Sao Paulo Alpargatas
Claim Number: FA0804001179409
Complainant is Sao Paulo Alpargatas S.A. (“Complainant”), represented by Cristina
A. Carvalho, of Arent Fox LLP,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <alpargatas.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.
Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on April 22, 2008; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on April 22, 2008.
On April 22, 2008, Network Solutions, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <alpargatas.com> domain name is registered with Network Solutions, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Network Solutions, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Network Solutions, 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").
24, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative
Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of
May 14, 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.
On May 20, 2008, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., 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 <alpargatas.com> domain name is identical to Complainant’s ALPARGATAS mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <alpargatas.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <alpargatas.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Sao Paulo Alpargatas S.A., is in the business of manufacturing and selling sandals, clothing, textile and sporting goods. Complainant registered its ALPARGATAS mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on March 5, 1996 (Reg. No. 1,959,659).
Respondent, Trading C.V., Wingfield, registered the disputed domain name on December 28, 2006 which resolves to a Brazilian website for a company named Artmidia, owned by Nelson Abras.
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.
The Panel finds that Complainant has sufficiently established its rights in the ALPARGATAS mark by its USPTO registration pursuant to 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 Vivendi Universal Games v. XBNetVentures Inc., FA 198803 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 11, 2003) (“Complainant's federal trademark registrations establish Complainant's rights in the BLIZZARD mark.”).
The Panel finds that Respondent’s <alpargatas.com> domain name is identical to and wholly incorporates Complainant’s ALPARGATAS mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) because the addition of a generic top-level domain “.com” is irrelevant. See Pomellato S.p.A v. Tonetti, D2000-0493 (WIPO July 7, 2000) (finding <pomellato.com> identical to the complainant’s mark because the generic top-level domain (gTLD) “.com” after the name POMELLATO is not relevant); see also Isleworth Land Co. v. Lost in Space, SA, FA 117330 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 27, 2002) (“[I]t is a well established principle that generic top-level domains are irrelevant when conducting a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis.”).
The Panel finds that Complainant has met Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Complainant must initially establish a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name then the burden of proof shifts to Respondent. Respondent’s failure to respond furthers the presumption that it lacks rights or legitimate interests in the <alpargatas.com> domain name. The Panel chooses to evaluate all of the evidence under Policy ¶ 4(c) even though the Panel does find that Complainant has established a prima facie case. 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 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 in the domain name.”).
The Panel finds that Respondent is using the disputed domain name to divert Internet users seeking Complainant to a website for Respondent instead, which is not a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Bank of Am. Corp. v. Nw. Free Cmty. Access, FA 180704 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 30, 2003) (“Respondent's demonstrated intent to redirect Internet users seeking Complainant's website to a website of Respondent and for Respondent's benefit is not a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) and it is not a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).”); see also Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha v. CS into Tech, FA 198795 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 6, 2003) (“Diverting customers, who are looking for products relating to the famous SEIKO mark, to a website unrelated to the mark is not a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), nor does it represent a noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).”).
Complainant asserts that Respondent is not licensed or authorized to use the ALPARGATAS mark. Moreover, based on the undisputed evidence in the record and the WHOIS information’s lack of support for Respondent, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the <alpargatas.com> domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Gallup, Inc. v. Amish Country Store, FA 96209 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 23, 2001) (finding that the respondent does not have rights in a domain name when the respondent is not known by the mark); see also RMO, Inc. v. Burbridge, FA 96949 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 16, 2001) (interpreting Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) "to require a showing that one has been commonly known by the domain name prior to registration of the domain name to prevail"); 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 that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been met.
The Panel finds that Respondent’s <alpargatas.com> domain name is capable of creating a
likelihood of confusion as to Complainant’s affiliation and sponsorship with
the disputed domain name and corresponding resolving website due to Respondent
using Complainant’s identical ALPARGATAS mark as its domain name. The Panel finds Respondent’s commercial
benefit from its registration and use of the disputed domain name constitutes
evidence of bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Bank of Am. Corp. v.
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been established.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <alpargatas.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., Panelist
Dated: June 3, 2008
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