Claim Number: FA0204000112505
Complainant is London Special Risks Limited, London, UNITED KINGDOM (“Complainant”) “represented by” Christopher Shane Duffy. Respondent is Wooho T&C d/b/a RGnames, Seoul, KOREA (“Respondent”) “represented by” Byeongguk Choi. 
The domain name at issue is <angel.biz>, registered with Wooho T&C Co. d/b/a RGNames.
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.
M. KELLY TILLERY, ESQUIRE 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 27, 2002; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on April 29, 2002.
On May 20, 2002, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of June 10, 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”).
A timely Response was received and determined to be complete on June 7, 2002.
On July 17, 2002, pursuant to STOP Rule 6(b), the Forum appointed M. KELLY TILLERY, ESQUIRE, as the single Panelist.
Transfer of the domain name from Respondent to Complainant.
Complaint contends that ANGEL is a commercial lines insurance product (Employment Practices Liability Insurance) sold in the U.S. Complainant contends that ANGEL will in the future offer directors’ and officers’ insurance coverage as well. Complainant contends that ANGEL includes “ANGEL FINE ART” which underwrites and brokers insurance for private and corporate collections and museums.
Complainant contends that it is the owner of the ANGEL trademark and has used same in connection with its insurance services since 1999.
Complainant contends that “next month the trademark will have final approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to become a Registered Trademark.”
Complainant contends that over the past three years it has built brand recognition through the creation of a distinctive logo and the branding of all marketing, website and communication materials with the ANGEL trademark. Complainant attaches copies of advertisements, head papers and business cards utilizing the mark.
Complainant contends that Respondent is a domain name registration organization based in Korea which has no business, product or service that is currently named ANGEL and thus it has no legitimate interest in the domain name.
Complainant contends that Respondent is a domain name registering service which has registered the domain name in question for the sole purpose of financial gain. Complainant contends that Respondent is not the owner of a trademark or service mark that is identical to ANGEL and that Respondent has made no demonstrable preparation to use the domain name and therefore is stopping the Complainant from developing its branding and business location/distribution channels and that Respondent has not been commonly known as the domain name and no trademarks have been acquired or sought by Respondent.
Respondent contends that over 6,760,000 web pages are seen on a Yahoo Search for “ANGEL” and that there are many domain names that include the word “ANGEL.”
Respondent further contends that ANGEL is a general and public word used by many people and is “general and open to the public on the Internet.”
Respondent contends that the recent WIPO Arbitration Decision of INT Media Group v. Castresana, D2002-0249 (WIPO) supports its position.
Respondent contends that Complainant does not own a Registered Trademark for ANGEL.
Respondent contends that it “won the angel.biz domain name by the most fair method in the world” and thus it has rights and legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
Respondent denies that it registered the domain name for the purposes of selling, renting or otherwise transferring same to Complainant or to any competitor of Complainant.
Respondent denies that it is both a reseller and a registrar. Respondent contends that it “. . . contracted a agreement on February 5, 2002 that the register RG Names shall manage the angel.biz domain name on behalf of Respondent except the ownership and use.” Respondent further contends that it is “. . . willing to use the angel.biz for its business for sales and leasing of real estate other than the Complainant’s business.” Respondent contends that there is no likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark.
(1) Complainant has met its burden to prove by a preponderance of the relevant, credible and admissible evidence that the domain name is identical to a service mark in which Complainant has rights.
(2) Complainant has not met its burden to prove by a preponderance of the relevant, credible and admissible evidence that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect to the domain name.
(3) Complainant has not met its burden to prove by a preponderance of the relevant, credible and admissible evidence that the domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.
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.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the STOP Policy requires that 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) 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.
At the time that Complainant filed its Complaint, it had an Application pending in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the Registration of the mark “ANGEL” and it contended that “next month the trademark will have final approval from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to become a Registered Trademark.” Although this Record does not include any further evidence of the Registration, this Panel believes it appropriate to review the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) which now reflects that the mark “ANGEL” was registered to Complainant by the USPTO on June 25, 2002 in Class 36 (Registration No. 2585863). This Panel takes “judicial notice” of same. Under these circumstances, Complainant clearly has rights in and to the mark “ANGEL” and it is identical to the domain name in question. Thus, Complainant has met its burden to prove by a preponderance of the relevant, credible and admissible evidence that the domain name is identical to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights.
Respondent contends that it intends to use the mark for its business of sales and leasing of real estate. Complainant presents no evidence to the contrary. In this proceeding, Complainant has the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect to the domain name. This Panel is compelled to find on this Record that Complainant has not met its burden. However, this Panel also cannot and does not find on this Record that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Respondent contends that it has registered the domain name in question in good faith for use in connection with its business of sales and leasing of real estate. Complainant presents no evidence to the contrary. In these proceedings, Complainant has the burden to prove that the domain has been registered or is being used in bad faith. This Panel is compelled to find on this Record that Complainant has not met its burden to prove that the domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.
Complainant’s Complaint is dismissed. Subsequent challenges under the STOP Policy against this domain name shall be permitted.
M. KELLY TILLERY, ESQUIRE, Panelist
Dated: July 31, 2002
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 The Record regarding the identity of Respondent in this matter is somewhat confusing. Complainant filed a Complaint against Wooho T&C Co. d/b/a RGnames. The WHO IS Directory lists RGnames as Registrar and Registrant with Byeongguk Choi as Administrative, Billing and Technical Contact. However, Respondent has submitted as an Exhibit a copy of an “Agreement on Consignment of Domain Name Registration” dated February 5, 2002 between “Registrar” Wooho T&C, Ltd. d/b/a R Ggames.com and “Registrant” Byeongguk Choi which, if valid, would appear to make Byeongguk Choi the Registrant, and thus proper Respondent herein. Mr. Choi contends that Rgames is “holding temporarily on behalf of Respondent for the domain name pending on IP claims.” Since Complainant has presented no evidence to the contrary, this Panel shall assume that the named Respondent is correct and that the aforesaid claims of Respondent are true.
 There is no indication in the Record that Mr. Duffy or Mr. Choi are attorneys. Mr. Duffy is identified as Marketing Manager and Mr. Choi variously as Registrant, Representative, Administrative Contact, Billing Contact and/or Technical Contact. While parties in these proceedings are not required to proceed with counsel, all would do well to engage and be represented by counsel experienced in trademark law and UDRP proceedings.