Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company v. Dotsan
Claim Number: FA0205000114349
Complainant is Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company, St. Louis, MO, USA (“Complainant”) represented by Robert Schultz, of Schultz & Little, LLP. Respondent is Dotsan, Mumbai, INDIA (“Respondent”).
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <enterpriserentalcar.com>, registered with Bulkregister.com, 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.
The Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr. as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (the “Forum”) electronically on May 20, 2002; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on May 22, 2002.
On May 21, 2002, Bulkregister.com, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name <enterpriserentalcar.com> is registered with Bulkregister.com, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Bulkregister.com, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Bulkregister.com, Inc. 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 May 29, 2002, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of June 18, 2002 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, using the same contact details and methods as were used for the Commencement Notification, the Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On July 2, 2002, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed the Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr. as Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the “Panel”) finds that the 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 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.
The <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s ENTERPRISE family of marks.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name.
Respondent registered and used the <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name in bad faith.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant owns rights in a family of ENTERPRISE marks. The family of marks include, but are not limited to, the following United States Trademarks: ENTERPRISE Reg. Nos. 1,343,167 and 2,052,192; ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR Reg. Nos. 2,371,192; 2,010,244 and 2,010,245; and ENTERPRISE CAR SALES Reg. No. 2,052,193.
Complainant has used its ENTERPRISE family of marks in association with its vehicle rental, leasing and sales services since 1985. Complainant has spent much time and money promoting its ENTERPRISE family of marks for its services. As a result, the public associates the ENTERPRISE family of marks with quality car rental services and recognizes Complainant as the source of those services.
Complainant also operates a website at <enterprise.com>, where it conducts its car rental business via e-commerce.
Respondent registered the <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name on July 7, 2001. Respondent uses the domain name as a link to its website that offers travel related services such as airfare, hotel, and car-rental searches. Complainant has not authorized Respondent to use the ENTERPRISE mark in any fashion.
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 the 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.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the 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 the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(2) the 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.
Identical and/or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has established its rights in the ENTERPRISE family of marks through registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Respondent’s <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s ENTERPRISE family of marks for the following two reasons:
First, Respondent’s domain name contains Complainant’s entire ENTERPRISE mark with merely the addition of two words, “rental” and “car,” that have an obvious relation to Complainant’s business. See Brown & Bigelow, Inc. v. Rodela, FA 96466 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 5, 2001) (finding that the <hoylecasino.net> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s HOYLE mark, and that the addition of “casino,” a generic word describing the type of business in which Complainant is engaged, does not take the disputed domain name out of the realm of confusing similarity); see also Space Imaging LLC v. Brownwell, AF-0298 (eResolution Sept. 22, 2000) (finding confusing similarity where the Respondent’s domain name combines the Complainant’s mark with a generic term that has an obvious relationship to the Complainant’s business).
Second, Respondent’s domain name is merely a slight deviation from Complainant’s ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR mark. Respondent’s domain name merely swaps “rental” for “rent-a,” which is a form of mistyping Complainant’s mark that does nothing to change the overall impression of the domain name. See Compaq Info. Techs. Group, L.P. v. Seocho , FA 103879 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 25, 2002) (finding that the domain name <compq.com> is confusingly similar to Complainant’s COMPAQ mark because the omission of the letter “a” in the domain name does not significantly change the overall impression of the mark); see also State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Try Harder & Co., FA 94730 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 15, 2000) (finding that the domain name <statfarm.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s STATE FARM mark); see also Am. Online, Inc. v. Avrasya Yayincilik Danismanlik Ltd., FA 93679 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 16, 2000) (finding that Respondent’s domain name, <americanonline.com>, is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s famous mark).
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent’s domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s family of ENTERPRISE marks, thus, Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
In light of Complainant’s assertion that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and Respondent’s failure to respond, the Panel may presume that Respondent has no such rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. D3M Virtual Reality Inc., AF-0336 (eResolution Sept. 23, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests where no such right or interest was immediately apparent to the Panel and Respondent did not come forward to suggest any right or interest it may have possessed). Furthermore, because Respondent failed to respond, the Panel may make all inferences in favor of Complainant. See 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”).
