Digi-Key Corporation v. Bei jing ju zhong cheng dian zi ji shu you xian gong si c/o Yue Cici
Claim Number: FA0807001213758
Complainant is Digi-Key Corporation (“Complainant”), represented by Ruth
Rivard, of Leonard Street and Deinard Professional
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <digikeychina.com>, registered with Hichina Web Solutions (Hong Kong) Limited.
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.
Louis E. Condon as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on July 3, 2008; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on August 11, 2008. The Complaint was submitted in both Chinese and English.
On August 17, 2008, Hichina Web Solutions (Hong Kong) Limited confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <digikeychina.com> domain name is registered with Hichina Web Solutions (Hong Kong) Limited and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Hichina Web Solutions (Hong Kong) Limited has verified that Respondent is bound by the Hichina Web Solutions (Hong Kong) Limited 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 August 19, 2008, a Chinese language Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of September 8, 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 September 17, 2008 pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Louis E. Condon 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.
Pursuant to Rule 11(a) the Panel determines that the language requirement has been satisfied through the Chinese language Complainant and Commencement Notification and, absent a Response, determines that the remainder of the proceedings may be conducted in English.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <digikeychina.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s DIGI-KEY mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <digikeychina.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <digikeychina.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Digi-Key Corporation, is an electronic
component distributor. Complainant’s <digikey.com>
domain name offers online commerce capabilities and access to Complainant’s
product inventory. Complainant first
registered its DIGI-KEY mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
(“USPTO”) on May 10, 1988 (Reg. No. 1,487,965).
Complainant has several additional registrations of its DIGI-KEY mark
with the USPTO. Furthermore, Complainant
first registered its DIGI-KEY mark with the State Intellectual Property Office
of the People’s Republic of
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on March 11, 2008. Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a website that appears similar to Complainant’s Chinese website resolving from its <digikey.com> domain name.
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 it registered its DIGI-KEY mark with the USPTO and SIPO. The Panel finds these registrations sufficiently establish Complainant’s rights in its DIGI-KEY mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Janus Int’l Holding Co. v. Rademacher, D2002-0201 (WIPO Mar. 5, 2002) ("Panel decisions have held that registration of a mark is prima facie evidence of validity, which creates a rebuttable presumption that the mark is inherently distinctive."); see also Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Stork, D2000-0628 (WIPO Aug. 11, 2000) (finding the complainant has rights to the name when the mark is registered in a country even if the complainant has never traded in that country).
Respondent’s disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s DIGI-KEY mark with the omission of the hyphen, the addition of the geographic identifier “china,” and the addition of the generic top-level domain “.com.” The Panel finds these alterations do not detract from the dominant portion of Respondent’s disputed domain name, which is Complainant’s DIGI-KEY mark. Thus, the Panel finds Respondent’s disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See 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 AXA China Region Ltd. v. KANNET Ltd., D2000-1377 (WIPO Nov. 29, 2000) (finding that the <axachinaregion.com> domain name “is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trade mark ‘AXA’” because “common geographic qualifiers or generic nouns can rarely be relied upon to differentiate the mark if the other elements of the domain name comprise a mark or marks in which another party has rights”); see also Rollerblade, Inc. v. McCrady, D2000-0429 (WIPO June 25, 2000) (finding that the top level of the domain name such as “.net” or “.com” does not affect the domain name for the purpose of determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar).
The Panel finds Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) is satisfied.
Complainant asserts Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Complainant must establish a prima facie case to support these assertions, and the Panel finds Complainant has done so in these proceedings. Once Complainant has produced a sufficient prima facie case, the burden shifts to Respondent to establish it otherwise. Respondent failed to submit a response to these proceedings, thus the Panel may infer Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. However, the Panel will examine the record to determine whether Respondent has rights or legitimate interests pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c). See Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires v. Greenpeace Int’l, D2001-0376 (WIPO May 14, 2001) (“Proving that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name requires the Complainant to prove a negative. For the purposes of this sub paragraph, however, it is sufficient for the Complainant to show a prima facie case and the burden of proof is then shifted on to the shoulders of Respondent. In those circumstances, the common approach is for respondents to seek to bring themselves within one of the examples of paragraph 4(c) or put forward some other reason why they can fairly be said to have a relevant right or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name in question.”); see also Desotec N.V. v. Jacobi Carbons AB, D2000-1398 (WIPO Dec. 21, 2000) (finding that failing to respond allows a presumption that the complainant’s allegations are true unless clearly contradicted by the evidence).
Complainant alleges Respondent is not commonly known by the
disputed domain name. The WHOIS
information lists Respondent as “
Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a website that
mimics Complainant’s Chinese language website resolving from its
<digikey.com> domain name. The
Panel finds Respondent’s attempt to “pass itself off” as Complainant is not a bona fide offering of goods or services
pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), or a legitimate
noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See
Crow v. LOVEARTH.net, FA 203208 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 28, 2003) (“It is neither
a bona fide offerings [sic] of goods
or services, nor an example of a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under
Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) & (iii) when the holder of a
domain name, confusingly similar to a registered mark, attempts to profit by
passing itself off as Complainant . . . .”); see also Kmart of
The Panel finds Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent’s dispute domain name resolves to a website with a similar appearance to Complainant’s own Chinese language website resolving from its <digikey.com> domain name. The Panel finds Respondent’s attempt to pass itself off as Complainant constitutes bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Am. Int’l Group, Inc. v. Busby, FA 156251 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 30, 2003) (finding that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith where the respondent hosted a website that “duplicated Complainant’s mark and logo, giving every appearance of being associated or affiliated with Complainant’s business”); see also Target Brands, Inc. v. JK Internet Servs., FA 349108 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 14, 2004) (finding bad faith because the respondent not only registered Complainant’s famous TARGET mark, but “reproduced . . . Complainant’s TARGET mark . . . [and] added Complainant’s distinctive red bull’s eye [at the domain name] . . . to a point of being indistinguishable from the original.”).
The Panel finds Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Complainant having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief should be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <digikeychina.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Louis E. Condon, Panelist
Dated: October 1, 2008
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