HDR Global Trading Limited v. siwoong oh
Claim Number: FA1906001847856
Complainant is HDR Global Trading Limited (“Complainant”), represented by J. Damon Ashcraft of SNELL & WILMER L.L.P., Arizona, USA. Respondent is siwoong oh (“Respondent”), United Arab Emirates.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <bitmex.solutions>, registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC.
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.
Richard Hill as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on June 13, 2019; the Forum received payment on June 13, 2019.
On June 14, 2019, GoDaddy.com, LLC confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <bitmex.solutions> domain name is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. GoDaddy.com, LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the GoDaddy.com, LLC 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 June 18, 2019, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of July 8, 2019 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 June 18, 2019, 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 July 10, 2019, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Richard Hill 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.
Complainant states that it owns and operates a leading and prominent cryptocurrency-based virtual trading platform marketed to millions of consumers around the world in five languages. Complainant has been offering premier financial trading services in the field of digitized assets such as bitcoins, cryptocurrency, digital tokens, virtual currency and digital currencies since its inception in 2014. Today, Complainant's business has grown to an average of $3 billion of trading volume per day, an annual trading volume of $1 trillion dollars, hosts more cryptocurrency trades than any other platform in the world, and serves customers all over the world. Complainant has rights in the BITMEX mark based upon its registration of the mark with multiple trademark agencies around the world, including the European Union Intellectual Property Office (filing date March 14, 2017, registration date August 11, 2017).
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its BITMEX mark because it wholly incorporates the mark, and merely adds the “.solutions” generic top-level domain (“gTLD”).
According to Complainant, Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Respondent is not authorized to use Complainant’s BITMEX mark and is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Additionally, Respondent fails to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services or for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use because the disputed domain name resolves to an inactive website.
Further, says Complainant, Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith because Respondent passively holds the disputed domain name. Finally, Respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant’s BITMEX mark prior to registering the disputed domain name.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant owns the mark BITMEX and uses it in connection with cryptocurrency services.
Complainant’s rights in its marks date back to at least March 14, 2017.
The disputed domain name was registered on June 10, 2018.
Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use its marks.
The disputed domain name is not being used.
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 set forth in a complaint; however, the Panel may deny relief where a complaint contains mere conclusory or unsubstantiated arguments. See WIPO Jurisprudential Overview 3.0 at ¶ 4.3; see also eGalaxy Multimedia Inc. v. ON HOLD By Owner Ready To Expire, FA 157287 (Forum June 26, 2003) (“Because Complainant did not produce clear evidence to support its subjective allegations [. . .] the Panel finds it appropriate to dismiss the Complaint”).
The relevant date for Complainant’s mark is the filing date: March 14, 2017. See Lenovo (Beijing) Limited Corporation China v. jeonggon seo, FA 1591638 (Forum Jan. 16, 2015) (finding Complainant has rights in the LENOVO mark dating back to the February 20, 2003 filing date with the USPTO as the trademark application was ultimately successful); see also Hershey Co. v. Reaves, FA 967818 (Forum June 8, 2007) (finding that the complainant’s rights in the KISSES trademark through registration of the mark with the USPTO “date back to the filing date of the trademark application and predate [the] respondent’s registration”).
The disputed domain name wholly incorporates Complainant’s BITMEX mark, and merely adds the “.solutions” generic top-level domain (“gTLD”). The addition of a gTLD is insufficient to overcome a claim of confusing similarity when a mark is included in a disputed domain name in its entirety. See loanDepot.com, LLC v. sm goo, FA 1786848 (Forum June 12, 2018) (“we conclude from a review of the record that Respondent’s <mellosolar.com> domain name is substantively identical and confusingly similar to Complainant’s MELLO SOLAR mark.”). Therefore, the Panel finds that the <bitmex.solutions> domain name is identical to Complainant’s BITMEX mark per Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Respondent is not authorized by Complainant to use the BITMEX mark. Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name: absent a reply, WHOIS information can support a finding that the respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. See Amazon Technologies, Inc. v. LY Ta, FA 1789106 (Forum June 21, 2018) (concluding a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name where the complainant asserted it did not authorize the respondent to use the mark, and the relevant WHOIS information indicated the respondent is not commonly known by the domain name). Here, the WHOIS information indicates that Respondent is known as “Siwoong Oh.” Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name per Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii).
The disputed domain name resolves to an inactive website. Resolving to an inactive webpage is not a bona fide offering of goods or services, or a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the domain. See Kohler Co. v xi long chen, FA 1737910 (Forum Aug. 4, 2017) (”Respondent has not made a bona fide offering of goods or services, or a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the domain. Respondent’s <kohler-corporation.com> resolves to an inactive webpage displaying the message “website coming soon!”). Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent has failed to use the disputed domain name to provide either 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). And the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent (who did not reply to Complainant’s contentions) has not presented any plausible explanation for its use of Complainant’s mark. In accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, the Panel shall draw such inferences from Respondent’s failure to reply as it considers appropriate. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent did not have a legitimate use in mind when registering the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name is not being used. According to paragraph 3.3 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (WIPO Jurisprudential Overview 3.0): “From the inception of the UDRP, panelists have found that the non-use of a domain name (including a blank or “coming soon” page) would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding. While panelists will look at the totality of the circumstances in each case, factors that have been considered relevant in applying the passive holding doctrine include: (i) the degree of distinctiveness or reputation of the complainant’s mark, (ii) the failure of the respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good-faith use, (iii) the respondent’s concealing its identity or use of false contact details (noted to be in breach of its registration agreement), and (iv) the implausibility of any good faith use to which the domain name may be put.”
In the present case, it is difficult to envisage any use of the disputed domain name that would not violate the Policy, see Morgan Stanley v. TONY / shentony, FA 1637186 (Forum Oct. 10, 2015) (“Respondent registered the disputed domain name [MORGANSTANLEY.ONLINE] in bad faith because . . . it is difficult to envisage any use of the disputed domain name that would not violate the Policy”); see also Singapore Airlines Ltd. v. European Travel Network, D2000-0641 (WIPO Aug. 29, 2000) (where selection of disputed domain name is so obviously connected to complainant’s well-known trademark, use by someone with no connection with complainant suggests opportunistic bad faith); see also Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Sheraton Int’l IP, LLC, Westin Hotel Mgmt., L.P. v. Jingjing Tang, D2014-1040 (WIPO Aug. 19, 2014) (“The Panel finds that the [WESTIN] Marks are not such that could legitimately be adopted by traders other than for the purpose of creating an impression of an association with Complainant. Thus, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain names were registered in bad faith”).
There has been no response to the Complaint. Given these circumstances, the Panel finds that, in this particular case, a finding of bad faith use can be inferred even though the disputed domain name is not being actively used. See Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, D2000-0003 (WIPO Feb. 18, 2000).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <bitmex.solutions> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Richard Hill, Panelist
Dated: July 10, 2019
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