Liberty Mutual Group v. Perfect Entry
Claim Number: FA0204000112442
Complainant is Liberty Mutual Group, Boston, MA, USA (“Complainant”) represented by Christopher Sloan. Respondent is Perfect Entry, Vianen, NETHERLANDS (“Respondent”).
The domain name at issue is <wausau.biz>, registered with Ascio Technologies, 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.
James A. Crary 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 26, 2002; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on May 2, 2002.
On May 10, 2002, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of May 30, 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 June 27, 2002, pursuant to STOP Rule 6(b), the Forum appointed James A. Crary 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.
The <wausau.biz> domain name is identical to Complainant’s WAUSAU mark.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <wausau.biz> domain name.
Respondent registered the <wausau.biz> domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant’s business was founded in 1911. Complainant owns service marks for WAUSAU registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on the Principal Register (Reg. Nos. 1,316,047 and 1,264,449). Complainant’s first use of the WAUSAU mark was in February 1954. Complainant has continued to use the WAUSAU mark in connection with its selling, underwriting and servicing of insurance products.
Respondent registered the <wausau.biz> domain name on March 27, 2002 and has yet to develop a use for it.
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 rights in the WAUSAU mark by registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and subsequent continuous use.
Respondent’s <wausau.biz> domain name contains Complainant’s entire WAUSAU mark. There is nothing in Respondent’s domain name that adds anything new to Complainant’s mark except the inconsequential addition of “.biz.” Therefore, Respondent’s domain name is identical to Complainant’s WAUSAU mark.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that STOP Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
In light of the fact that Complainant has established its rights in the WAUSAU mark and that Respondent has not submitted a Response in this proceeding, the Panel may presume Respondent has no such rights or interests in the disputed domain name. See Pavillion Agency, Inc. v. Greenhouse Agency Ltd., D2000-1221 (WIPO Dec. 4, 2000) (finding that Respondents’ failure to respond can be construed as an admission that they have no legitimate interest in the domain names). Furthermore, when Respondent fails to submit a Response, the Panel is permitted to make all inferences in favor of Complainant. See Vertical Solutions Mgmt., Inc. v. Webnet-Marketing, Inc., FA 95095 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 31, 2000) (failure to respond allows all reasonable inferences of fact in the allegations of Complainant to be deemed true).
There is no evidence on the record and Respondent has not come forward to offer any evidence that it is has rights in a mark identical to <wausau.biz>, nor that it is commonly known by WAUSAU or <wausau.biz>. Therefore, Respondent has not satisfied the requirements of STOP Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) and (iii), respectively. See Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. D3M Virtual Reality Inc. & D3M Domain Sales, AF-0336 (eResolution Sept. 23, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests under the UDRP where no such right or interest is immediately apparent to the Panel and Respondent has not come forward to suggest any right or interest it may possess); see also CMGI, Inc. v. Reyes, D2000-0572 (WIPO Aug. 8, 2000) (finding that Respondent’s failure to produce requested documentation supported a finding for Complainant under the UDRP).
Complainant’s investigation failed to uncover any demonstrable preparations to use the <wausau.biz> domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Respondent has also not provided any evidence of preparations to use the <wausau.biz> domain name. Therefore, Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name pursuant to 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 Pharmacia & Upjohn AB v. Romero, D2000-1273 (WIPO Nov. 13, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests where Respondent failed to submit a Response to the Complaint and had made no use of the domain name in question).
Respondent had notice of Complainant’s rights in the WAUSAU mark due to the unique STOP “IP Claim” notification procedure. Respondent’s registration of <wausau.biz> despite notice of Complainant’s rights in the WAUSAU mark constitutes bad faith. See Valspar Sourcing, Inc. v. TIGRE, FA 112596 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 4, 2002) (“Respondent was on notice of Complainant’s rights in PAINT.BIZ when it registered the disputed domain name, because Respondent received notice of Complainant’s IP Claim. Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name despite this notice when Respondent had no right or legitimate interest in the domain name is evidence of bad faith”); see also 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”).
Having established all three elements required under the STOP Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be hereby GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <wausau.biz> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant, and that subsequent challenges under the STOP Policy against this domain name SHALL NOT be permitted.
James A. Crary, Panelist
Dated July 5, 2002
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