national arbitration forum




Unex Corporation v. Belize Domain Whois Service

Claim Number: FA0903001250370



Complainant is Unex Corporation (“Complainant”), represented by Michael Striker, of Striker, Striker & Stenby, New York, USA.  Respondent is Belize Domain WHOIS Service (“Respondent”), Belize.



The domain name at issue is <>, registered with Domain Contender, Llc.



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.


John J. Upchurch as Panelist.



Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on March 3, 2009; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on March 6, 2009.


On March 5, 2009, Domain Contender, Llc confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <> domain name is registered with Domain Contender, Llc and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name.  Domain Contender, Llc has verified that Respondent is bound by the Domain Contender, Llc 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 March 17, 2009, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of April 6, 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 April 15, 2009, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed John J. Upchurch 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 <> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s HYTORC CLAMP mark.


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


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


B.  Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.



Complainant, Unex Corporation, has not explicitly stated its business, but Complainant does say that the HYTORC CLAMP mark, which Complainant registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on July 7, 1998 (Reg. No. 2,170,958), has been used in connection with industrial fastening units. 


Respondent registered the <> domain name on June 7, 2005.  No evidence regarding the use of the disputed domain name has been provided.



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.


Identical and/or Confusingly Similar


The Panel finds that Complainant has rights in the HYTORC CLAMP mark through its trademark registration with the USPTO.  See Intel Corp. v. Macare, FA 660685 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 26, 2006) (finding that the complainant had established rights in the PENTIUM, CENTRINO and INTEL INSIDE marks by registering the marks with the USPTO); see also Paisley Park Enters. v. Lawson, FA 384834 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 1, 2005) (finding that the complainant had established rights in the PAISLEY PARK mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through registration of the mark with the USPTO).


Complainant contends that the <> domain name is confusingly similar to its HYTORC CLAMP mark.  The <> domain name differs from Complainant’s HYTORC CLAMP mark in two ways: (1) a hyphen has been added between the terms of the mark; and (2) the generic top-level domain (gTLD) “.com” has been added to the end of the mark.  The Panel agrees with previous panels that have found that none of these alterations sufficiently distinguish a disputed domain name.  Adding a hyphen does nothing to distinguish a domain name from a mark.  See Health Devices Corp. v. Aspen S T C, FA 158254 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 1, 2003) (“[T]he addition of punctuation marks such as hyphens is irrelevant in the determination of confusing similarity pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”); see also Pirelli & C. S.p.A. v. Tabriz, FA 921798 (Apr. 12, 2007) (finding that the addition of a hyphen between terms of a registered mark did not differentiate the <> domain name from the P ZERO mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i)).  Similarly, the addition of the gTLD “.com” fails to distinguish a domain name from a mark because all domain names must contain TLDs.  See Snow Fun, Inc. v. O'Connor, FA 96578 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 8, 2001) (finding that the domain name <> is identical to the complainant’s TERMQUOTE mark).  Therefore, the Panel finds that, despite the changes made, the disputed domain name remains confusingly similar to Complainant HYTORC CLAMP mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).


The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.


Rights or Legitimate Interests


Because of the reasons the Panel gives in its discussion of Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii), the Panel declines to analyze Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).  See Creative Curb v. Edgetec Int’l Pty. Ltd., FA 116765 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 20, 2002) (finding that because the complainant must prove all three elements under the Policy, the complainant’s failure to prove one of the elements makes further inquiry into the remaining element unnecessary); see also VeriSign Inc. v. VeneSign C.A., D2000-0303 (WIPO June 28, 2000) (“Respondent's default, however, does not lead to an automatic ruling for Complainant. Complainant still must establish a prima facie case showing that under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy it is entitled to a transfer of the domain name.”).


Registration and Use in Bad Faith


Complainant claims that Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in bad faith.  However, there is no allegation or evidence demonstrating the use or non-use of the disputed domain name.  Thus, the Panel cannot make a finding of bad faith on the merits of the case.  As such, the Panel is unable to make a finding regarding bad faith registration and use, and will therefore not make such a finding under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).  See Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. v. Samjo CellTech.Ltd, FA 406512 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 9, 2005) (finding that the complainant failed to establish that respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith because mere assertions of bad faith are insufficient for a complainant to establish Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii)); see also Ming v. Evergreen Sports, Inc., FA 154140 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 29, 2003) (“Complainant has not alleged any facts related to Respondent's use of the disputed domain name. The Complaint merely asserts a legal conclusion. Thus, the Panel has no knowledge of Respondent's use of the domain name upon which to base a decision under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) and (iii).”).


The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has not been satisfied.



Having failed to establish all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED.




Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <> domain name be RETAINED by Respondent.




John J. Upchurch, Panelist

Dated:  April 29, 2009




National Arbitration Forum





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