Google Inc. v. Yongqi Liu
Claim Number: FA0912001297473
Complainant is Google Inc (“Complainant”), represented by Meredith
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <googleinvest.biz>, 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.
Judge Ralph Yachnin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to
the National Arbitration Forum electronically on
On December 4, 2009, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of December 24, 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.
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 <googleinvest.biz> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s GOOGLE mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <googleinvest.biz> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <googleinvest.biz> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Google Inc., was
created in 1997 by Stanford Ph.D. candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin and since then has become a widely used Internet
search service throughout the world.
Complainant holds several trademarks registrations for its GOOGLE mark (e.g., Reg. No. 2,806,075 issued
Respondent, yongqi liu,
registered the <googleinvest.biz>
domain name on
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.
Respondent, Yongqi Liu,
registered the <googleinvest.biz>
domain name on
The <googleinvest.biz> domain name consists of Complainant’s GOOGLE mark, the generic term “invest,” and the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.biz.” The Panel finds the addition of a generic word and a gTLD to Complainant’s famous GOOGLE mark results in confusing similarity pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Isleworth Land Co. v. Lost in Space, SA, FA 117330 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 27, 2002) (“[I]t is a well established principle that generic top-level domains are irrelevant when conducting a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis.”); see also 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).
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Pursuant to Policy
¶ 4(a)(ii), Complainant must first establish a prima
facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the
disputed domain name. If the Panel finds
that Complainant’s allegations establish such a prima facie case, the
burden shifts to Respondent to show that it does indeed have rights or
legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to the guidelines in
Policy ¶ 4(c). The Panel finds
that Complainant’s allegations are sufficient to establish a prima facie case. Since
no response was submitted in this case, the Panel may presume that Respondent
has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. However, the Panel will still examine the
record in consideration of the factors listed in Policy ¶ 4(c). See Domtar, Inc. v. Theriault., FA 1089426 (Nat. Arb.
Forum Jan. 4, 2008) (“It is well established that, once a complainant has made
out a prima facie case in support of
its allegations, the burden shifts to respondent to show that it does have
rights or legitimate interests pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.”);
see also G.D. Searle v. Martin Mktg., FA 118277 (Nat. Arb. Forum
The Panel finds no evidence in the record suggesting that
Respondent is commonly known by the <googleinvest.biz>
domain name. Complainant asserts that
Respondent has no license or agreement with Complainant authorizing Respondent
to use the GOOGLE mark, and the WHOIS information identifies the registrant as
“yongqi liu.” Thus, the Panel finds Respondent has not
established rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under
Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii).
See Coppertown Drive-Thru Sys., LLC v. Snowden, FA
(Nat. Arb. Forum July 17, 2006) (concluding that the
respondent was not commonly known by the <coppertown.com> domain name
where there was no evidence in the record, including the WHOIS information,
suggesting that the respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain name);
see also M. Shanken Commc’ns v. WORLDTRAVELERSONLINE.COM, FA 740335 (Nat. Arb. Forum
The disputed domain name resolves to a website that attempts
to defraud Internet users by soliciting investment funds from users’ interested
in Complainant’s brands. The Panel finds
Respondent is attempting to pass itself off as Complainant while attempting to
perpetrate fraud. 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 under Policy
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
Respondent is using the confusingly disputed domain name to solicit investments from Internet users interested in investing with Complainant’s company. The Panel finds Respondent is attempting to profit by creating a likelihood of confusion as to Complainant’s affiliation with the disputed domain name, which constitutes bad faith registration and use in violation of Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Perot Sys. Corp. v. Perot.net, FA 95312 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 29, 2000) (finding bad faith where the domain name in question is obviously connected with the complainant’s well-known marks, thus creating a likelihood of confusion strictly for commercial gain); see also Entrepreneur Media, Inc. v. Smith, 279 F.3d 1135, 1148 (9th Cir. 2002) ("While an intent to confuse consumers is not required for a finding of trademark infringement, intent to deceive is strong evidence of a likelihood of confusion.").
Respondent is attempting to pass itself off as Complainant in connection with
its use of the disputed domain name. The
Panel finds this is further evidence of registration and use in bad faith under
Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
See Am. Int’l Group, Inc. v. Busby, FA 156251 (Nat. Arb.
Forum May 30, 2003) (finding that the disputed domain name was registered and
used in bad faith where the respondent hosted a website that “duplicated
Complainant’s mark and logo, giving every appearance of being associated or
affiliated with Complainant’s business . . . to
perpetrate a fraud upon individual shareholders who respected the goodwill
surrounding the AIG mark”); see also Monsanto Co. v. Decepticons,
FA 101536 (Nat. Arb. Forum
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <googleinvest.biz> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Hon. Ralph Yachnin, Panelist
Justice, Supreme Court, NY (Ret.)
Dated: January 15, 2010
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