Board of Regents, The
Claim Number: FA0809001226678
Complainant is Board of Regents, The
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <texaslonghornsfootball.com>, registered with Moniker Online Services, 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.
Sandra J. Franklin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to
the National Arbitration Forum electronically on
On October 6, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of October 27, 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.
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:
domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <texaslonghornsfootball.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <texaslonghornsfootball.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Board of Regents, The University of Texas
System, is a
Respondent registered the <texaslonghornsfootball.com> domain name on
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’s registration of its
Respondent’s <texaslonghornsfootball.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s TEXAS and LONGHORNS marks because Respondent’s domain name combines the two marks and adds the generic term “football” and the generic top-level domain “.com” to the end. The Panel finds that such minor alterations to Complainant’s registered mark do not negate the confusingly similar aspects of Respondent’s disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Space Imaging LLC v. Brownell, AF-0298 (eResolution Sept. 22, 2000) (finding confusing similarity where the respondent’s domain name combines the complainant’s mark with a generic term that has an obvious relationship to the complainant’s business); see also Nintendo of Am. Inc. v. Pokemon, D2000-1230 (WIPO Nov. 23, 2000) (finding confusing similarity where respondent combined the complainant’s POKEMON and PIKACHU marks to form the <pokemonpikachu.com> domain name); see also 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).
Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
The initial burden under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) is on Complainant
to prove that Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in
the disputed domain name. Once
Complainant has made a prima facie case,
the burden shifts to Respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate
interests pursuant to the directions provided in Policy ¶ 4(c). See Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires
v. Greenpeace Int’l, D2001-0376 (WIPO
The Panel finds no evidence in the record suggesting that
Respondent is commonly known by the <texaslonghornsfootball.com>
domain name. Complainant asserts that
Respondent has no license or agreement with Complainant authorizing Respondent
to use the
Respondent is using the <texaslonghornsfootball.com> domain name to link to third-party websites that offer items such as event tickets. Respondent’s use of a domain name that is confusingly similar to Complainant’s TEXAS and LONGHORNS marks to redirect Internet users interested in Complainant’s football team to websites that offer competition for ticket sales is not a use in connection with 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 TM Acquisition Corp. v. Sign Guards, FA 132439 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 31, 2002) (finding that the respondent’s diversionary use of the complainant’s marks to send Internet users to a website which displayed a series of links, some of which linked to the complainant’s competitors, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services); see also Tercent Inc. v. Lee Yi, FA 139720 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 10, 2003) (holding that the respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to host a series of hyperlinks and a banner advertisement was neither a bona fide offering of goods or services nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name).
Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
Respondent’s use of
Complainant’s TEXAS and LONGHORNS marks in the <texaslonghornsfootball.com> domain name to redirect Internet
users to competing ticket-sellers for UT’s football games suggests that
Respondent registered the disputed domain name intending to disrupt
Complainant’s business. The Panel finds
that this is evidence of bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶
4(b)(iii). See S. Exposure v. S. Exposure, Inc., FA 94864 (Nat. Arb. Forum
The Panel infers
that Respondent receives click-through fees for diverting Internet users to
third-party ticket-sellers. Because
Respondent’s domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <texaslonghornsfootball.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Sandra J. Franklin, Panelist
Dated: November 14, 2008
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