TRAVELHOST, Inc. v.
Claim Number: FA0906001265968
Complainant is TRAVELHOST, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by John
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <travehost.com>, registered with Compana, LLC.
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.
Dr. Reinhard Schanda as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on June 1, 2009; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on June 3, 2009.
On June 3, 2009, Compana, LLC confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <travehost.com> domain name is registered with Compana, LLC and that the Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Compana, LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the Compana, 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 June 10, 2009, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of June 30, 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 email@example.com by e-mail.
A timely Response was received and determined to be complete on June 30, 2009.
On July 15, 2009, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Dr. Reinhard Schanda as Panelist.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
Complainant contends that the Complaint is based upon Complainant’s numerous registered trademark rights in the mark TRAVELHOST in connection with various goods and services related to serving the needs and informing the traveling public, including print and online travel publications, placemats, entertainment guides, advertising services, satellite and electronic email, travel and tour agency services, motel services, travel website services, computer terminals, and other related and associated services. Complainant also intends to use the mark in conjunction with offering advertising and promotional services via the iphone and other mobile devices adding the prefix “i” (i.e., “itravelhost”).
In addition to its trademarks, Complainant is also the registered owner of over 27 TRAVELHOST domain names. They include, among many others, <travelhost.com>.
Complainant has been using the name and mark TRAVELHOST continuously
and extensively in interstate commerce throughout the
Respondent registered the domain name <travehost.com> on
Complainant contends that the confusing similarity between Complainant’s mark and the subject domain name is obvious. All Respondent has done is to remove the “l” from the famous and well-known travelhost mark. According to Complainant Respondent merely misspelling at a word or adding a letter does not create a distinct mark, but it nevertheless renders a name confusingly similar.
The confusing nature of what Respondent has done by usurping the travehost.com domain name is graphically demonstrated by attempting to do a Yahoo or Google search of “travehost.” First the user is asked if they meant “travelhost,” and the search then brings up website owned or controlled by the Complainant. Similarly, a search on <findownersearch.com> for “Travehost” takes the user to Complainant’s contact information.
Respondent has taken advantage of the natural consumer confusion by using the misspelled domain name for its website which, although essentially a placeholder, enables users to access carious information, including various information regarding events, attractions, entertainment and services in particular communities. To the extent users following the included links, they are directed to sites which are directly competitive to Complainant’s site <travelhost.com> and the “cities” information contained on that site. The same is true for any consumer who, in attempting to locate <travelhost.com> mistakenly types <travehost.com>, which, of course, is Respondent’s intention.
What Respondent has done is equivalent to someone registering the domain names: <Newweek.com>, <Taveocity.com>, <Yaho.com>, <Amzon.com>, and so forth. There can be only one reason for doing so – for the purpose of taking advantage of the good will associated with a famous mark for the purpose of misdirecting consumers to mistakenly access the services of Respondent or others for which Respondent then obtains revenue or other benefits.
Furthermore Respondent has no legitimate interest and has not made any legitimate use of the domain name <travehost.com> in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services by itself. Respondent is not commonly known by the name “travehost”. Respondent is not making any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name. Respondent has not registered the domain name to use as a parody.
According to Complainant’s allegation that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue shifts the burden to respondent to show by ‘concrete evidence’ that respondent has rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. Concrete evidence requires documents and/or third party declarations in support of such assertions. The failure of Respondent to produce evidence incites the conclusion that Respondent has no such legitimate interests or rights.
Complainant has never given Respondent permission to use the mark travelhost in any domain name or in any other way. Respondent has no affiliation or association with Complainant. Moreover, Respondent has no legitimate, good faith explanation of its registration of a domain name with Complainant’s mark. Therefore, Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in the name <travehost.com> or the mark “travehost.” Respondent is not and has never been known as “travehost” or travelhost. Respondent has no relationship with Complainant and has no authorization to use Complainant’s name or mark.
Complainant’s use of the name and widespread recognition that is associated with Complainant’s mark TRAVELHOST long proceeded Respondent’s registration of the domain name <travehost.com>. The only reasonable conclusion is that Respondent registered the domain name because of Complainant’s widespread recognition. The domain name was not registered by Respondent because of some right or interest of its own.
Considering Complainant’s widespread use of the mark travelhost to identify its products or
services for over 40 years throughout the
Furthermore Respondent has a long history of involvement in numerous domain disputes. More specifically, Respondent has a long history of engaging in typosquatting which, in and of itself, is evidence of bad faith. In fact, Respondent has been involved in at least 148 UDRP disputes over the period of time from July 2007 through May 2009. In only 13 of those proceedings have the claims asserted against Respondent been denied. A review of the many, many decisions demonstrates a clear and palpable pattern of behavior unequivocally showing a callous lack of good faith on Respondent’s part.
Respondent agrees to the relief requested by the Complainant and will, upon order of the Panel, transfer the domain name at issue <travehost.com>. According to Respondent this is not an admission of the three elements of 4(a) of the Policy but rather an offer of a “unilateral consent to transfer,” as prior Panels have deemed it.
On the basis of principles established in prior decisions, Respondent therefore requests that the Panel order the immediate transfer of the disputed domain name.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
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.”
Preliminary Issue: Consent to Transfer
Respondent consents to transfer the <travehost.com> domain name to Complainant. However, after the initiation of this proceeding, the Registrar, Compana LLC, placed a hold on Respondent’s account and therefore Respondent cannot transfer the disputed domain name while this proceeding is still pending. As a result, the Panel finds that in a circumstance such as this, where Respondent has not contested the transfer of the disputed domain name but instead agrees to transfer the domain name in question to Complainant, the Panel may decide to forego the traditional UDRP analysis and order an immediate transfer of the <travehost.com> domain name. See Boehringer Ingelheim Int’l GmbH v. Modern Ltd. – Cayman Web Dev., FA 133625 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 9, 2003) (transferring the domain name registration where the respondent stipulated to the transfer); see also Malev Hungarian Airlines, Ltd. v. Vertical Axis Inc., FA 212653 (Nat Arb. Forum Jan. 13, 2004) (“In this case, the parties have both asked for the domain name to be transferred to the Complainant . . . Since the requests of the parties in this case are identical, the Panel has no scope to do anything other than to recognize the common request, and it has no mandate to make findings of fact or of compliance (or not) with the Policy.”); see also Disney Enters., Inc. v. Morales, FA 475191 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 24, 2005) (“[U]nder such circumstances, where Respondent has agreed to comply with Complainant’s request, the Panel felt it to be expedient and judicial to forego the traditional UDRP analysis and order the transfer of the domain names.”). Thus, the Panel decides to honor Respondent’s request and to issue a decision ordering the immediate transfer of the <travehost.com> domain name to Complainant.
Having established and determined that the requests of the parties in this case are identical, in that the Respondent does not contest Complainant’s remedy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <travehost.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Dr. Reinhard Schanda, Panelist
Dated: July 28, 2009
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