Diners Club International Ltd. v. MCOB PATH FINDERS L.L.C.
Claim Number: FA0712001118379
Complainant is Diners Club International Ltd. (“Complainant”), represented by Paul
D. McGrady, of Greenberg Traurig, LLP,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <dinerschoice.net>, registered with Wild West Domains, 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.
Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on December 7, 2007; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on December 10, 2007.
On December 7, 2007, Wild West Domains, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <dinerschoice.net> domain name is registered with Wild West Domains, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Wild West Domains, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Wild West Domains, 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 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.
On January 4, 2008, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., 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.
B. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <dinerschoice.net> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s DINERS mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <dinerschoice.net> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <dinerschoice.net> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Diners Club International Ltd., is a leading provider of financial services to individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. These services include credit card services. Complainant registered the DINERS mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (Reg. No. 1,462,209 issued October 20, 1987).
Respondent registered the <dinerschoice.net> domain name on May 4, 2007. The disputed domain name resolves to a website promoting credit card services in direct competition with Complainant.
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 DINERS mark with the USPTO, and
therefore, established rights to the mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Innomed Techs., Inc. v. DRP Servs.,
FA 221171 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 18, 2004) (“Registration of
the NASAL-AIRE mark with the USPTO establishes Complainant's rights in the
also Vivendi Universal Games v.
XBNetVentures Inc., FA 198803 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Complainant contends that the <dinerschoice.net> domain name is confusingly similar to
the DINERS mark. Respondent’s addition
of the generic term “choice” to the registered mark is insufficient to
distinguish the disputed domain name from the registered mark because it is a
generic term. In addition, because all
domain names are required to have a top-level domain, Respondent’s use of the
generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.net” does not distinguish the disputed
domain name from Complainant’s registered mark.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the <dinerschoice.net>
domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s DINERS mark pursuant to
Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
See Arthur Guinness Son & Co. (
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant claims that Respondent has neither rights nor
legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). Complainant
has the initial burden of showing the Respondent does not have rights or
legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once Complainant has made a
prima facie showing, the burden
shifts to Respondent. The Panel
finds that Complainant has met the initial burden of showing that Respondent
lacks rights and legitimate interests, and therefore has made a prima facie case under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See Compagnie
Generale des Matieres Nucleaires v. Greenpeace Int’l, D2001-0376
Because Respondent failed to answer the Complaint, the Panel presumes that Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. 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). Nevertheless, the Panel will examine all evidence in the record to determine if Respondent does have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c).
Complainant asserts that Respondent has never been
authorized to use the DINERS mark, and that Respondent is not and has never
been commonly known by the disputed domain name. Further, the WHOIS information does not
indicate that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent is not
commonly known by the <dinerschoice.net>
domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Tercent Inc. v. Lee Yi,
FA 139720 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Respondent is using the <dinerschoice.net> domain name to redirect to a website promoting credit card services in direct competition with Complainant. 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 under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See DLJ Long Term Inv. Corp. v. BargainDomainNames.com, FA 104580 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 9, 2002) (“Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services because Respondent is using the domain name to divert Internet users to <visual.com>, where services that compete with Complainant are advertised.”); see also Ameritrade Holdings Corp. v. Polanski, FA 102715 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 11, 2002) (finding that the respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to a financial services website, which competed with the complainant, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
The Panel presumes that Respondent’s use of the <dinerschoice.net> domain name is to
commercially gain by advertising links to competing services, and thus
constitutes bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See Disney Enters., Inc. v. Noel, FA 198805 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Complainant contends that Respondent is using the <dinerschoice.net> domain name for
commercial gain by advertising links to competing services, and benefiting from
the likely confusion between Complainant’s mark and the disputed domain
name. The Panel finds that the similarity
between the disputed domain name and the DINERS mark is likely to create
confusion as to Complainant’s source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement
of the website that resolves from the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See AltaVista Co. v. Krotov, D2000-1091
(WIPO Oct. 25, 2000) (finding bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv)
where the respondent’s domain name resolved to a website that offered links to
third-party websites that offered services similar to the complainant’s
services and merely took advantage of Internet user mistakes); see also
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 <dinerschoice.net> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., , Panelist
Dated: January 11, 2008
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