Jana Partners LLC v Zhang Si
Claim Number: FA1712001760820
Complainant is Jana Partners LLC (“Complainant”), represented by Scott Kareff of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, New York, USA. Respondent is Zhang Si (“Respondent”), China.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <janaparters.com>, registered with ENOM, INC..
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 Forum electronically on November 30, 2017; the Forum received payment on December 4, 2017.
On December 1, 2017, ENOM, INC. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <janaparters.com> domain name 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 disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).
On December 7, 2017, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of December 27, 2017 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via e-mail to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also on December 7, 2017, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the e-mail addresses served and the deadline for a Response, was transmitted to Respondent via post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts.
Having received no response from Respondent, the Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On December 29, 2017, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Sandra J. Franklin 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" through submission of Electronic and Written Notices, as defined in Rule 1 and Rule 2. 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.
1. Respondent’s <janaparters.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s JANA mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <janaparters.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and uses the <janaparters.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant registered the JANA and JANA PARTNERS LLC marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (JANA—Reg. No. 3,218,009, registered Mar. 13, 2007; JANA PARTNERS LLC—Reg. No. 3,218,010, registered Mar. 13, 2007).
Respondent registered the <janaparters.com> domain name on August 31, 2017, and uses it to pass itself off as 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."
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.
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(f), 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 (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.”).
The Panel finds that Complainant has established rights in the JANA and JANA PARTNERS LLC marks based upon registration with the USPTO. See Humor Rainbow, Inc. v. James Lee, FA 1626154 (Forum Aug. 11, 2015) (stating, “There exists an overwhelming consensus amongst UDRP panels that USPTO registrations are sufficient in demonstrating a complainant’s rights under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) and its vested interests in a mark. . . . Due to Complainant’s attached USPTO registration on the principal register at Exhibit 1, the Panel agrees that it has sufficiently demonstrated its rights per Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”).
Respondent’s <janaparters.com> domain name contains Complainant’s marks, with a simple misspelling of the word “partners.” Similar changes in a registered mark have failed to distinguish a domain name for the purposes of Policy ¶4(a)(i). See OpenTable, Inc. v. Above.com Domain Privacy, FA 1626187 (Forum Aug. 10, 2015 (“Respondent’s <oipentable.com> domain name is confusingly similar to the OPENTABLE mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) because the disputed domain merely adds the letter ‘i’ . . . ”); see also Oki Data Ams., Inc. v. ASD, Inc., D2001-0903 (WIPO Nov. 6, 2001) (“[T]he fact that a domain name wholly incorporates a Complainant’s registered mark is sufficient to establish identity [sic] or confusing similarity for purposes of the Policy despite the addition of other words to such marks”); see also Dell Inc. v. Protection of Private Person / Privacy Protection, FA 1681432 (Forum Aug. 1, 2016) (“A TLD (whether a gTLD, sTLD or ccTLD) is disregarded under a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis because domain name syntax requires TLDs. Likewise, the absence of spaces must be disregarded under a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis because domain name syntax prohibits them.”). Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent’s <janaparters.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s JANA and JANA PARTNERS LLC marks.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Once Complainant makes a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), the burden shifts to Respondent to show it does have rights or legitimate interests. See Hanna-Barbera Prods., Inc. v. Entm’t Commentaries, FA 741828 (Forum Aug. 18, 2006) (holding that the complainant must first make a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under UDRP ¶ 4(a)(ii) before the burden shifts to the respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests in a domain name); see also AOL LLC v. Gerberg, FA 780200 (Forum Sept. 25, 2006) (“Complainant must first make a prima facie showing that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interest in the subject domain names, which burden is light. If Complainant satisfies its burden, then the burden shifts to Respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the subject domain names.”).
Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <janaparters.com> domain name. Where a response is lacking, relevant information includes the WHOIS and any other assertions by a complainant regarding the nature of its relationship with a respondent. See Braun Corp. v. Loney, FA 699652 (Forum July 7, 2006) (concluding that the respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain names where the WHOIS information, as well as all other information in the record, gave no indication that the respondent was commonly known by the domain names, and the complainant had not authorized the respondent to register a domain name containing its registered mark). The WHOIS information of record identifies “Zhang Si / Zhang Si” as the registrant of the disputed domain name. Complainant alleges that Respondent is not legitimately affiliated with Complainant, and has no permission to use the disputed domain name. Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the <janaparters.com> domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Navistar International Corporation v. N Rahmany, FA1505001620789 (Forum June 8, 2015) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain name where the complainant had never authorized the respondent to incorporate its NAVISTAR mark in any domain name registration).
Complainant asserts that Respondent uses the disputed domain name with the intent for commercial gain, to defraud Internet users, to obtain goods at Complainant’s expense, or to tarnish Complainant’s marks. However, Complainant provides no evidence of these assertions and no evidence whatsoever of Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name. Failure by a complainant to provide evidence of a respondent’s failure to make a bona fide offering or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use per Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) & (iii) is insufficient to support a finding that said respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See O.C. Seacrets, Inc. v. S. TradeWINs, Inc., FA 328042 (Forum Oct. 29, 2004) (“Complainant has provided no evidence as to the use of the <jamaicausa.com> domain name and has merely asserted that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests, which is not sufficient to support a finding that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests.”). Complainant asserts the intent behind Respondent’s use but does not provide evidence of Respondent’s actual failure to use the disputed domain name within the bounds of Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) & (iii). The Panel therefore finds that Complainant failed to meet its burden under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
Since the Panel finds that Complainant failed to meet its burden under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), the Panel need not determine the bad faith element under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Skunkworx Custom Cycle, D2004-0824 (WIPO Jan. 18, 2005) (finding that the issue of bad faith registration and use was moot once the panel found the respondent had rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name).
Having not established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <janaparters.com> domain name REMAIN with Respondent.
Sandra J. Franklin, Panelist
Dated: January 2, 2018
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