Louis Vuitton Malletier
Claim Number: FA0801001138296
Complainant is Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A., L.L.C. (“Complainant”), represented by J.
Andrew Coombs, of J. Andrew Coombs, A Professional
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <ilouisvuitton.com>, 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 January 24, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of February 13, 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 <ilouisvuitton.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s LOUIS VUITTON mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <ilouisvuitton.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <ilouisvuitton.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A., and its predecessors in interest have for well over one hundred years, continuously used, applied for and obtained registrations for the LOUIS VUITTON mark for a variety of goods, specifically including luxury accessories. Complainant has submitted evidence to prove its ownership of several trademark registrations for the LOUIS VUITTON mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (including Reg. No. 2904197 issued Nov. 23, 2004 and Reg. No. 1045932 issued Aug. 10, 1976) and with the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (Reg. No. 241019 issued Jan. 15, 1996). Complainant also incorporates the LOUIS VUITTON mark into several domain names, including <vuitton.com>, <louisvuitton.com>, and <vuittonsotre.com>.
Respondent registered the <ilouisvuitton.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 has rights in the mark sufficient to satisfy
Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) per its registrations with the
trademark offices of the
Respondent’s disputed domain name is confusingly similar to
Complainant’s mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). The only difference between the two is that
Respondent’s addition of the letter “i” and the required generic top-level
domain, “.com.” These additions to
Complainant’s mark are inconsequential. See Google, Inc. v. DktBot.org, FA 286993 (Nat. Arb.
Forum Aug. 4, 2004) (“The mere addition
of a single letter to the complainant’s mark does not remove the respondent’s
domain names from the realm of confusing similarity in relation to the complainant’s
mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”); see
also Trip Network Inc. v. Alviera, FA
914943 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Complainant has made a prima
facie case that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the
disputed domain names. Respondent now
has the burden to refute Complainant’s allegations and prove Respondent does
have rights or legitimate interests in the <ilouisvuitton.com>
domain name. See Swedish Match UK Ltd. v. Admin, Domain, FA 873137 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb.
13, 2007) (finding that once a prima
facie case has been established by the complainant under Policy ¶ 4(c), the
burden then shifts to the respondent to demonstrate its rights or legitimate
interests in the disputed domain name); see
also AOL LLC v. Gerberg, FA 780200 (Nat.
Respondent has failed to submit a response to the Complaint. Therefore, the Panel is entitled to presume that Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See Am. Express Co. v. Fang Suhendro, FA 129120 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 30, 2002) (“[B]ased on Respondent's failure to respond, it is presumed that Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.”); 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). Although not required to do so, the Panel will examine the record to determine if Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the <ilouisvuitton.com> domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c).
Complainant contends that Respondent has never been
authorized by Complainant to use the LOUIS VUITTON mark for any reason. Moreover, Complainant contends that
Respondent is not and has never been commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Panel can not find any evidence in the
record, including the WHOIS information for the disputed domain name, which
would indicate Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the <ilouisvuitton.com> domain name
pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See IndyMac Bank F.S.B. v. Eshback, FA 830934 (Nat. Arb.
Forum Dec. 7, 2006) (finding that the respondent failed to establish rights and
legitimate interests in the <emitmortgage.com> domain name as the
respondent was not authorized to register domain names featuring the
complainant’s mark and failed to submit evidence of that it is commonly known
by the disputed domain name); see also Wells Fargo & Co. v. Onlyne
Corp. Services11, Inc., FA 198969 (Nat.
Complainant contends that Respondent is currently using the
disputed domain name to offer counterfeit merchandise, unauthorized by
Complainant. The Panel finds this to be
neither a bona fide offering of goods
or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), nor a
legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Summit
Group, LLC v. LSO, Ltd., FA
758981 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Sept. 14, 2006) (finding that the respondent’s use of the complainant’s
LIFESTYLE LOUNGE mark to redirect Internet users to respondent’s own website
for commercial gain does not constitute either a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to
Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii)); see also Hewlett-Packard Co. v.
Inversiones HP Milenium
Complainant contends Respondent is using the disputed domain name, which is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark, to sell merchandise featuring Complainant’s LOUIS VUITTON mark. The Panel finds such commercial use by Respondent to disrupt Complainant’s business. Moreover, the Panel finds such use to indicate bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) and (iv). See Disney Enters., Inc. v. Noel, FA 198805 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 11, 2003) (“Respondent registered a domain name confusingly similar to Complainant's mark to divert Internet users to a competitor's website. It is a reasonable inference that Respondent's purpose of registration and use was to either disrupt or create confusion for Complainant's business in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) [and] (iv).”); see also Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Ali, FA 353151 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 13, 2004) (“Respondent [used “HP” in its domain name] to benefit from the goodwill associated with Complainant’s HP marks and us[ed] the <hpdubai.com> domain name, in part, to provide products similar to those of Complainant. Respondent’s practice of diversion, motivated by commercial gain, constitutes bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv).”); see also Computerized Sec. Sys., Inc. v. Hu, FA 157321 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 23, 2003) (finding that the respondent’s use of the <saflock.com> domain name to offer goods competing with the complainant’s illustrates the respondent’s bad faith registration and use of the domain name, evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv)).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <ilouisvuitton.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
James A. Carmody, Esq., Panelist
Dated: March 5, 2008
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