Times Publishing Company, Inc. v. Russell Lloyd
Claim Number: FA0207000117012
Complainant is Times Publishing Company, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL (“Complainant”) represented by Bradley Bole, of Rahdert, Steele, Bryan & Bole, P.A.. Respondent is Russell Lloyd, St. Petersburg, FL (“Respondent”).
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <stpetetimes.com>, registered with Dotster, Inc.
The undersigned certifies that she has acted independently and impartially and to the best of her knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
Sandra Franklin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (the “Forum”) electronically on July 19, 2002; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on July 18, 2002.
On July 24, 2002, Dotster, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name <stpetetimes.com> is registered with Dotster, Inc. and that the Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Dotster, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Dotster, 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 July 25, 2002, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of August 14, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail.
A timely Response was received and determined to be complete on August 13, 2002.
On September 5, 2002, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Sandra Franklin as Panelist.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
Complainant contends that it is the owner of registered trademarks for St. Petersburg Times, a well-known and long-established newspaper. The domain name in dispute is <stpetetimes.com>, and St. Pete Times is a common abbreviation for the St. Petersburg Times newspaper, as evidenced by Complainant’s exhibits. Respondent is aware of the commonly used abbreviation for the newspaper, as the newspaper is referred to on the Respondent’s website. Complainant goes on to show that Respondent’s contact information and website are confusing, referencing a dog rather than a person. Complainant further contends that Respondent is trading off the goodwill built up by Complainant in St. Pete Times by diverting people to his site.
Respondent contends that Complainant’s failure to register the domain name <stpetetimes.com> is tantamount to loss of trademark rights. Respondent does not believe that Complainant has alleged that the domain name is confusing similar to its trademark. The Respondent admits to not conducting any commercial activity under the domain name, and instead claims to be making fair use of the domain name by providing news, such as the statement “Russell bought a mangrove swamp”.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established the three elements required to transfer a domain name.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (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.”
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;
(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
The Panel finds that the domain name <stpetetimes.com> is confusingly similar to both the registered mark St. Petersburg Times and the commercially used abbreviation St. Pete Times, clearly referring to a well-known newspaper. Respondent’s argument that Complainant has lost trademark rights by failing to register <stpetetimes.com> with Dotster is rejected, as trademark rights are established through commercial use, independent of domain name registration.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that Respondent has not demonstrated any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, as he is not making a bona fide offering of any goods or services under <stpetetimes.com>, and has no intention of doing so. The Panel has determined that the Respondent is not using the domain name for legitimate news purposes or any other fair use.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that Respondent registered and is using the domain name in bad faith, purposely diverting readers intending to visit the newspaper website to his website, a site which would otherwise attract few visitors.
The request that the domain name <stpetetimes.com> be transferred from Respondent to Complainant is hereby GRANTED.
Sandra Franklin, Panelist
Dated: September 18, 2002
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