Harrah's License Company, LLC v. Poul Laurent c/o KRC Software Group, Inc.
Claim Number: FA0712001119069
Complainant is Harrah's License Company, LLC (“Complainant”), represented by Jessica
E. Jacob, of Alston & Bird, LLP,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <worldseriesofpoker.org>, registered with eNom, 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 14, 2007, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of January 3, 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 <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name is identical to Complainant’s WORLD SERIES OF POKER mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant’s WORLD SERIES OF POKER event is held each year
since 1970 at Harrah’s Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in
Respondent’s <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name was registered on October 20, 2003 and currently resolves to blog website containing entries and notes about Las Vegas and gambling, including Complainant’s WORLD SERIES OF POKER event. Additionally, the website contains numerous banner advertisements and other links to commercial poker and gambling websites that compete 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 has sufficiently established its rights in the
WORLD SERIES OF POKER mark through registration with the USPTO pursuant to
Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
See Innomed Techs., Inc. v. DRP Servs.,
FA 221171 (Nat. Arb. Forum
The <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name contains Complainant’s mark in its entirety followed by the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.org.” It is well-established that the inclusion of a gTLD is irrelevant to a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent’s <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name is identical to Complainant’s WORLD SERIES OF POKER mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Pomellato S.p.A v. Tonetti, D2000-0493 (WIPO July 7, 2000) (finding <pomellato.com> identical to the complainant’s mark because the generic top-level domain (gTLD) “.com” after the name POMELLATO is not relevant); see also Fed’n of Gay Games, Inc. v. Hodgson, D2000-0432 (WIPO June 28, 2000) (finding that the domain name <gaygames.com> is identical to the complainant's registered trademark GAY GAMES).
The Panel concludes that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii),
Complainant must first make a prima facie
case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed
domain name. See VeriSign Inc. v. VeneSign
Respondent has failed to reply to the Complaint. Therefore, the Panel presumes that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name but will nonetheless examine the record in consideration of the factors listed under Policy ¶ 4(c). See G.D. Searle v. Martin Mktg., FA 118277 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 1, 2002) (“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).”); 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).
Nothing in Respondent’s WHOIS record or anything else in the record indicates that Respondent is or ever was commonly known by the disputed domain name. Additionally, Respondent is not affiliated with nor has permission to use the WORLD SERIES OF POKER mark. Absent any evidence to the contrary, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name pursuant to 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 Compagnie de Saint Gobain v. Com-Union Corp., D2000-0020 (WIPO Mar. 14, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interest where the respondent was not commonly known by the mark and never applied for a license or permission from the complainant to use the trademarked name).
The <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name
resolves to a blog website containing entries about
The Panel concludes that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
The <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name
resolves to a website that contains links to commercial gambling and poker
services that compete with Complainant.
The Panel finds this to evidence Respondent’s intent to disrupt
Complainant’s business and as such evidence establishing Respondent’s bad faith
registration and use of the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See Disney Enters., Inc. v. Noel, FA
198805 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Moreover, the <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name resolves to a website containing banner advertisements, and sponsored links. Respondent is presumed to be commercially benefiting from such use for each Internet user who views and clicks an advertisement or link. Therefore, the Panel finds this to be additional evidence of Respondent’s bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Associated Newspapers Ltd. v. Domain Manager, FA 201976 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 19, 2003) (“Respondent's prior use of the <mailonsunday.com> domain name is evidence of bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) because the domain name provided links to Complainant's competitors and Respondent presumably commercially benefited from the misleading domain name by receiving ‘click-through-fees.’”); see also Kmart v. Khan, FA 127708 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 22, 2002) (finding that if the respondent profits from its diversionary use of the complainant's mark when the domain name resolves to commercial websites and the respondent fails to contest the complaint, it may be concluded that the respondent is using the domain name in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv)).
The Panel concludes that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <worldseriesofpoker.org> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
James A. Carmody, Esq., Panelist
Dated: January 15, 2008
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