Lucchese Inc. v. Billy Martin's
Claim Number: FA0712001116411
Complainant is Lucchese Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Gregory
H. Guillot, of Gregory H. Guillot PC, 13455 Noel Road
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <luccheseboots.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 13, 2007, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of January 2, 2008 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <luccheseboots.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s LUCCHESE mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <luccheseboots.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <luccheseboots.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Lucchese Inc., also known as the Lucchese Boot
Company, sells and manufactures boots, shoes, footwear, clothing, hats, belts,
wallets, and luggage. Complainant has
marketed its products under the LUCCHESE mark since 1883. Complainant registered the LUCCHESE mark with
the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on
Respondent, Billy Martin’s, is a developer, manufacturer,
and retailer of western-theme clothing and related products, and operates
western-wear boutiques in
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 registered the LUCCHESE mark with the USPTO, and has therefore
established rights to the mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Innomed Techs., Inc. v. DRP Servs., FA 221171 (Nat. Arb. Forum
The <luccheseboots.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s LUCCHESE mark because it incorporates Complainant’s entire mark and includes the generic term “boots” which has an obvious connection to Complainant’s business. Moreover, the addition of the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com” does not sufficiently distinguish the disputed domain name from Complainant’s mark because all domain names are required to have a top-level domain. Therefore, the Panel finds that the <luccheseboots.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s LUCCHESE mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See 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); see also Space Imaging LLC v. Brownell, AF-0298 (eResolution Sept. 22, 2000) (finding confusing similarity where the respondent’s domain name combines the complainant’s mark with a generic term that has an obvious relationship to the complainant’s business).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant contends that Respondent has neither rights nor
legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Complainant must first present a prima facie case establishing that
Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain
name. Once Complainant has met the
burden and made a prima facie case supporting
the assertion that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests, the burden
shifts to Respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests
in the disputed domain name. The Panel
finds that Complainant has demonstrated that Respondent lacks rights and
legitimate interests, and thus made a prima
facie case pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires
v. Greenpeace Int’l, D2001-0376 (WIPO
The Panel presumes that Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name because Respondent failed to answer the Complaint. 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 Desotec N.V. v. Jacobi Carbons AB, D2000-1398 (WIPO Dec. 21, 2000) (finding that failing to respond allows a presumption that the complainant’s allegations are true unless clearly contradicted by the evidence). Despite Respondent’s failure to respond, the Panel will examine all evidence in the record to determine if Respondent has rights or legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(c).
Although Respondent was previously an authorized retailer of Complainant’s products, Complainant contends that Respondent is not currently authorized to use the LUCCHESE mark, and that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the WHOIS information does not indicate that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Tercent Inc. v. Lee Yi, FA 139720 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 10, 2003) (stating “nothing in Respondent’s WHOIS information implies that Respondent is ‘commonly known by’ the disputed domain name” as one factor in determining that Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) does not apply); see also Am. Online, Inc. v. World Photo Video & Imaging Corp., FA 109031 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 13, 2002) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by <aolcamera.com> or <aolcameras.com> because the respondent was doing business as “Sunset Camera” and “World Photo Video & Imaging Corp.”).
The disputed domain name does not currently resolve to an active website. The Panel finds that Respondent’s failure to actively use the disputed domain name is neither 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). See TMP Int’l, Inc. v. Baker Enters., FA 204112 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 6, 2003) (“[T]he Panel concludes that Respondent's [inactive use] of the domain name does not establish rights or legitimate interests pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).”); see also Am. Home Prods. Corp. v. Malgioglio, D2000-1602 (WIPO Feb. 19, 2001) (finding no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name <solgarvitamins.com> where the respondent did not actively use the domain name).
Respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name is further evidence that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See Mothers Against Drunk Driving v. Hyun-Jun Shin, FA 154098 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 27, 2003) (holding that under the circumstances, the respondent’s apparent willingness to dispose of its rights in the disputed domain name suggested that it lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain name); see also Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Stork, D2000-0628 (WIPO Aug. 11, 2000) (finding the respondent’s conduct purporting to sell the domain name suggests it has no legitimate use).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
The Panel finds that Respondent’s inactive use of the <luccheseboots.com> domain name evidences registration and use in bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Telstra Corp. v. Nuclear Marshmallows, D2000-0003 (WIPO Feb. 18, 2000) (“[I]t is possible, in certain circumstances, for inactivity by the Respondent to amount to the domain name being used in bad faith.”); see also Clerical Med. Inv. Group Ltd. v. Clericalmedical.com, D2000-1228 (WIPO Nov. 28, 2000) (finding that merely holding an infringing domain name without active use can constitute use in bad faith).
Furthermore, Respondent’s attempt to sell the domain name
for compensation demonstrates bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy
¶ 4(b)(i). See Am.
Anti-Vivisection Soc’y v. “Infa dot Net” Web Serv., FA 95685 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 6, 2000)
(finding that “general offers to sell the domain name, even if no certain price
is demanded, are evidence of bad faith”); see
also Little Six, Inc. v.
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 <luccheseboots.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
James A. Carmody, Esq., Panelist
Dated: January 15, 2008
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