Claim Number: FA0907001273972
Complainant is H-D Michigan, LLC (“Complainant”), represented by David
M. Kelly, of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett &
Dunner, L.L.P., Washington, D.C., USA. Respondent is Kelvin Joseph (“Respondent”),
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <hdjacket.com>, registered with Xin Net Technology Corporation.
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 July 15, 2009; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on July 16, 2009. The Complaint was submitted in both Chinese and English.
On July 16, 2009, Xin Net Technology Corporation confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <hdjacket.com> domain name is registered with Xin Net Technology Corporation and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Xin Net Technology Corporation has verified that Respondent is bound by the Xin Net Technology Corporation 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 July 17, 2009, a Chinese language Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of August 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 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.
On August 12, 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.
Pursuant to Rule 11(a) the Panel determines that the language requirement has been satisfied through the Chinese language Complaint and Commencement Notification and, absent a Response, determines that the remainder of the proceedings may be conducted in English.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <hdjacket.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s HD mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <hdjacket.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <hdjacket.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, H-D Michigan, LLC, operates a motorcycle business. In addition to manufacturing and selling motorcycles, Complainant also promotes a line of apparel and motorcycle accessories such as helmets. In connection with its business, Complainant owns multiple trademark registrations for its Harley Davidson, H-D, and HD marks with the United States Patent Office (“USPTO”). Most relevant in these proceedings is Complainant’s registration if its HD mark on February 8, 2000 (Reg. No. 2,315,877).
Respondent registered the <hdjacket.com> domain name on May 14, 2009. The disputed domain name resolves to a website that offers counterfeit products of Complainant for sale.
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 Complainant’s registrations of its HD mark (i.e. Reg. No. 2,315,877 issued February 8, 2000) with the USPTO sufficiently demonstrates Complainant’s rights in the mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See VICORP Rests., Inc. v. Triantafillos, FA 485933 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 14, 2005) (“Complainant has established rights in the BAKERS SQUARE mark by registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).”); see also AOL LLC v. AIM Profiles, FA 964479 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 20, 2007) (“Complainant has established rights in the AIM mark through its use and federal trademark registrations for purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”).
Respondent’s <hdjacket.com> domain name includes Complainant’s HD mark while adding both the descriptive term “jacket” and the generic top-level domain “.com.” The Panel finds that neither alteration sufficiently differentiates the disputed domain name from Complainant’s mark. See Trip Network Inc. v. Alviera, FA 914943 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 27, 2007) (concluding that the addition of a gTLD, whether it be “.com,” “.net,” “.biz,” or “.org,” is irrelevant to a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis); see also Experian Info. Solutions, Inc. v. Credit Research, Inc., D2002-0095 (WIPO May 7, 2002) (finding that several domain names incorporating the complainant’s entire EXPERIAN mark and merely adding the term “credit” were confusingly similar to the complainant’s mark). Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant has asserted that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Complainant must successfully assert a sufficient prima facie case supporting its allegations before Respondent receives the burden of demonstrating its rights or legitimate interests. The Panel finds that Complainant has met its burden, and therefore Respondent must demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(c). See G.D. Searle v. Martin Mktg., FA 118277 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 1, 2002) (“Because Complainant’s Submission constitutes a prima facie case under the Policy, the burden effectively shifts to Respondent. Respondent’s failure to respond means that Respondent has not presented any circumstances that would promote its rights or legitimate interests in the subject domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).”); see also Clerical Med. Inv. Group Ltd. v. Clericalmedical.com, D2000-1228 (WIPO Nov. 28, 2000) (finding that, under certain circumstances, the mere assertion by the complainant that the respondent has no right or legitimate interest is sufficient to shift the burden of proof to the respondent to demonstrate that such a right or legitimate interest does exist).
There is no evidence in the record, including the WHOIS information, to conclude that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. Moreover, Complainant contends that Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant, and that Respondent is not authorized to register or use the disputed domain name or the HD mark. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See M. Shanken Commc’ns v. WORLDTRAVELERSONLINE.COM, FA 740335 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 3, 2006) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <cigaraficionada.com> domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) based on the WHOIS information and other evidence in the record); see also 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).
Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a website that
purports to offer counterfeit versions of Complainant’s products. Respondent is thus passing itself off as the
source of these imitation goods, in an attempt to bolster its commercial
venture. Therefore, the Panel finds that
Respondent has not engaged in a bona fide
offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i)
or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Hewlett-Packard
Co. v. Inversiones HP Milenium
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
The Panel finds that Respondent has engaged in bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii) by disrupting Complainant’s business through the provision of counterfeit versions of Complainant’s products on the resolving website. See Fossil, Inc. v. NAS, FA 92525 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 23, 2000) (transferring the <fossilwatch.com> domain name from the respondent, a watch dealer not otherwise authorized to sell the complainant’s goods, to the complainant); see also S. Exposure v. S. Exposure, Inc., FA 94864 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 18, 2000) (finding the respondent acted in bad faith by attracting Internet users to a website that competes with the complainant’s business).
The Panel further finds that Respondent has engaged in bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) by intentionally creating a likelihood of confusion for commercial gain as to Complainant’s affiliation with Respondent’s confusingly similar disputed domain name and corresponding website. This commercial gain is accomplished by Respondent’s offering of counterfeit goods in an attempt to pass itself off as Complainant. See Allianz of Am. Corp. v. Bond, FA 680624 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 2, 2006) (finding bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where the respondent was diverting Internet users searching for the complainant to its own website and likely profiting); see also Compaq Info. Techs. Group, L.P. v. Waterlooplein Ltd., FA 109718 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 29, 2002) (finding that the respondent’s use of the <compaq-broker.com> domain name to sell the complainant’s products “creates a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's COMPAQ mark as to the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of the website and constituted bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv)”) .
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 <hdjacket.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
John J. Upchurch, Panelist
Dated: August 26, 2009
National Arbitration Forum
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