Respondent uses the <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name as a tool to link to a website that offers travel services. This website offers car rental search services for traveling consumers, presumably for Respondent’s profit. Complainant is in the business of renting cars to the traveling public. Hence, by way of Respondent’s <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name, Respondent offers services similar to Complainant’s car rental business. Therefore, Respondent’s use of the domain name is not in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), nor is it a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Chip Merch., Inc. v. Blue Star Elec., D2000-0474 (WIPO Aug. 21, 2000) (finding that the disputed domain names were confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark and that Respondent’s use of the domain names to sell competing goods was illegitimate and not a bona fide offering of goods); see also Am. Online Inc. v. Shenzhen JZT Computer Software Co., D2000-0809 (WIPO Sept. 6, 2000) (finding that Respondent’s operation of a website offering essentially the same services as the Complainant was insufficient for a finding of bona fide offering of goods or services); see also Caterpillar Inc. v. Quin, D2000-0314 (WIPO June 12, 2000) (finding that Respondent does not have a legitimate interest in using the domain names <caterpillarparts.com> and <caterpillarspares.com> to suggest a connection or relationship, which does not exist, with Complainant's mark CATERPILLAR).
Respondent is not associated with Complainant and has never been authorized to use Complainant’s family of ENTERPRISE marks. Respondent is not commonly known by ENTERPRISERENTALCAR or <enterpriserentalcar.com>. Therefore, Respondent does not meet the requirements of Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Compagnie de Saint Gobain v. Com-Union Corp., D2000-0020 (WIPO Mar. 14, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interest where Respondent was not commonly known by the mark and never applied for a license or permission from Complainant to use the trademarked name); see also Gallup Inc. v. Amish Country Store, FA 96209 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 23, 2001) (finding that Respondent does not have rights in a domain name when Respondent is not known by the mark).
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, thus, Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
Respondent uses the <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name in connection with a website that offers car rental services and other travel related search services, such as airfare and hotel search engines. Respondent’s car rental service is offered in direct competition with Complainant’s car rental business. Therefore, it can reasonably be inferred that Respondent intended to attract, for commercial gain, Internet uses to its website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s family of ENTERPRISE marks. This use constitutes bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Am. Online, Inc. v. Tencent Comm. Corp., FA 93668 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 21, 2000) (finding bad faith where Respondent registered and used an infringing domain name to attract users to a website sponsored by Respondent); see also Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc. v. Lalli, FA 95284 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 21, 2000) (finding bad faith where the Respondent directed Internet users seeking the Complainant’s site to its own website for commercial gain); see also Busy Body, Inc. v. Fitness Outlet, Inc., D2000-0127 WIPO Apr. 22, 2000) (finding bad faith where Respondent attempted to attract customers to its website, <efitnesswholesale.com>, and created confusion by offering similar products for sale as Complainant).
Furthermore, Respondent has engaged in a history of registering common misspellings of well-known marks (e.g., <harrhas.com> and <deltaairline.com>). Respondent’s past history of registering domain names similar to other entities’ marks and Respondent’s registration of <enterpriserentalcar.com> evidences a continued bad faith behavior of registering domain names. Therefore, Respondent registered the domain name in bad faith. See Budget Rent a Car Corp. v. Cupcake City, D2000-1020 (WIPO Oct. 19, 2000) (finding a pattern of conduct in registering domain names that infringe upon others’ marks where the Respondent has registered over 1,300 domain names); see also Armstrong Holdings, Inc. v. JAZ Assoc., FA 95234 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 17, 2000) (finding that the Respondent has registered numerous domain names that infringe upon the Complainant’s marks and in addition, the Respondent has registered domain names that infringe upon other entities’ marks); see also Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. v. Shedon.com, D2000-0753 (Sept. 6, 2000) (finding bad faith where the Respondent engaged in the practice of registering domain names containing the trademarks of others).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that the requested relief should be hereby GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <enterpriserentalcar.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
The Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr., Panelist
Dated: July 9, 2002
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