Licensing IP International S.ŕ.r.l. v. Muhammad Moemin Ali
Claim Number: FA2102001933374
Complainant is Licensing IP International S.ŕ.r.l. (“Complainant”), represented by ROBIC, LLP, Canada. Respondent is Muhammad Moemin Ali (“Respondent”), Pakistan.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <myyouporn.com>, registered with Name.com, Inc..
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 February 24, 2021; the Forum received payment on February 24, 2021.
On February 25, 2021, Name.com, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <myyouporn.com> domain name is registered with Name.com, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Name.com, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Name.com, 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 March 4, 2021, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of March 24, 2021 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 email@example.com. Also on March 4, 2021, 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 March 29, 2021, 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, over the years, and through efforts and acquisitions, it and its corporate affiliates have gained a strong position in the online adult entertainment market, where Internet traffic, including its channeling and control, represents a crucial aspect. One of the keys for the Complainant to succeed is its business model. The Complainant has contributed to the advent of user-generated adult video portals that aggregate content from a variety of sources, where users can watch, like, share, comment and upload their own videos. Given that several websites operated under Complainant’s brands are free of charge, it causes a very important volume of web traffic (i) to such free of charge websites, as well as (ii) to Complainant’s advertisers and subscription-based websites where the free of charge websites lead to. For instance, as reported in a blog post dated December 4, 2019, entitled “YouPorn 2019 Year In Retrospect”, over the course of 2019, (i) <youporn.com> received over 5 billion visits, a notable one billion more than in 2018, (ii) users viewed 4 billion more videos than in 2018, tallying up to a total of 18 billion videos viewed and (iii) user searches also increased since 2018 by 1 billion, making for 2 billion user searches total in 2019. This success began very early on since, not long after its launch, the <youporn.com> website was, as of October 2007, the highest-ranked adult website according to Alexa Rank metric, drawing more Internet traffic than websites such as <cnn.com> and ranging in the top 100 globally visited websites, all categories/topics combined. In the same year, the site was adding 15 million new users each month. Also, as reported in a book entitled Porn.com, Making Sense of Online Pornography the <youporn.com> website had an Alexa Rank of 35 as of June 2008, meaning that only 34 website in the entire world-wide web had a better overall visitors/pageviews combination. Complainant has rights in the YOUPORN mark through its registration of the mark in the United States in 2008.
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its YOUPORN mark as incorporates the mark in its entirety and merely adds the descriptive term “my”. Complainant cites UDRP precedents to support its position.
According to Complainant, Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name nor has Respondent been authorized by Complainant to use the YOUPORN mark. Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services as Respondent registered it to misleadingly divert consumers away from Complainant’s website to Respondent’s own website which provides advertising, and competing material consisting of illegal reproduction of video content belonging to Complainant and Complainant’s corporate affiliate. Complainant cites UDRP precedents to support its position.
Further, says Complainant, Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith. Respondent uses the disputed domain name to disrupt Complainant’s business by diverting internet uses away from Complainant’s website to Respondent’s competing website for Respondent’s commercial gain. Furthermore, Respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant’s rights to the YOUPORN mark prior to registering the disputed domain name evidenced by the famous nature of Complainant’s mark. Complainant cites UDRP precedents to support its position.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant owns the mark YOUPORN and uses it to market adult entertainment.
Complainant’s rights in its mark date back to 2008.
The disputed domain name was registered in 2018.
Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use its mark.
The resolving website offers competing services and advertising.
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 mark in its entirety and merely adds the descriptive term “my” and the “.com” gTLD. The addition of a generic term and a gTLD fails sufficiently to distinguish a disputed domain name from a mark per Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Microsoft Corporation v. Thong Tran Thanh, FA 1653187 (Forum Jan. 21, 2016) (determining that confusing similarity exists where [a disputed domain name] contains Complainant’s entire mark and differs only by the addition of a generic or descriptive phrase and top-level domain as the differences between the domain name and its contained trademark are insufficient to differentiate one from the other for the purposes of the Policy).
Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark per 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 a response is lacking, relevant WHOIS information may be used to determine whether a respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). 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 for the disputed domain name lists the registrant as “Muhammad Moemin Ali”. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name per Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii).
Respondent uses the disputed domain name to misleadingly divert consumers away from Complainant’s website to Respondent’s own website which provides advertising, and competing material consisting of illegal reproduction of video content belonging to Complainant. Using a confusingly similar domain name to divert internet users to a respondent’s website featuring illegally reproduced content may not be a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use per Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) or (iii). See Bank of Am. Corp. v. Nw. Free Cmty. Access, FA 180704 (Forum Sept. 30, 2003) (“Respondent’s demonstrated intent to divert Internet users seeking Complainant’s website to a website of Respondent and for Respondent’s benefit is not a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) and it is not a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).”); see also Airbnb, Inc. v. Nima Rahnemoon, FA 1737766 (Forum July 25, 2017) (“It is clear from the evidence that Respondent has used the site attached to the Domain Name to promote illegal unauthorized use of Complainant’s systems… As such the Panel finds that Respondent does not have rights or a legitimate interest in the Domain Name.”). 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 per Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) or (iii). And the Panel finds that Respondent does not have 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.
Indeed, as already noted, Respondent uses the disputed domain name to disrupt Complainant’s business by diverting internet uses away from Complainant’s website to Respondent’s competing website for financial gain. Using a confusingly similar domain name to a divert internet users to a respondent’s competing website for financial gain can demonstrate bad faith per Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) and (iv). See LoanDepot.com, LLC v. Kaolee (Kay) Vang-Thao, FA1762308 (Forum Jan. 9, 2018) (Finding that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to offer competing loan services disrupts Complainant’s business under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii)); see also Google Inc. v. James Lucas / FireStudio / Jameschee / FIRESTUDIO / SEONG YONG, FA1502001605757 (Forum Apr. 7, 2015) (“This Panel agrees that Respondent’s inclusion of advertisements to likely reap click-through fees is an example of bad faith pursuant Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv).”). Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith per Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) and 4(b)(iv).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <myyouporn.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Richard Hill, Panelist
Dated: March 30, 2021
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