Broadcom Corporation v. Mike Nelson c/o Broadband Communication
Claim Number: FA0210000128232
Complainant is Broadcom Corporation, Irvine, CA (“Complainant”) represented by Gary J. Nelson, of Christie, Parker & Hale LLP. Respondent is Mike Nelson Global Broadband Communication, Tampa, FL (“Respondent”).
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <globalbroadcom.biz>, registered with Enom, 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.
The Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr. (Ret.) as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (the “Forum”) electronically on October 16, 2002; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on October 17, 2002.
On October 18, 2002, Enom, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name <globalbroadcom.biz> is registered with Enom, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Enom, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Enom, 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 October 21, 2002, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of November 11, 2002 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, using the same contact details and methods as were used for the Commencement Notification, the Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On December 4, 2002, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed the Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr. (Ret.) as Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the “Panel”) finds that the 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 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.
The <globalbroadcom.biz> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's BROADCOM mark.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent failed to submit a Response.
Complainant began using its BROADCOM mark in 1994. Complainant holds numerous registrations for its BROADCOM mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office including the following Registration Numbers: 2,132,930; 2,392,925; 2,326,387 and 2,625,799. Complainant is the leading provider of integrated circuits for the broadband communication markets, including the markets for cable set-top boxes, cable modems, high-speed local, metropolitan and wide area networks, home networking, Voice over Internet Protocal, residential broadband gateways, direct broadcast satellite and terrestrial digital broadcast and wireless communications. All of Complainant’s products and services are associated with the BROADCOM mark.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on January 29, 2002. Respondent is engaged in the same industry as Complainant. Respondent’s full corporate name is Global Broadband Communications, LLC. This is the second domain name dispute between Complainant and Respondent. Respondent previously registered <globalbroadcom.net> and an administrative Panel found that Respondent did not have rights to that domain name. Respondent has made no demonstrable use of the disputed domain name <globalbroadcom.biz> since its registration in January of 2002.
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 the 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.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the 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
Complainant has established that it has rights in the BROADCOM mark through its continuous use and registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Respondent’s <globalbroadcom.biz> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s BROADCOM mark because it incorporates Complainant’s entire mark and merely adds the descriptive term “global” and the generic top-level domain “.biz.” The addition of a descriptive term to Complainant’s BROADCOM mark does not create a distinct mark because Complainant’s mark is still the dominant feature of the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the addition of a generic top-level domain, such as “.biz,” adds no distinctive qualities because a top-level domain is a required feature of every domain name. Therefore, the addition of a top-level domain name is irrelevant when determining whether a domain name is confusingly similar pursuant to 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 AXA China Region Ltd. v. KANNET Ltd., D2000-1377 (WIPO Nov. 29, 2000) (finding that common geographic qualifiers or generic nouns can rarely be relied upon to differentiate the mark if the other elements of the domain name comprise a mark or marks in which another party has rights); see also Entrepreneur Media, Inc. v. Smith, 279 F.3d 1135, 1146 (9th Cir. Feb. 11, 2002) (“Internet users searching for a company’s [w]ebsite . . . assume, as a rule of thumb, that the domain name of a particular company will be the company name [or trademark] followed by ‘.com.’”).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
Respondent has failed to come forward with a Response. Therefore it is presumed that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See Pavillion Agency, Inc. v. Greenhouse Agency Ltd., D2000-1221 (WIPO Dec. 4, 2000) (finding that Respondents’ failure to respond can be construed as an admission that they have no legitimate interest in the domain names).
Furthermore, when Respondent fails to submit a Response, the Panel is permitted to make all inferences in favor of Complainant. See 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”).
Respondent has held the disputed domain name for almost a year and has failed to develop a website. The passive holding of a domain name is not considered to be a use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See LFP, Inc. v. B & J Props., FA 109697 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 30, 2002) (recognizing that in certain instances excusable delays will inevitably arise, but noting that those delays must be quantifiable and limited; they cannot extend indefinitely); see also Am. Home Prod. Corp. v. Malgioglio, D2000-1602 (WIPO Feb. 19, 2001) (finding no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name <solgarvitamins.com> where Respondent merely passively held the domain name); see also Chanel, Inc. v. Heyward, D2000-1802 (WIPO Feb. 23, 2001) (finding no rights or legitimate interests where “Respondent registered the domain name and did nothing with it”).
Respondent has not come forward with any evidence that it is commonly known as GLOBAL BROADCOM, or <globalbroadcom.biz>, however, there is evidence on record that Respondent is commonly known as “Global Broadband Communications, LLC.” On the other hand, even though Respondent’s name is similar to the disputed domain name, Complainant is in the same industry and therefore it is imperative that Respondent offer evidence that it is commonly known by a domain name that resembles Complainant’s mark. Respondent has not done so, and therefore it has failed to establish that it is has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Gallup Inc. v. Amish Country Store, FA 96209 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 23, 2001) (finding that Respondent does not have rights in a domain name when Respondent is not known by the mark); see also Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Webdeal.com, Inc., FA 95162 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 29, 2000) (finding that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in domain names because it is not commonly known by Complainant’s marks and Respondent has not used the domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services or for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
The bad faith circumstances listed in Policy paragraph 4(b) are meant to be illustrative, not exclusive, therefore the totality of the circumstances may be considered when determining whether or not Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith. See Educ. Testing Serv. v. TOEFL, D2000-0044 (WIPO Mar. 16, 2000) (finding that the Policy “[I]ndicates that its listing of bad faith factors is without limitation”); see also Cellular One Group v. Brien, D2000-0028 (WIPO Mar. 10, 2000) (finding that the criteria specified in 4(b) of the Policy is not an exhaustive list of bad faith evidence).
Respondent has made no use of the disputed domain name since its registration in January of 2002. This behavior is considered to be passive holding and evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See DCI S.A. v. Link Commercial Corp., D2000-1232 (WIPO Dec. 7, 2000) (concluding that the Respondent’s passive holding of the domain name satisfies the requirement of ¶ 4(a)(iii) of the Policy); 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).
Furthermore, because Respondent and Complainant both operate in the same industry and this is the second administrative proceeding involving these two parties, it can be inferred that Respondent had knowledge of Complainant’s BROADCOM mark when it registered the disputed domain name. Registration of an infringing domain name, despite actual knowledge of Complainant’s rights, is evidence of bad faith registration pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Entrepreneur Media, Inc. v. Smith, 279 F.3d 1135, 1148 (9th Cir. Feb. 11, 2002) (finding that "[w]here an alleged infringer chooses a mark he knows to be similar to another, one can infer an intent to confuse"); see also Samsonite Corp. v. Colony Holding, FA 94313 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 17, 2000) (finding that evidence of bad faith includes actual or constructive knowledge of a commonly known mark at the time of registration).
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 the requested relief shall be hereby granted.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the domain name <globalbroadcom.biz>, be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
The Honorable Charles K. McCotter, Jr. (Ret.), Panelist
Dated: December 9, 2002
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