LD Products, Inc. v. Private Whois Service
Claim Number: FA1002001310120
Complainant is LD Products, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Matthew M. Thomson, of Kronenberger Burgoyne, LLP, California, USA. Respondent is Private Whois Service (“Respondent”), Bahamas.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <4imkjets.com>, registered with Internet.bs Corp.
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.
Sandra J. Franklin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on February 24, 2010; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on February 26, 2010.
On March 2, 2010, Internet.bs Corp. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <4imkjets.com> domain name is registered with Internet.bs Corp. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Internet.bs Corp. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Internet.bs Corp. 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 March 2, 2010, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of March 22, 2010 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 April 7, 2010, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Sandra J. Franklin 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 <4imkjets.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s 4INKJETS mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <4imkjets.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <4imkjets.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, LD Products, Inc., is one of the largest online retailers of printer supplies and accessories. Complainant has operated at the website resolving from the <123inkjets.com> domain name since 1999, where it has continuously and exclusively offered printer supplies under the 4INKJETS mark. Complainant owns a trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for the 4INKJETS mark (Reg. No. 2,998,115 issued September 20, 2005).
Respondent registered the <4imkjets.com> domain name July 18, 2003. Respondent’s disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website.
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 is not required to own a trademark registration to establish rights in the 4INKJETS mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See British Broad. Corp. v. Renteria, D2000-0050 (WIPO Mar. 23, 2000) (noting that the Policy “does not distinguish between registered and unregistered trademarks and service marks in the context of abusive registration of domain names” and applying the Policy to “unregistered trademarks and service marks”); see also SeekAmerica Networks Inc. v. Masood, D2000-0131 (WIPO Apr. 13, 2000) (finding that the Rules do not require that the complainant's trademark or service mark be registered by a government authority or agency for such rights to exist).
Complainant has established common law rights in the 4INKJETS mark through continuous and extensive use of the mark in connection with its goods and services since 1999. Complainant holds a trademark registration with the USPTO, issued in 2005. Complainant also operates a website at the <4inkjets.com> domain name.
Therefore, the Panel finds Complainant’s 4INKJETS mark has acquired secondary meaning sufficient to establish common law rights in the mark which predate Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name. See Keppel TatLee Bank v. Taylor, D2001-0168 (WIPO Mar. 28, 2001) (“[O]n account of long and substantial use of [KEPPEL BANK] in connection with its banking business, it has acquired rights under the common law.”); see also Tuxedos By Rose v. Nunez, FA 95248 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 17, 2000) (finding common law rights in a mark where its use was continuous and ongoing, and secondary meaning was established).
Respondent’s <4imkjets.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s 4INKJETS mark as it is Complainant’s mark with the addition of the letter “m” in place of the letter “n,” and the addition of the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com,” which is irrelevant for the purposes of a Policy ¶4(a)(i) analysis. Therefore, the Panel finds Respondent’s disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark under Policy ¶4(a)(i). See Belkin Components v. Gallant, FA 97075 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 29, 2001) (finding the <belken.com> domain name confusingly similar to the complainant's BELKIN mark because the name merely replaced the letter “i” in the complainant's mark with the letter “e”); see also Intelius, Inc. v. Hyn, FA 703175 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 5, 2006) (finding the <intellus.com> domain name to be confusingly similar to the complainant’s INTELIUS mark because the domain name differed from the mark by one letter and was visually similar); see also Rollerblade, Inc. v. McCrady, D2000-0429 (WIPO June 25, 2000) (finding that the top level of the domain name such as “.net” or “.com” does not affect the domain name for the purpose of determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar).
The Panel finds Policy ¶4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant alleges that Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. If Complainant makes a prima facie case in support of its allegations, the burden shifts to Respondent to prove that its rights and legitimate interests exist, pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). The Panel finds that Complainant established a prima facie case and that Respondent failed to establish its rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. See Intel Corp. v. Macare, FA 660685 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 26, 2006) (finding the “complainant must first make a prima facie case that [the] respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain names under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), and then the burden shifts to [the] respondent to show it does have rights or legitimate interests.”); 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).
