Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. Domain Registrant c/o ID Domain Privacy Network (IDdp.Net)
Claim Number: FA0802001143462
Complainant is Pascua Yaqui Tribe (“Complainant”), represented by Karen
A. Brennan, of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <casino-sun.info>, registered with Key-Systems GmbH.
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.
Honorable Karl V. Fink (Ret.), as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on February 8, 2008; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on February 11, 2008.
On February 12, 2008, Key-Systems GmbH confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <casino-sun.info> domain name is registered with Key-Systems GmbH and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Key-Systems GmbH has verified that Respondent is bound by the Key-Systems GmbH registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy").
On February 25, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of March 17, 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.
On March 24, 2008, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Honorable Karl V. Fink (Ret.) as Panelist.
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 <casino-sun.info> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s CASINO OF THE SUN mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <casino-sun.info> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <casino-sun.info> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, is a
Respondent registered the <casino-sun.info> domain name on December 1, 2005. Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a website that provides links to third-party online gambling websites, which directly compete with Complainant’s business.
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 provided evidence of the registration of its
CASINO OF THE SUN mark with the USPTO.
The Panel finds this evidence adequately establishes Complainant’s
rights in its CASINO OF THE SUN mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See
Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. v. Wick, FA 117861 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 16,
Respoindent’s <casino-sun.info> domain name incorporates Complainant’s CASINO OF THE SUN mark with the mere substitution of a hyphen for the words “of the.” This minor alteration does not alter the dominant part of Complainant’s mark, the words “casino” and “sun.” Additinoally, generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”) such as “.info,” are not relevant in evaluating whether a disputed domain name is similar to a mark because they are a required feature of every domain name. Therefore, the Panel finds Respondent’s disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s CASINO OF THE SUN mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Saul Zaentz Co. v. Dodds, FA 233054 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 16, 2004) (the domain name merely omitted the definite article “the” and the preposition “of” from the complainant’s mark and thus, failed to “sufficiently distinguish the domain name from the mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i)”); see also Chernow Commc’ns, Inc. v. Kimball, D2000-0119 (WIPO May 18, 2000) (holding “that the use or absence of punctuation marks, such as hyphens, does not alter the fact that a name is identical to a mark"); see also Nev. State Bank v. Modern Ltd. – Cayman Web Dev., FA 204063 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 6, 2003) (“It has been established that the addition of a generic top-level domain is irrelevant when considering whether a domain name is identical or confusingly similar under the Policy.”).
The Panel finds Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant has asserted that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once Complainant presents a prima facie case in support of these assertions, the burden shifts to Respondent to establish that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). The Panel finds that Complainant has established a prima facie case to support its assertions and Respondent has failed to submit a response to the case. Therefore, the Panel may assume Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel, however, will inspect the record and determine whether Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c). See G.D. Searle v. Martin Mktg., FA 118277 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 1, 2002) (“Because Complainant’s Submission constitutes a prima facie case under the Policy, the burden effectively shifts to Respondent. Respondent’s failure to respond means that Respondent has not presented any circumstances that would promote its rights or legitimate interests in the subject domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).”); see also Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, D2000-0624 (WIPO Aug. 21, 2000) (holding that, where the complainant has asserted that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain name, it is incumbent on the respondent to come forward with concrete evidence rebutting this assertion because this information is “uniquely within the knowledge and control of the respondent”).
Respondent is currently using the disputed domain name to resolve to a website which displays links to third-party gambling websites which directly compete with Complainant’s gaming business. The Panel finds that such use is not a bona fide offering of goods and services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Coryn Group, Inc. v. Media Insight, FA 198959 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 5, 2003) (finding that the respondent was not using the domain names for a bona fide offering of goods or services nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use because the respondent used the names to divert Internet users to a website that offered services that competed with those offered by the complainant under its marks); see also Ameritrade Holdings Corp. v. Polanski, FA 102715 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 11, 2002) (finding that the respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to a financial services website, which competed with the complainant, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services).
In addition, the record and WHOIS information do not indicate that Respondent is, or ever has been, commonly known by the <casino-sun.info> domain name. Also, the record does not indicate Complainant authorized Respondent to utilize its CASINO OF THE SUN mark. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Michael Smith Custom Clothiers, Inc. v. Custom Shirt Shop, FA 1109402 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 4, 2008) (“. . .other ICANN panels have held, and this Panel agrees, that in order to have rights or legitimate interests under the “commonly known” provision of the Policy a respondent must be commonly known by the domain name prior to registration of the domain name in issue.”); 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).
The Panel finds Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a website which offers links to third-party websites offering online gambling services that directly compete with Complainant. The Panel finds this use constitutes disruption and is evidence of registration and use in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See EBAY, Inc. v. MEOdesigns, D2000-1368 (WIPO Dec. 15, 2000) (finding that the respondent registered and used the domain name <eebay.com> in bad faith where the respondent has used the domain name to promote competing auction sites); see also H-D Michigan Inc. v. Buell, FA 1106640 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 2, 2008) (“The disputed domain names resolve to websites that list links to competitors of Complainant, evidence that Respondent intends to disrupt Complainant’s business, a further indication of bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii).”).
Also, Respondent is using the confusingly similar disputed domain name to provide links to competing gambling businesses, from which Respondent presumably receives a click-through fee. The Panel finds this is an attempt by Respondent to profit from the goodwill associated with Complainant’s CASINO OF THE SUN mark, and constitutes bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Mars, Inc. v. Double Down Magazine, D2000-1644 (WIPO Jan. 24, 2001) (finding bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where the respondent linked the domain name <marssmusic.com>, which is identical to the complainant’s mark, to a gambling website); see also Associated Newspapers Ltd. v. Domain Manager, FA 201976 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 19, 2003) (“Respondent's prior use of the <mailonsunday.com> domain name is evidence of bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) because the domain name provided links to Complainant's competitors and Respondent presumably commercially benefited from the misleading domain name by receiving ‘click-through-fees.’”).
The Panel finds 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 <casino-sun.info> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Honorable Karl V. Fink (Ret.), Panelist
Dated: April 3, 2008
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