Mary Kay, Inc. v. Whois-Privacy.Net Ltd c/o DN Manager
Claim Number: FA0909001286104
Complainant is Mary Kay Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by John
D. Wiseman, of Mary Kay Inc.,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <markayintouch.com>, registered with Fabulous.com Pty Ltd.
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.
Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on September 24, 2009; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on September 29, 2009.
On September 29, 2009, Fabulous.com Pty Ltd. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <markayintouch.com> domain name is registered with Fabulous.com Pty Ltd. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Fabulous.com Pty Ltd. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Fabulous.com Pty Ltd. 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 1, 2009, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of October 21, 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 October 23, 2009, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., 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 <markayintouch.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s MARY KAY INTOUCH mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <markayintouch.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <markayintouch.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Mary Kay, Inc., has been in the business of manufacturing and distributing body care products and cosmetics since 1963. Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations for the MARY KAY family of marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) dating back to October 25, 1966 (Reg. No. 817,516). Additionally, Complainant owns a trademark registration for the MARY KAY INTOUCH mark with the USPTO (Reg. No. 2,122,018 issued December 16, 1997).
Respondent registered the <markayintouch.com> domain name on October 1, 2002. Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a website displaying third-party links to websites offering body care and cosmetics products in competition with Complainant.
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.
Complainant has obtained a number of trademark registrations for the MARY KAY family of marks with the USPTO and relevant to this case in particular, the MARY KAY INTOUCH mark (Reg. No. 2,122,018 issued December 16, 1997). The Panel finds that Complainant has established rights in the MARY KAY INTOUCH mark for purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through its trademark registration with the USPTO. See AOL LLC v. Interrante, FA 681239 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 23, 2006) (finding that where the complainant had submitted evidence of its registration with the USPTO, “such evidence establishes complainant’s rights in the mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”); see also Koninklijke KPN N.V. v. Telepathy Inc., D2001-0217 (WIPO May 7, 2001) (finding that the Policy does not require that the mark be registered in the country in which the respondent operates; therefore it is sufficient that the complainant can demonstrate a mark in some jurisdiction).
Complainant argues that Respondent’s <markayintouch.com> domain name is confusingly
similar to Complainant’s MARY KAY INTOUCH mark pursuant to Policy ¶
4(a)(i). Respondent’s disputed domain
name contains a mispelled version of Complainant’s mark, deletes spacing
between the terms, and adds the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com.” The Panel finds that a disputed domain name
that contains a misspelled version of a complainant’s mark, especially when it
is misspelled by only one letter, creates a confusing similarity between the
disputed domain name and the complainant’s mark. See Reuters Ltd. v. Global Net 2000, Inc.,
D2000-0441 (WIPO July 13, 2000) (finding that a domain name which differs by
only one letter from a trademark has a greater tendency to be confusingly
similar to the trademark where the trademark is highly distinctive); see also Granarolo S.p.A. v. Dinoia, FA
649854 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 17, 2006) (finding that the <granarolo.com>
domain name was confusingly similar to the complainant’s registered G GRANAROLO
mark). In addition, the Panel finds that the
omission of spacing and the addition of a gTLD are irrelevant in distinguishing
a disputed domain name from an established mark. See Trip Network
Inc. v. Alviera, FA 914943 (Nat. Arb.
Forum Mar. 27, 2007) (concluding that the affixation of a gTLD to a domain name
is irrelevant to a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis); see also Bond & Co. Jewelers, Inc. v.
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant asserts that Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the <markayintouch.com> domain name. When 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 in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). The Panel finds that in this case, Complainant has established a prima facie case and Respondent has failed to submit a Response to these proceedings. See Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. v. Samjo CellTech.Ltd, FA 406512 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 9, 2005) (“Complainant has made a prima facie showing that Respondent lacks rights to the Domain Name. The threshold for making such a showing is quite low, since it is difficult to produce evidence to support a negative statement. Here, Complainant has alleged that Respondent does not own any rights in the terms STARWOOD or STARWOODS, and that Respondent’s use of the Domain Name is not a fair one. These unsupported assertions, though sparse, are sufficient to make a prima facie showing in regard to the legitimacy element.”); see also AOL LLC v. Gerberg, FA 780200 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 25, 2006) (finding that if the complainant satisfies its prima facie burden, “then the burden shifts to the respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interest in the subject domain names.”).
Complainant contends that Respondent is neither commonly known by nor licensed to register the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that registrant’s WHOIS information demonstrates that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Therefore, pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii), Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See Instron Corp. v. Kaner, FA 768859 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 21, 2006) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <shoredurometer.com> and <shoredurometers.com> domain names because the WHOIS information listed Andrew Kaner c/o Electromatic a/k/a Electromatic Equip't as the registrant of the disputed domain names and there was no other evidence in the record to suggest that the respondent was commonly known by the domain names in dispute); see also Am. W. Airlines, Inc. v. Paik, FA 206396 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 22, 2003) (“Respondent has registered the domain name under the name ‘Ilyoup Paik a/k/a David Sanders.’ Given the WHOIS domain name registration information, Respondent is not commonly known by the [<awvacations.com>] domain name.”).
Respondent is using the disputed domain name to display links advertising third-party websites in competition with Complainant’s offering of body care and cosmetics products. The Panel infers that Respondent is using the disputed domain name to earn click-through fees, and thus finds that Respondent has not made 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 Wells Fargo & Co. v. Lin Shun Shing, FA 205699 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 8, 2003) (finding that using a domain name to direct Internet traffic to a website featuring pop-up advertisements and links to various third-party websites is neither a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii) because the registrant presumably receives compensation for each misdirected Internet user); see also Coryn Group, Inc. v. Media Insight, FA 198959 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 5, 2003) (finding that the respondent was not using the domain names for a bona fide offering of goods or services nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use because the respondent used the names to divert Internet users to a website that offered services that competed with those offered by the complainant under its marks).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
The Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the <markayintouch.com> domain name to disrupt the business of Complainant by displaying links to competitors offering body care and cosmetics products is evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See EBAY, Inc. v. MEOdesigns, D2000-1368 (Dec. 15, 2000) (finding that the respondent registered and used the domain name <eebay.com> in bad faith where the respondent has used the domain name to promote competing auction sites); see also Disney Enters., Inc. v. Noel, FA 198805 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 11, 2003) (“Respondent registered a domain name confusingly similar to Complainant's mark to divert Internet users to a competitor's website. It is a reasonable inference that Respondent's purpose of registration and use was to either disrupt or create confusion for Complainant's business in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) [and] (iv).”).
Respondent is using the <markayintouch.com>
to intentionally divert Internet users to the associated website, which
displays third-party links to competing websites. In cases such as this, the Panel presumes
that Respondent is collecting click-through fees and attempting to profit by
creating a likelihood of confusion between Complainant’s MARY KAY INTOUCH mark
and the confusingly similar disputed domain name. The Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the <markayintouch.com>
domain name is further evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to
Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Zee TV USA, Inc. v. Siddiqi, FA 721969 (Nat. Arb.
Forum July 18, 2006) (finding that the respondent engaged in bad faith
registration and use by using a domain name that was confusingly similar to the
complainant’s mark to offer links to third-party websites that offered services
similar to those offered by the complainant); see also
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 <markayintouch.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., Panelist
Dated: November 6, 2009
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