Water Environment Federation v. ACWF
Claim Number: FA0711001109535
Complainant is Water Environment Federation (“Complainant”), represented by James
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAMES
The domain names at issue are <worldwatermonitoringday.net>, <wwmd.org>, <wwmd.net>, <worldwatermonitoringday.org> and <worldwatermonitoringday.com> registered with Network Solutions, 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.
James A. Carmody, Esq., as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to
the National Arbitration Forum electronically on
On December 5, 2007, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of December 26, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and 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.
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 names be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <worldwatermonitoringday.net>, <wwmd.org>, <wwmd.net>, <worldwatermonitoringday.org> and <worldwatermonitoringday.com> domain names are identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s WORLD WATER MONITORING DAY mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <worldwatermonitoringday.net>, <wwmd.org>, <wwmd.net>, <worldwatermonitoringday.org> and <worldwatermonitoringday.com> domain names.
3. Respondent registered and used the <worldwatermonitoringday.net>, <wwmd.org>, <wwmd.net>, <worldwatermonitoringday.org> and <worldwatermonitoringday.com> domain names in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Water Environment Federation, is an
organization which operates World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD), which is an
international outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in
protecting worldwide water resources.
Complainant obtained rights in the WORLD WATER MONITORING DAY mark
through a grant agreement transferring those rights from
The Grant Agreement (Agreement) was signed by
representatives of Complainant and Respondent on
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.
Outside the Scope of the UDRP: Contractual Business Dispute
The Panel finds that this is a contractual dispute outside
the scope of the UDRP. Complainant and
Respondent have signed a contractual business agreement transferring the
related rights and material (including the disputed domain names) of this
Program from Respondent to Complainant.
The UDRP is narrowly tailored to deal with issues of cybersquatting. Since Respondent rightfully obtained the disputed
domain names during the time they were a functional organization holding the
WORLDWIDE WATER MONITORING DAY mark, there is no issue of cybersquatting
here. The issue is whether Respondent
breached the contractual Agreement by not transferring the disputed domain
names and the appropriate forum for this contractual dispute is with a
court. See Discover
Having found that this contractual dispute is outside the scope of the UDRP, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED.
James A. Carmody, Esq., Panelist
Dated: January 9, 2008
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