Nokia Corporation v. Nehra Corp.
Claim Number: FA0906001270467
Complainant is Nokia
Corporation (“Complainant”), represented by Britton Payne, of Foley & Lardner LLP,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <ovistore.com>, registered with Godaddy.com, 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.
Louis E. Condon as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on June 25, 2009; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on June 26, 2009.
On June 25, 2009, Godaddy.com, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <ovistore.com> domain name is registered with Godaddy.com, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Godaddy.com, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Godaddy.com, 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 June 29, 2009, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of July 20, 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 by e-mail.
Having received no response from Respondent, the National Arbitration Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On July 24, 2009, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Louis E. Condon 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 <ovistore.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s OVI mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <ovistore.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <ovistore.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Nokia Corporation, supplies mobile phones and other telecommunications products. Complainant has used the OVI mark in connection with its goods and services since 2007. Complainant holds a trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for its OVI mark (Reg. No. 3,554,304 filed June 29, 2007 and issued December 30, 2008).
Respondent registered the <ovistore.com> domain name on August 29, 2007. The disputed domain name resolves to a website displaying links to Complainant’s competitor’s websites.
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.
The Panel finds that a complainant’s rights in a mark begin at the filing date of the trademark registration. Thus, the Panel finds Complainant has established rights in the OVI mark through registration of the mark with the USPTO pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i), as of June 29, 2007 which predates Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name. See Phoenix Mortgage Corp. v. Toggas, D2001-0101 (WIPO Mar. 30, 2001) (“The effective date of Complainant's federal rights is . . . the filing date of its issued registration. Although it might be possible to establish rights prior to that date based on use, Complainant has submitted insufficient evidence to prove common law rights before the filing date of its federal registration.”); see also Hershey Co. v. Reaves, FA 967818 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 8, 2007) (finding that the complainant’s rights in the KISSES trademark through registration of the mark with the USPTO “date back to the filing date of the trademark application and predate [the] respondent’s registration”).
The Panel finds the disputed domain name contains Complainant’s mark and simply adds the generic word “store” and the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com.” The Panel finds the addition of a generic word and gTLD fails to adequately distinguish the disputed domain name from Complainant’s OVI mark. Therefore, the Panel finds Respondent’s <ovistore.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s OVI mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Arthur Guinness Son & Co. (Dublin) Ltd. v. Healy/BOSTH, D2001-0026 (WIPO Mar. 23, 2001) (finding confusing similarity where the domain name in dispute contains the identical mark of the complainant combined with a generic word or term); see also Vanguard Group Inc. v. Proven Fin. Solutions, FA 572937 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 18, 2005) (holding that the addition of both the word “advisors” and the gTLD “.com” did not sufficiently alter the disputed domain name to negate a finding of confusing similarity under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i)).
The Panel finds Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Complainant has alleged that Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <ovistore.com> domain name. Once Complainant makes a prima facie case in support of its allegations, the burden shifts to Respondent to prove that it does have rights or legitimate interests pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). The Panel finds Complainant has made a sufficient prima facie case. Due to Respondent’s failure to respond to the Complaint, the Panel may assume that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the <ovistore.com> domain name. However, the Panel will examine the record to determine whether Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c). See Swedish Match UK Ltd. v. Admin, Domain, FA 873137 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 13, 2007) (finding that once a prima facie case has been established by the complainant, the burden then shifts to the respondent to demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)); see also Vanguard Group, Inc. v. Collazo, FA 349074 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 1, 2004) (finding that because the respondent failed to submit a Response, “Complainant’s submission has gone unopposed and its arguments undisputed. In the absence of a Response, the Panel accepts as true all reasonable allegations . . . unless clearly contradicted by the evidence.”).
Respondent’s <ovistore.com> domain name
resolves to a website featuring links to third-party websites that offer
competing products. The Panel infers
Respondent profits through click-through fees from the links to Complainant’s
competitors. The Panel finds
Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is not a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the
disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).
The WHOIS information, provided by Complainant, lists Respondent as “Nehra Corp.” Respondent fails to offer evidence contradicting this information and showing Respondent is commonly known by the <ovistore.com> domain name. There is no other evidence on the record showing Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. Complainant further asserts that Respondent is not authorized to use the OVI mark. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the <ovistore.com> domain name and therefore has not established rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See St. Lawrence Univ. v. Nextnet Tech, FA 881234 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 21, 2007) (concluding a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name where there was no evidence in the record indicating that the respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain name); see also Reese v. Morgan, FA 917029 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 5, 2007) (concluding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <lilpunk.com> domain name as there was no evidence in the record showing that the respondent was commonly known by that domain name, including the WHOIS information as well as the complainant’s assertion that it did not authorize or license the respondent’s use of its mark in a domain name).
The Panel finds Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent’s <ovistore.com> domain name
resolves to a website featuring the aforementioned links. The Panel finds that Respondent likely
profits from click-through fees. Therefore, the Panel finds that this use of a
confusingly similar disputed domain name constitutes a disruption of
Complainant’s business, which is evidence of bad faith registration and use
under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See
David Hall Rare Coins v.
The Panel infers that Respondent receives click-through fees from the use of the aforementioned hyperlinks. Respondent is attempting to profit by creating a likelihood of confusion as to Complainant’s affiliation with the disputed domain name and the resolving website. Therefore, the Panel finds Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name constitutes bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See AOL LLC v. AIM Profiles, FA 964479 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 20, 2007) (finding that the respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) because the respondent was commercially gaining from the likelihood of confusion between the complainant’s AIM mark and the competing instant messaging products and services advertised on the respondent’s website which resolved from the disputed domain name); see also AltaVista Co. v. Krotov, D2000-1091 (WIPO Oct. 25, 2000) (finding bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where the respondent’s domain name resolved to a website that offered links to third-party websites that offered services similar to the complainant’s services and merely took advantage of Internet user mistakes).
The Panel finds Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
Complainant having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief should be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <ovistore.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Louis E. Condon, Panelist
Dated: August 6, 2009
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