LFP IP LLC; LFP Internet Group LLC; LFP Video Group LLC; and L.F.P. Inc. v. Nathan, Joseph c/o Mainstream Advertising
Claim Number: FA0808001219207
Complainant is LFP IP LLC; LFP Internet Group LLC; LFP Video Group
LLC; and L.F.P. Inc. (“Complainant”),
represented by Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP, New
York, USA. Respondent is Nathan,
Joseph c/o Mainstream Advertising
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <videohustler.com>, registered with Moniker Online Services, 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.
Louis E. Condon as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on August 6, 2008; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on August 8, 2008.
On August 7, 2008, Moniker Online Services, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <videohustler.com> domain name is registered with Moniker Online Services, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Moniker Online Services, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Moniker Online Services, 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 August 21, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of September 10, 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 19, 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.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <videohustler.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s HUSTLER mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <videohustler.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <videohustler.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
LFP IP LLC; LFP Internet Group LLC; LFP Video Group LLC; and L.F.P. Inc. (collectively “Complainant”), provides adult entertainment through various mediums including magazine, video, television and online services. Complainant has registered the HUSTLER mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (Reg. No. 1,011,001 issued May 20, 1975).
Respondent registered the <videohustler.com> domain name on February 7, 1999. Respondent is currently using the disputed domain name to resolve to a website that features links for Complainant’s competitors.
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 established rights in the HUSTLER mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through its numerous USPTO trademark registrations. See Trip Network Inc. v. Alviera, FA 914943 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 27, 2007) (finding that the complainant’s federal trademark registrations for the CHEAPTICKETS and CHEAPTICKETS.COM marks were adequate to establish its rights in the mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i)); see also Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Bonds, FA 873143 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 16, 2007) (finding that a trademark registration adequately demonstrates a complainant’s rights in a mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i)).
Respondent’s <videohustler.com> domain name contains Complainant’s HUSTLER mark and includes the generic term “video” and the generic top-level domain “.com.” The addition of “.com” is irrelevant under a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis. Moreover, the term “video” aptly describes Complainant’s business, in that videos are a medium of that business. Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Warner Bros. Entm’t Inc. v. Rana, FA 304696 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 21, 2004) (finding that the addition of the generic term “collection” to the complainant’s HARRY POTTER mark failed to distinguish the domain name from the mark); see also Busy Body, Inc. v. Fitness Outlet Inc., D2000-0127 (WIPO Apr. 22, 2000) ("[T]he addition of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) name ‘.com’ is . . . without legal significance since use of a gTLD is required of domain name registrants . . . .").
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant alleges that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Complainant has set forth a sufficient prima facie case, thus the burden shifts to Respondent to prove it does have rights or legitimate interests pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). 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 Clerical Med. Inv. Group Ltd. v. Clericalmedical.com, D2000-1228 (WIPO Nov. 28, 2000) (finding that, under certain circumstances, the mere assertion by the complainant that the respondent has no right or legitimate interest is sufficient to shift the burden of proof to the respondent to demonstrate that such a right or legitimate interest does exist).
There is no evidence within the record, including the WHOIS information, to suggest that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. Without contrary evidence, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Tercent Inc. v. Lee Yi, FA 139720 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 10, 2003) (stating “nothing in Respondent’s WHOIS information implies that Respondent is ‘commonly known by’ the disputed domain name” as one factor in determining that Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) does not apply); see also M. Shanken Commc’ns v. WORLDTRAVELERSONLINE.COM, FA 740335 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 3, 2006) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <cigaraficionada.com> domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) based on the WHOIS information and other evidence in the record).
Respondent’s disputed domain name corresponds to a website that features links and advertisements, some of which are for Complainant’s competitors. The Panel infers commercial benefit is received by Respondent through click-through fees. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent has not created 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 Summit Group, LLC v. LSO, Ltd., FA 758981 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 14, 2006) (finding that the respondent’s use of the complainant’s LIFESTYLE LOUNGE mark to redirect Internet users to respondent’s own website for commercial gain does not constitute either 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 also Disney Enters., Inc. v. Kamble, FA 918556 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 27, 2007) (holding that the operation of a pay-per-click website at a confusingly similar domain name was not a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii)).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
The Panel finds that the display of competing third-party advertisements on the corresponding website evidences Respondent’s bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See DatingDirect.com Ltd. v. Aston, FA 593977 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 28, 2005) (“Respondent is appropriating Complainant’s mark to divert Complainant’s customers to Respondent’s competing business. The Panel finds this diversion is evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii).”); see also Instron Corp. v. Kaner, FA 768859 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 21, 2006) (finding that the respondent registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii) by using the disputed domain names to operate websites that compete with Complainant’s business).
Moreover, the Panel finds that Respondent has intentionally
attempted to create for commercial gain a likelihood of confusion as to
Complainant’s source and affiliation with the disputed domain name and
corresponding website, which constitutes bad faith registration and use under
Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv).
See Allianz of Am. Corp. v. Bond, FA 680624 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 2, 2006) (finding bad
faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where the respondent was
diverting Internet users searching for the complainant to its own website and
likely profiting); see also
The Panel finds that 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 <videohustler.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Louis E. Condon, Panelist
Dated: October 2, 2008
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