042 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 4, 2002) (finding that the unique nature of the STOP Policy and the notice given to Respondent regarding existing IP Claims identical to its chosen domain name precluded good faith registration of <genelogic.biz> when Respondent registered it with “full knowledge that his intended business use of this domain name was in direct conflict with a registered trademark of a known competitor in exactly the same field of business”); see also Victoria's Secret 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).
By registering a domain name that incorporates Complainant’s mark in its entirety Respondent is preventing Complainant from reflecting its PARENTS mark in a corresponding domain name. Respondent’s intentional registration despite knowledge of Complainant’s PARENTS mark represents bad faith registration pursuant to STOP Policy ¶ 4(b)(ii). See Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha v. S&S Enter. Ltd., D2000-0802 (WIPO Sept. 9, 2000) (finding that “Registration of a domain name goes further than merely correctly using in an advertisement the trademark of another in connection with that other’s goods or services: it prevents the trademark owner from reflecting that mark in a corresponding domain name”); see also Peachtree Software v. Scarponi, FA 102781 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 23, 2002) (finding bad faith under STOP Policy ¶ 4(b)(ii), noting that it was reasonable to conclude Respondent registered <peachtree.biz> with the intent to prevent Complainant from reflecting its PEACHTREE mark in a corresponding domain name, given Respondent's knowledge of Complainant's mark and Respondent's lack of rights or interests in the mark).
The Panel finds that STOP Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under the Start-Up Trademark Opposition Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be hereby GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the domain name <parents.biz> be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant and that subsequent challenges under the STOP Policy against this domain name SHALL NOT be permitted.
John J. Upchurch, Panelist
Dated: May 30, 2002
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