AbbVie, Inc. v. Salvi Pascual / Apretaste
Claim Number: FA2004001892929
Complainant is AbbVie, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Molly Buck Richard of Richard Law Group, Inc., United States. Respondent is Salvi Pascual / Apretaste (“Respondent”), United States.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <kaletra.site>, 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 April 20, 2020; the Forum received payment on April 20, 2020.
On April 21, 2020, GoDaddy.com, LLC confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <kaletra.site> 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 April 22, 2020, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of May 12, 2020 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 April 22, 2020, 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. Respondent did however send an e-mail to the Forum, see below.
On May 13, 2020, 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 is a specialty-focused, research-based biopharmaceutical company that employs approximately 30,000 persons worldwide in over 70 countries, with well over $32 billion in annual revenues. Complainant has rights in the KALETRA mark based upon registration in the United States in 2001. The mark is also registered elsewhere around the world. It is used to market the prescription drug Kaletra that is used in connection with other antiretroviral medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) in adults and children over age 14. Prior to the registration of the disputed domain name on February 13, 2020, there was significant worldwide press related to the use of Kaletra as a potential treatment option for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19),
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s KALETRA mark because it includes the mark in its entirety, merely adding the “.site” generic top-level domain (“TLD”) to create the disputed domain name.
According to Complainant, Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and is not licensed to use Complainant’s KALETRA mark. Additionally, Respondent fails to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use because Respondent fails to make an active use the disputed domain name. Further, Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name creates a potential to sell counterfeit products.
Further, says Complainant, Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith. Respondent fails to make active use of the disputed domain name. Additionally, Respondent’s timing suggests opportunistic bad faith. Finally, Respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant’s rights in the KALETRA mark.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding. In its e-mail to the Forum, Respondent states: “As I previously mentioned, KaLetra is the combination of two words in Spanish. We purchased the domain with no intention of using it for anything covid-19 related. The domain is currently hosting a critical email server that our non-profit uses to carry on our mission in Cuba, and removing this domain from the list will affect our current infrastructure.”
The signature block of the e-mail contains the following: “https://apretaste.com” “http://www.cubadata.com”; however, the URL associated with the second part of the signature block is actually <https://www.surveycuba.com>.
Complainant owns the mark KALETRA and uses it to market a pharmaceutical product. The mark is currently well known in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Complainant’s rights in its mark date back to at least 2001.
The disputed domain name was registered on February 13, 2020. Shortly prior to that, press articles mentioned that the pharmaceutical Kaletra could potentially be used to treat patients affected by the recent COVID-19 virus.
Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use its mark.
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 disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s KALETRA mark in its entirety, merely adding the “.site” TLD. Addition of a TLD to a mark is irrelevant in determining confusing similarity under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Bittrex, Inc. v. HOUSNTA BENSLEM, FA 1760232 (Forum Jan. 3, 2018) (“[S]ince the disputed domain name differs from the trademark only by the addition of the gTLD “.cam” the Panel finds the domain name to be legally identical to the trademark.”). Therefore the Panel finds that the <kaletra.site> domain name is identical to Complainant’s KALETRA mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use its mark. Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name: when no response is submitted, WHOIS information can be used to show that a respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. See H-D U.S.A., LLC, v. ilyas Aslan / uok / Domain Admin ContactID 5645550 / FBS INC / Whoisprotection biz, FA 1785313 (Forum June 25, 2018) (“The publicly available WHOIS information identifies Respondent as ‘Ilyas Aslan’ and so there is no prima facie evidence that Respondent might be commonly known by either of the [<harleybot.bid> and <harleybot.com>] domain names.”). Here, the WHOIS information of record notes “Salvi Pascual / Apretaste” as the registrant. Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii).
Complainant alleges that Respondent fails to make an active use of the disputed domain name. Respondent alleges that the disputed domain name is hosting an e-mail server.
According to paragraph 4.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (WIPO Jurisprudential Overview 3.0):
Noting in particular the general powers of a panel articulated inter alia in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the UDRP Rules, it has been accepted that a panel may undertake limited factual research into matters of public record if it would consider such information useful to assessing the case merits and reaching a decision.
This may include visiting the website linked to the disputed domain name in order to obtain more information about the respondent or its use of the domain name, consulting historical resources such as the Internet Archive (www.archive.org) in order to obtain an indication of how a domain name may have been used in the relevant past, reviewing dictionaries or encyclopedias (e.g., Wikipedia), or accessing trademark registration databases.
The Panel has searched for an MX record for the disputed domain name (which is a matter of public record) and found none. Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is not being used for e-mail services, contrary to what Respondent alleges. The disputed domain name is also not being used for a web site.
Inactive use of a domain name does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) or (iii). See Bloomberg L.P. v. SC Media Servs. & Info. SRL, FA 296583 (Forum Sept. 2, 2004) (“The Panel finds that the [failure to make an active use] of a domain name that is identical to Complainant’s mark is not a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) and it is not a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).”). Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent fails to use the disputed domain name to make a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) or (iii).
Respondent states that the disputed domain name is a combination of two Spanish words. This is correct: it combines “ka”, the word for the letter “k”, with “letra”, the word for “letter”. So, translated into English, the disputed domain name would be “kletter”.
Respondent does not explain why it chose this particular name for its alleged e-mail service associated with Cuba. 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. This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that, as noted above, the disputed domain name is not actually being used in conjunction with an e-mail service. It is further reinforced by the evidence provided by Complainant, showing that press articles—appearing shortly before the registration of the disputed domain name—mentioned that the pharmaceutical Kaletra could potentially be used to treat patients affected by the recent COVID-19 virus.
As already noted, 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, Complainant’s trademark is well known at present. 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 was no formal Response. Respondent’s e-mail to the Forum incorrectly alleges that the disputed domain name is being used. The signature block in Respondent’s e-mail to the Forum is suspicious: the URL <https://apretaste.com> leads to a warning page, and the domain name <surveycuba.com> is not registered. As noted above, the Panel finds that Respondent did not have a legitimate use in mind when registering the disputed domain name. 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 <kaletra.site> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Richard Hill, Panelist
Dated: May 13, 2020
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