Nokia Corporation v. John Eagle
Claim Number: FA0801001125685
Complainant is Nokia Corporation (“Complainant”), represented by Abigail
Rubinstein, of Darby & Darby P.C., of
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <nokian100.com>, registered with Godaddy.com, 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.
Honorable Paul A. Dorf (Ret.), as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to
the National Arbitration Forum electronically on
On January 7, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of January 28, 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 email@example.com 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 <nokian100.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s NOKIA mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the
3. <nokian100.com> domain name.
4. Respondent registered and used the <nokian100.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Nokia Corporation, manufactures a variety of
telecommunications products including mobile phones and accessories. Complainant has a line of mobile phones
designated by the letter N followed by a number. Complainant has yet to develop a phone
designated N100. On December 6, 2006,
however, Complainant filed applications to register trademarks with the United
States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for the phones already developed
under the N line including N76, N80, N83, N90 and N95 (Ser. Nos. 79,033,557;
79,033,556; 79,033,555; 79,033,554 and 79,033,553). Complainant also registered its NOKIA mark
with the USPTO on
Respondent registered the <nokian100.com>
domain name on
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.
The Panel finds Complainant has established rights in the
NOKIA mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through its registration with
The Panel finds that Respondent’s domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s NOKIA mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). Respondent’s disputed domain name fully incorporates the NOKIA mark in combination with “n100” which is meant to be descriptive of Complainant’s N series of mobile phones. In addition, top level domains such as “.com” are considered irrelevant in evaluating whether a disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a mark. See Clear Channel Broad., Inc. v. Spiral Matrix, FA 724357 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 11, 2006) (“Panels frequently have held that the mere addition of numbers, particularly those with a relation to the business in which a complainant engages, is insufficient to properly distinguish a domain name from an established mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”); see also Omnitel Pronto Italia S.p.A. v. Bella, D2000-1641 (WIPO Mar. 12, 2001) (finding that the contested <omnitel2000.com> domain name is confusingly similar to the OMNITEL trademark); see also 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).
Complainant has alleged that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the <nokian100.com> domain name. Once Complainant makes a prima facie case in support of its allegations, the burden shifts to Respondent to prove that it does have rights or legitimate interests pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). The Panel finds that Complainant has established a prima facie case. Due to Respondent’s failure to respond to the Complaint, the Panel assumes that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, D2000-0624 (WIPO Aug. 21, 2000) (holding that once the complainant asserts that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain, the burden shifts to the respondent to provide “concrete evidence that it has rights to or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue”); see also Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires v. Greenpeace Int’l, D2001-0376 (WIPO May 14, 2001) (“Proving that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name requires the Complainant to prove a negative. For the purposes of this sub paragraph, however, it is sufficient for the Complainant to show a prima facie case and the burden of proof is then shifted on to the shoulders of Respondent. In those circumstances, the common approach is for respondents to seek to bring themselves within one of the examples of paragraph 4(c) or put forward some other reason why they can fairly be said to have a relevant right or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name in question.”). However, the Panel will examine the record to determine whether Respondent has rights or legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(c).
Respondent is using the <nokian100.com> domain name to “pass itself off” as Complainant in order to advertise and sell unauthorized purported products of Complainant. Respondent’s attempt to pass itself off as Complainant is neither a use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Crow v. LOVEARTH.net, FA 203208 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 28, 2003) (“It is neither a bona fide offerings [sic] of goods or services, nor an example of a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) & (iii) when the holder of a domain name, confusingly similar to a registered mark, attempts to profit by passing itself off as Complainant . . . .”); see also Am. Int’l Group, Inc. v. Busby, FA 156251 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 30, 2003) (finding that the respondent attempts to pass itself off as the complainant online, which is blatant unauthorized use of the complainant’s mark and is evidence that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name).
Additionally, the record and WHOIS information indicate no evidence suggesting Respondent is commonly known by the <nokian100.com> domain name. Also, Respondent was not authorized to use Complainant’s mark or create and sell a purported N100 mobile phone. Thus, the Panel finds Respondent has not established rights or legitimate interests in the <nokian100.com> domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Broadcom Corp. v. Intellifone Corp., FA 96356 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 5, 2001) (finding no rights or legitimate interests because the respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name or using the domain name in connection with a legitimate or fair use); 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).
Respondent is using the <nokian100.com> domain
name, which is confusingly similar to Complainant’s NOKIA mark, to advertise and
sell unauthorized purported products of Complainant. The Panel finds that such use disrupts
Complainant’s business and constitutes bad faith registration and use pursuant
to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See Fossil,
Inc. v. NAS, FA 92525 (Nat. Arb. Forum
In addition, Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to advertise and sell unauthorized purported products of Complainant’s is evidence Respondent is trying to profit by giving the impression of being affiliated with Complainant. Respondent’s use may lead customers to believe the products offered for sale under the disputed domain name are being made and sold by Complainant. The Panel finds such use constitutes bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Nokia Corp. v. Private, D2000-1271 (WIPO Nov. 3, 2000) (finding bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where the domain name resolved to a website that offered similar products as those sold under the complainant’s famous mark); see also Fanuc Ltd v. Mach. Control Servs., FA 93667 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 13, 2000) (finding that the respondent violated Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark by using a domain name identical to the complainant’s mark to sell the complainant’s products).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <nokian100.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Honorable Paul A. Dorf (Ret.), Panelist
Dated: February 7, 2008
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