3M Innovative Properties Company v. [Redacted]

Claim Number: FA0806001211165



Complainant is 3M Innovative Properties Company, (“Complainant”) represented by Michael S. Metteauer, of Fulbright & Jaworski, Minnesota, USA.  Respondent is [Redacted], (“Respondent”) represented by Debbie Vincent, Oregon, USA



The domain name at issue is <>, registered with Melbourne It Ltd.



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.


Hon. Sir Ian Barker as Panelist.



Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (the “Forum”) electronically on June 19, 2008; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on June 20, 2008.


On June 25, 2008, Melbourne It Ltd confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name <> is registered with Melbourne It Ltd and that the Respondent is the current registrant of the name.  Melbourne It Ltd has verified that Respondent is bound by the Melbourne It Ltd registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with the U. S. Department of Commerce’s usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).


On June 30, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of July 21, 2008 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent in compliance with Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules for usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”).


A timely Response was received and determined to be complete on July 14, 2008.


On July 21, 2008, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Hon. Sir Ian Barker as Panelist.



Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.



A.     Complainant


The Complainant is the owner of the trademark 3M.  It has traded under the name 3M since 1906.  It has operations in 60 countries and sells its products worldwide.  It has 200 registrations of the 3M mark in the United States and 3,000 registrations worldwide.  The mark has been held by courts in the United States to be famous and exceptionally strong.


The Respondent has no rights in the Complainant’s mark.


B.     Respondent

The Respondent did not register the disputed domain name.  She claims to have been the victim of identity theft.  Charges on her credit card have been reversed and she has filed a Police Report.  She requests the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant.



The Respondent is the victim of identity theft and did not register the disputed domain name, which can be transferred to the Complainant by consent.



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.”


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 or is being used in bad faith.


Given the similarity between the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) and the usTLD Policy, the Panel will draw upon UDRP precedent as applicable in rendering its decision.


However, where a respondent has admitted that he/she/it does not have an interest in a disputed domain name and has consented to the transfer of the disputed domain name, the Panel may forego the traditional usTLD analysis and order the immediate transfer of the disputed domain name.  See Tex. Med. Ctr. v. Spinder, FA 886496 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 19, 2007) (foregoing the traditional UDRP Policy analysis where the respondent stipulated to the transfer of the disputed domain names to the complainant); see also Richard Simon Jocelyn Peter Adams v. Truth About Jos, FA 907564 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 9, 2007) (concluding that when a respondent stipulates to the transfer of the disputed domain name in its response or expresses a willingness to transfer the disputed domain name to the complainant, the Panel can forego an analysis of the UDRP Policy and order the immediate transfer of the disputed domain name); see also Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Secure Whois Info. Serv., FA 910715 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 16, 2007) (“In light of Respondent’s request that the Panel enter an order transferring the disputed domain name to Complainant without findings of fact on the elements set forth in Paragraph 4(a) of the [UDRP], and the lack of any objection thereto, the Panel declines to set forth or address the Parties’ contentions.”); see also Californian Acad. of Scis. v. Tex. Int’l Prop. Assoc., FA 944494 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 8, 2007).


The same approach can be found in WIPO decisions such as Williams-Sonoma Inc. v. VEZ-Port D2000-0207 (WIPO May 8, 2000) and Slumberland France v. Chadia Acohuri D2000-0195 (WIPO June 14, 2000).


Redaction of Respondent’s Identity

The Respondent cited did not, in fact, register the disputed domain name and the proper respondent is unknown.  In an effort to protect the Respondent’s name from being tarnished, the Panel thinks it proper to redact Respondent’s personal information. 


In Wells Fargo & Co. v. John Doe as Holder of Domain Name <>, FA 362108 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 30, 2004) and Wells Fargo & Co. v. John Doe as Holder of Domain Name <wellsfargossl>, FA 453727 (Nat. Arb. Forum, May 19, 2005), the panels omitted the respondents’ personal information from the decisions in an attempt to protect the respondents claiming to be victims of identity theft from becoming aligned with the acts that the actual registrants appeared to have sought to impute to the respondents.  See also Nat’l Westminster Bank plc v. [Redacted], FA 1028337 (Nat. Arb. Forum, July 25, 2007).  According to Policy ¶ 4(j), “[a]ll decisions under this Policy will be published in full over the Internet, except when an Administrative Panel determines in an exceptional case to redact portions of its decision.” 


Because the Respondent appears to have been the subject of identity theft, the Panel considers this an “exceptional case” under ¶ 4(j) of the Policy.  Accordingly, all reference to the identity of the Respondent and any contact details of the Respondent are hereby redacted from the decision as published on the Internet or anywhere else.  Her details are to appear only on the copy of this decision that is sent to the parties.



Because of the Respondent’s acknowledgment and the above authorities, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.


Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.





Hon. Sir Ian Barker, Panelist
Dated: August 4, 2008