national arbitration forum




Victoria's Secret Stores Brand Management, Inc. v. Michael Hendrich

Claim Number: FA0901001242938



Complainant is Victoria's Secret Stores Brand Management, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Melise R. Blakeslee, of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Washington D.C., USA.  Respondent is Michael Hendrich (“Respondent”), Alabama, USA.



The domain name at issue is <>, registered with Wild West Domains, 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.


Terry F. Peppard as Panelist.



Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on January 15, 2009; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on January 16, 2009.


On January 16, 2009, Wild West Domains, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <> domain name is registered with Wild West Domains, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name.  Wild West Domains, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Wild West Domains, 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 January 19, 2009, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of February 9, 2009
 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 by e-mail.


Having received no response from Respondent, the National Arbitration Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.


On February 16, 2009, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Terry F. Peppard as sole Panelist in this proceeding.


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:


Complainant has used the VICTORIA’S SECRET mark in connection with the sale of women’s lingerie and other apparel since 1977. 


Complainant operates over 1,000 retail stores for the sale of lingerie and other apparel in the United States and 300 in Canada. 


Complainant has registered its VICTORIA’S SECRET trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) numerous times, including Reg. No. 1,146,199, issued January 20, 1981. 


Respondent registered the disputed <> domain name on August 26, 2008. 


The disputed domain name has resolved to a website displaying links to e-Bay auction sites selling Complainant’s products. 


Upon Respondent’s receipt of a cease-and-desist letter from Complainant, the disputed domain name ceased resolving to an active website.


Respondent’s <> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s VICTORIA’S SECRET mark.


Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name <>.


Respondent registered and uses the <> domain name in bad faith.


B.  Respondent has submitted a response in this proceeding, which reads in pertinent part:  “If transfer of this domain will effect a dismissal of this case with no other action being taken toward me then I will relinquish ownership to this domain in favor of the Complainant.”



Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that, in the ordinary course, Complainant must prove each of the following in order to obtain from a Panel an order that a domain name be transferred:


i.         the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights;

ii.       Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

iii.      the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.


Notwithstanding the foregoing, Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (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.”


Further, Paragraph 14(b) of the Rules provides that, where a party fails to comply with requirements laid on by the Rules, the Panel may draw such inferences from that failure as it considers appropriate.   



It appears from its written response to the Complaint that Respondent does not contest the material allegations of the Complaint.  It further appears that Respondent does not object to Complainant’s request for the transfer to it of the subject domain name as prayed for in the Complaint, so that the parties have tacitly agreed in writing to the transfer of the subject domain name from Respondent to Complainant without the need for further proceedings.  In the circumstances here presented, we conclude that no worthwhile purpose would be served by a rendition of findings otherwise customary in proceedings of this sort. 


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




Terry F. Peppard, Panelist

Dated:  March 2, 2009


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