Claim Number: FA0902001246447
Complainant is National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Joel
R. Feldman, of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Georgia,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAMES
The domain names at issue are <grammytickets.com> and <grammystickets.com>, registered with Dotster.
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.
Judge Ralph Yachnin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to
the National Arbitration Forum electronically on
On February 16, 2009, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of March 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and 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.
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 names be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <grammytickets.com> and <grammystickets.com> domain names are confusingly similar to Complainant’s GRAMMY mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <grammytickets.com> and <grammystickets.com> domain names.
3. Respondent registered and used the <grammytickets.com> and <grammystickets.com> domain names in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Respondent registered the <grammytickets.com> and <grammystickets.com>
domain names 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 has established rights in the GRAMMY mark
pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through registration of the mark with the
USPTO. See Miller Brewing
Complainant argues that Respondent’s disputed domain names
are confusingly similar to Complainant registered mark pursuant to Policy ¶
4(a)(i). Respondent’s disputed domain
names contain Complainant’s mark in its entirety and add a generic top-level
domain (“gTLD”) “.com.” Also,
domain names both add the generic term “tickets,” and the <grammystickets.com>
domain name adds the letter “s.” The
Panel finds that the addition of a generic term with an obvious relationship to
a complainant’s business to a complainant’s registered mark creates a confusing
similarity between the disputed domain name and the mark. See Kohler Co. v.
Curley, FA 890812 (Nat. Arb.
Forum Mar. 5, 2007) (finding confusing similarity where <kohlerbaths.com>, the disputed domain name, contained the
complainant’s mark in its entirety adding “the descriptive term ‘baths,’ which
is an obvious allusion to complainant’s business.”); see also Whitney Nat’l Bank v. Easynet Ltd, FA 944330 (Nat. Arb.
Forum Apr. 30, 2007) (“The additions of generic words with an obvious
relationship to Complainant’s business and a gTLD renders the disputed domain
name confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”). In addition, the Panel finds that the
addition of a gTLD is irrelevant in distinguishing a disputed domain name from
a registered mark. See Reese v. Morgan, FA 917029 (Nat. Arb. Forum
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant asserts that Respondent lacks all rights and
legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. When
Complainant makes a prima facie case
in support of its allegations, the burden is shifted to Respondent to prove
that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names
pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). The Panel
finds that in this case, Complainant has established a prima facie case. See Starwood Hotels &
Resorts Worldwide, Inc. v. Samjo CellTech.Ltd, FA 406512 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Due to Respondent’s failure to respond to the Complaint, the Panel may assume that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. See Talk City, Inc. v. Robertson, D2000-0009 (WIPO Feb. 29, 2000) (“Given Respondent’s failure to submit a substantive answer in a timely fashion, the Panel accepts as true all of the allegations of the complaint.”); 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). However, the Panel chooses to examine the evidence for applicable Policy ¶ 4(c) elements before making a final determination with regards to Respondent’s rights and legitimate interests.
Complainant asserts that Respondent is neither commonly known
by the disputed domain names, nor licensed to register domain names using the
GRAMMY mark. Respondent’s WHOIS information lacks any defining
characteristics relating it to the disputed domain names. The Panel finds that without evidence of
being commonly known by the disputed domain names, Respondent lacks all
rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domains names pursuant to
Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Braun Corp. v. Loney, FA 699652 (Nat. Arb. Forum
July 7, 2006) (concluding that the respondent was not commonly known by the
disputed domain names where the WHOIS information, as well as all other
information in the record, gave no indication that the respondent was commonly
known by the disputed domain names, and the complainant had not authorized the
respondent to register a domain name containing its registered mark); see also
M. Shanken Commc’ns v. WORLDTRAVELERSONLINE.COM, FA 740335 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Respondent is failing to make an active use of the disputed domain names. There is no evidence on record that Respondent intends to use the disputed domain names. As a result, the Panel finds that Respondent has not made a bona fide offering of good or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Pharmacia & Upjohn AB v. Romero, D2000-1273 (WIPO Nov. 13, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests where the respondent failed to submit a response to the complaint and had made no use of the domain name in question); see also Melbourne IT Ltd. v. Stafford, D2000-1167 (WIPO Oct. 16, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name where there is no proof that the respondent made preparations to use the domain name or one like it in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services before notice of the domain name dispute, the domain name did not resolve to a website, and the respondent is not commonly known by the domain name).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent has registered the disputed domain names but has failed to make an active use of them over more than a six year period. The Panel finds that such failure to make an active use consitutes bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Caravan Club v. Mrgsale, FA 95314 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 30, 2000) (finding that the respondent made no use of the domain name or website that connects with the domain name, and that failure to make an active use of a domain name permits an inference of registration and use in bad faith); see also Clerical Med. Inv. Group Ltd. v. Clericalmedical.com, D2000-1228 (WIPO Nov. 28, 2000) (finding that merely holding an infringing domain name without active use can constitute use in bad faith).
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 <grammytickets.com> and <grammystickets.com> domain names be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Hon. Ralph Yachnin, Panelist
Justice, Supreme Court, NY (Ret.)
Dated: March 30, 2009
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