ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS DISPUTE RESOLUTION POLICY
Michael Douglas v. Chris Vogal
Claim Number: FA0211000132438
Complainant is Michael Douglas, Los Angeles, CA, USA (“Complainant”) represented by Martin Schwimmer. Respondent is Chris Vogel, Dundas, Ontario, CANADA (“Respondent”).
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED REGISTERED NAMES
The Registered Names at issue are <michael.douglas.name> and <firstname.lastname@example.org>, registered with VeriSign, Inc.
The undersigned certifies that she has acted independently and impartially and that to the best of her knowledge, she has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding. Hon. Carolyn Marks Johnson sits as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (“the Forum”) electronically on November 8, 2002; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on November 12, 2002.
On November 13, 2002, VeriSign, Inc.confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the Registered Names <michael.douglas.name> and <email@example.com> are registered with VeriSign, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the Registered Names. VeriSign, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the VeriSign, Inc. registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve registered name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with the Eligibility Requirements Dispute Resolution Policy (“ERDRP”).
On November 22, 2002 a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of December 12, 2002, by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent in compliance with 2(a) of the Rules of Procedure for the Eligibility Requirements Dispute Resolution Policy (the “ERDRP Rules”).
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 31, 2002, pursuant to ERDRP Rule 6(b), the Forum appointed Hon. Carolyn Marks Johnson as the single Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the “Panel”) finds that the Forum has discharged its responsibilities under Paragraph 2(a) of the ERDRP Rules. Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ERDRP, ERDRP Rules, the Forum’s ERDRP 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 Registered Names be transferred from Respondent to Complainant pursuant to Policy 5(f)(i)(B).
A. Complainant makes the following allegations:
Complainant asserts that Respondent registered <michael.douglas.name> and <firstname.lastname@example.org> in violation of the Eligibility Requirements because of the following reasons: Respondent’s legal name is not Michael Douglas.
Respondent owns no trademark or service mark rights to a fictional character named Michael Douglas. Respondent is not commonly known by the name Michael Douglas.
Complainant also asserts that his legal name is Michael Douglas and therefore he has rights in the domain names registered by Respondent, <michael.douglas.name> and <email@example.com>.
B. Respondent did not submit a response.
Complainant’s legal name is Michael Douglas. Complainant has submitted his passport as proof of this fact.
Respondent, Christian Vogel, registered the Registered Names in dispute January 15, 2002. Complainant’s investigation discovered no evidence that Respondent uses the name Michael Douglas for any purpose. Respondent has registered numerous Registered Names of famous celebrities such as Complainant including: <mick.jagger.name>, <russell.crowe.name>, and <robert.deniro.name>.
Paragraph 15(a) of the ERDRP 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 ERDRP Rules and will draw such inferences as the Panel considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the ERDRP Rules.
Paragraph 4(b) of the ERDRP requires that Complainant prove each of the following elements in order to establish that the Registered Name was registered in violation of the Eligibility Requirements and obtain an order that a Registered Name should be cancelled:
(1) the name corresponding to the Registered Name is not the legal name of Respondent; and
(2) the name corresponding to the Registered Name is not the name of a fictional character in which Respondent has trademark or service mark rights; and
(3) Respondent has not been commonly known by the name corresponding with the Registered Name.
If the above elements are shown, and Complainant requests that the Registered Name be transferred to Complainant, paragraph 5(f)(i)(B) of the ERDRP requires Complainant to establish that Complainant meets the Eligibility Requirements correspondent to the Registered Name. In order to meet the Eligibility Requirements, Complainant must provide evidence of one or more of the following:
(1) that the name corresponding to the Registered Name is the legal name of Complainant; or
(2) that the name corresponding to the Registered Name is the name of a fictional character in which Complainant has trademark or service mark rights; or
(3) that Complainant has been commonly known by the name corresponding to the Registered Name.
Respondent’s legal name is Christian Vogel. No evidence on record suggests that Respondent’s legal name is also Michael Douglas. Therefore, Respondent’s registration of <michael.douglas.name> and <firstname.lastname@example.org> does not meet this Eligibility Requirement and Policy ¶ 4(b)(i) has been satisfied.
Name of Fictional Character
No evidence on record suggests, and Respondent has not come forward with any evidence that establishes, that Respondent owns any trademark or service mark rights for a character by the name of “Michael Douglas.” Therefore, Respondent’s registration of <michael.douglas.name> and <email@example.com> does not meet the Eligibility Requirement, and Policy ¶ 4(b)(ii) has been satisfied.
Commonly Known As
Respondent is commonly known as Christian Vogel. No evidence suggests that Respondent is commonly known as or by Michael Douglas and Respondent has produced no such evidence. Therefore, Respondent does not meet the Eligibility Requirement, and Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii) has been satisfied.
Complainant provided verifiable evidence in the form of a passport that his legal name is Michael Douglas. Complainant satisfied the Eligibility Requirement and is therefore eligible to register <michael.douglas.name> and <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
It has been demonstrated, as required by the ERDRP, that <michael.douglas.name> and <email@example.com> were registered in violation of the Eligibility Requirements. Furthermore, it has been established that Complainant has rights to the Registered Names because his legal name is Michael Douglas. Therefore, the Panel concludes that the requested relief shall be hereby GRANTED.
Hon. Carolyn Marks Johnson, Panelist
Dated: January 14, 2003.
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