Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. Private Domain Registration
Claim Number: FA0801001130797
Complainant is Disney Enterprises, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by J.
Andrew Coombs, of J. Andrew Coombs, A Professional
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <disneywireless.com>, registered with Network Solutions, 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.
Sandra J. Franklin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to
the National Arbitration Forum electronically on
On January 23, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of February 12, 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 <disneywireless.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s DISNEY mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <disneywireless.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <disneywireless.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Disney Enterprises, Inc., is a worldwide leading producer of children’s entertainment goods and services, including movies, television programs, books, and merchandise. Complainant’s goods and services have become well-known and famous throughout the world. Complainant owns a trademark registration for the DISNEY mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (Reg. No. 1,162,727 issued July 28, 1981). Complainant is also the registrant of several domain names incorporating the DISNEY mark.
Respondent registered the <disneywireless.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.
Complainant’s registration of the DISNEY mark with the USPTO
sufficiently establishes Complainant’s rights in the mark for the purposes of
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
mark.”); see also Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. v. Wick, FA 117861 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Sept. 16, 2002) (“Under
domain name is confusingly similar to its DISNEY mark, as it includes the
entire mark and merely adds the generic term “wireless” onto the mark. The addition of such a generic term does not
sufficiently distinguish the disputed domain name from Complainant’s mark. The addition of the generic top-level domain
“.com” is irrelevant, as a top-level domain is a required element of all domain
names. Therefore, the Panel finds that
the <disneywireless.com> domain
name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s DISNEY mark pursuant to Policy ¶
4(a)(i). See Arthur
Guinness Son & Co. (
The Panel thus concludes that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
The Panel notes that Complainant has the initial burden of showing that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the <disneywireless.com> domain name. However, once Complainant makes a prima facie case in support of this showing, the burden shifts to Respondent to prove that it does have rights or legitimate interests. In the present case, the Panel finds that Complainant has established a prima facie case under the Policy. 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 Clerical Med. Inv. Group Ltd. v. Clericalmedical.com, D2000-1228 (WIPO Nov. 28, 2000) (finding that, under certain circumstances, the mere assertion by the complainant that the respondent has no right or legitimate interest is sufficient to shift the burden of proof to the respondent to demonstrate that such a right or legitimate interest does exist).
As a result of Respondent’s failure to answer the Complaint, the Panel presumes that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the <disneywireless.com> domain name. See Charles Jourdan Holding AG v. AAIM, D2000-0403 (WIPO June 27, 2000) (finding it appropriate for the panel to draw adverse inferences from the respondent’s failure to reply to the complaint); see also Eroski, So. Coop. v. Getdomains Ishowflat Ltd., D2003-0209 (WIPO July 28, 2003) (“It can be inferred that by defaulting Respondent showed nothing else but an absolute lack of interest on the domain name.”). Nevertheless, the Panel will now examine the record to determine if Respondent has rights or legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(c).
Respondent’s WHOIS information indicates that Respondent is “Private Domain Registration,” and there is no evidence in the record to suggest that Respondent is known by the <disneywireless.com> domain name. In addition, Complainant asserts that it has never given Respondent authorization to use its DISNEY mark. Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the <disneywireless.com> domain name, which indicates a lack of rights and legitimate interests under 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).
Respondent’s <disneywireless.com> domain name does not currently resolve to any active website. The Panel finds that this failure to use the disputed domain name is evidence that Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with either 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 Melbourne IT Ltd. v. Stafford, D2000-1167 (WIPO Oct. 16, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name where there is no proof that the respondent made preparations to use the domain name or one like it in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services before notice of the domain name dispute, the domain name did not resolve to a website, and the respondent is not commonly known by the domain name); see also Ziegenfelder Co. v. VMH Enter., Inc., D2000-0039 (WIPO Mar. 14, 2000) (finding that failure to provide a product or service or develop the site demonstrates that the respondent had not established any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name).
Furthermore, the Panel finds that Respondent’s offer to sell the <disneywireless.com> domain name to Complainant for an amount in excess of its out-of-pocket costs also suggests that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See Am. Nat’l Red Cross v. Domains, FA 143684 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 4, 2003) (“Respondent’s lack of rights and legitimate interests in the domain name is further evidenced by Respondent’s attempt to sell its domain name registration to Complainant, the rightful holder of the RED CROSS mark.”); see also Kinko’s Inc. v. eToll, Inc., FA 94447 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 27, 2000) (finding that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name where it appeared that the domain name was registered for ultimate use by the complainant).
The Panel thus concludes that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
The Panel also finds that Respondent’s failure to use the <disneywireless.com> domain name indicates, under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii), that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. See Caravan Club v. Mrgsale, FA 95314 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 30, 2000) (finding that the respondent made no use of the domain name or website that connects with the domain name, and that passive holding of a domain name permits an inference of registration and use in bad faith); see also Alitalia –Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A v. Colour Digital, D2000-1260 (WIPO Nov. 23, 2000) (finding bad faith where the respondent made no use of the domain name in question and there are no other indications that the respondent could have registered and used the domain name in question for any non-infringing purpose).
Finally, Respondent’s offer to sell the <disneywireless.com> domain name to Complainant for an amount
greater than its out-of-pocket costs is further evidence of Respondent’s bad
faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(i). See
Grundfos A/S v. Lokale, D2000-1347 (WIPO Nov. 27, 2000) (finding that a
failure to use the domain name in any context other than to offer it for sale
to the complainant amounts to a use of the domain name in bad faith); see also Little Six, Inc. v. Domain For
The Panel thus concludes 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 <disneywireless.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Sandra J. Franklin, Panelist
Dated: February 29, 2008
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