Complainant states that Respondent is not commonly known by and has never been licensed to register the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that the registrant’s WHOIS information does not indicate Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Tercent Inc. v. Lee Yi, FA 139720 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 10, 2003) (stating “nothing in Respondent’s WHOIS information implies that Respondent is ‘commonly known by’ the disputed domain name” as one factor in determining that Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) does not apply); see also Coppertown Drive-Thru Sys., LLC v. Snowden, FA 715089 (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).
Respondent is not making an active use of the <4imkjets.com> domain name. There is no evidence to suggest Respondent has used or intends to use the disputed domain name in any manner. Therefore, the Panel finds Respondent has not made a bona fide offering of good or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), and has not made a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Pharmacia & Upjohn AB v. Romero, D2000-1273 (WIPO Nov. 13, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests where the respondent failed to submit a response to the complaint and had made no use of the domain name in question); see also Melbourne IT Ltd. v. Stafford, D2000-1167 (WIPO Oct. 16, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name where there is no proof that the respondent made preparations to use the domain name or one like it in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services before notice of the domain name dispute, the domain name did not resolve to a website, and the respondent is not commonly known by the domain name).
Complainant contends Respondent has engaged in the practice of typosquatting. Respondent is taking advantage of Internet users that are attempting to reach Complainant, but misspell Complainant’s 4INKJETS mark. The Panel finds Respondent’s engagement in the practice of typosquatting is evidence Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the <4imkjets.com> domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See LTD Commodities LLC v. Party Night, Inc., FA 165155 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 14, 2003) (finding that the <ltdcommadities.com>, <ltdcommmodities.com>, and <ltdcommodaties.com> domain names were intentional misspellings of Complainant's LTD COMMODITIES mark and this “‘typosquatting’ is evidence that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names”); see also Microsoft Corp. v. Domain Registration Philippines, FA 877979 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 20, 2007) (concluding that by registering the <microssoft.com> domain name, the respondent had “engaged in typosquatting, which provides additional evidence that [the] respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).”).
The Panel finds Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
The Panel finds it may consider the totality of the circumstances when conducting a Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) analysis for bad faith, and that it is not limited to the enumerated factors in Policy ¶ 4(b). See Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, D2000-0624 (WIPO Aug. 21, 2000) (“[T]he examples [of bad faith] in Paragraph 4(b) are intended to be illustrative, rather than exclusive.”); see also Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. Risser, FA 93761 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 18, 2000) (“The requirement in the ICANN Policy that a complainant prove that domain names are being used in bad faith does not require that it prove in every instance that a respondent is taking positive action. Use in bad faith can be inferred from the totality of the circumstances even when the registrant has done nothing more than register the names.”).
Respondent registered the <4imkjets.com> domain name but it does not resolve to an active website. The Panel finds Respondent’s failure to make an active use of the disputed domain name is evidence of bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Caravan Club v. Mrgsale, FA 95314 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 30, 2000) (finding that the respondent made no use of the domain name or website that connects with the domain name, and that failure to make an active use of a domain name permits an inference of registration and use in bad faith); 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).
The Panel finds Respondent’s registration of the <4imkjets.com> domain name constitutes typosquatting, which is also evidence of bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Microsoft Corp. v. Domain Registration Philippines, FA 877979 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 20, 2007) (finding bad faith registration and use of the <microssoft.com> domain name as it merely misspelled the complainant’s MICROSOFT mark); see also Nat’l Ass’n of Prof’l Baseball League, Inc. v. Zuccarini, D2002-1011 (WIPO Jan. 21, 2003) (“Typosquatting … is the intentional misspelling of words with [the] intent to intercept and siphon off traffic from its intended destination, by preying on Internauts who make common typing errors. Typosquatting is inherently parasitic and of itself evidence of bad faith.”).
The Panel finds 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 <4imkjets.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Sandra J. Franklin, Panelist
Dated: April 14, 2010
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