Licensing IP International S.ŕ.r.l. v. Andrei Ivanov
Claim Number: FA2107001954239
Complainant is Licensing IP International S.ŕ.r.l. (“Complainant”), represented by ROBIC, LLP, Canada. Respondent is Andrei Ivanov (“Respondent”), Russian Federation.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <from-youporn.com>, registered with NameCheap, 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.
Paul M. DeCicco, as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on July 8, 2021; the Forum received payment on July 8, 2021.
On July 8, 2021, NameCheap, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <from-youporn.com> domain name is registered with NameCheap, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the names. NameCheap, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the NameCheap, 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 July 12, 2021, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of August 2, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Also on July 12, 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 August 4, 2021, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Paul M. DeCicco, 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 contends as follows:
Complainant operates numerous websites featuring adult-oriented content.
Complainant has rights in the YOUPORN mark through its registration of the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
Respondent’s <from-youporn.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark as Respondent merely adds the word “from,” a hyphen, and the “.com” generic top-level domain (“gTLD”).
Respondents has no rights or legitimate interests in the <from-youporn.com> domain name as Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain names nor has Respondent been licensed, authorized, or otherwise permitted by Complainant to use Complainant’s mark. Furthermore, Respondent’s use is not a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use, as Respondent is merely diverting Internet users seeking Complainant to an unaffiliated and competing website.
Respondent registered and used the <from-youporn.com> domain name in bad faith. Specifically, Respondent is attempting to disrupt Complainant’s business by diverting Internet users to a website that may present a false impression of affiliation with Complainant. Furthermore, Respondent is attempting to attract Internet users for commercial gain by diverting Internet users to a competing website. Finally, Respondent had actual or constructive knowledge of Complainant’s rights in the YOUPORN mark at the time of registration.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant has rights in the YOUPORN trademark.
Respondent is not affiliated with Complainant and had not been authorized to use Complainant’s trademark in any capacity.
Respondent registered the at‑issue domain name after Complainant acquired rights in the YOUPORN trademark.
Respondent’s domain name addresses a website that displays Complainant’s trademark and offers products that compete with YOUPORN for sale to third-parties.
Respondent uses the at-issue domain name to address an unaffiliated and competing website
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 at-issue domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights.
Complainant shows that it has a USPTO registration for its YOUPORN trademark. Such registration is sufficient to demonstrate Complainant’s rights in the YOUPORN mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Microsoft Corp. v. Burkes, FA 652743 (Forum Apr. 17, 2006) (“Complainant has established rights in the MICROSOFT mark through registration of the mark with the USPTO.”).
Respondent’s <from-youporn.com> domain name contains Complainant’s YOUPORN trademark prefixed with the term “from” and a hyphen with all followed by the top-level domain name, “.com.” The differences between Respondent’s domain name and Complainant’s trademark are insufficient to distinguish the <from-youporn.com> domain name from the YOUPORN trademark for the purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). Therefore, the Panel concludes that Respondent’s <from-youporn.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark. See Morgan Stanley v. Khodor Dimassi, FA 1672287 (Forum June 6, 2016) (finding that the added letter ‘e’ in <emorganstanleybank.com> insufficient to distinguish the domain name from complainant’s MORGAN STANLEY mark); see also Pirelli & C. S.p.A. v. Tabriz, FA 921798 (Apr. 12, 2007) (finding that the addition of a hyphen between terms of a registered mark did not differentiate the <p-zero.org> domain name from the P ZERO mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i)); see also Katadyn N. Am. v. Black Mountain Stores, FA 520677 (Forum Sept. 7, 2005) (“[T]he addition of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) “.net” is irrelevant for purposes of determining whether a domain name is identical to a mark.”).
Under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), Complainant must first make out a prima facie case showing that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in respect of an at-issue domain name and then the burden, in effect, shifts to Respondent to come forward with evidence of its rights or legitimate interests. See Hanna-Barbera Prods., Inc. v. Entm’t Commentaries, FA 741828 (Forum Aug. 18, 2006).
Respondent lacks both rights and legitimate interests in respect of the at-issue domain name. Respondent is not authorized to use Complainant’s trademark in any capacity and, as discussed below, there are no Policy ¶ 4(c) circumstances from which the Panel might find that Respondent has rights or interests in respect of the at‑issue domain name.
The WHOIS information for <from-youporn.com> identifies the domain name’s registrant s “Andrei Ivanov” and the record before the Panel contains no evidence showing that Respondent is commonly known by the <from-youporn.com> domain name. The Panel therefore concludes that Respondent is not commonly known by the <from-youporn.com> domain name for the purposes of 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); see also, Emerson Electric Co. v. golden humble / golden globals, FA 1787128 (Forum June 11, 2018) (“lack of evidence in the record to indicate a respondent is authorized to use [the] complainant’s mark may support a finding that [the] respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name per Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii)”).
Additionally, Respondent uses <from-youporn.com> to pass itself off as Complainant in furtherance of diverting internet users to an unaffiliated and competing website. Respondent’s use the of the domain name in this manner is neither a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i), nor a non-commercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Gumwand Inc. v. jared brading, FA 1794058 (Forum Aug. 6, 2018) (finding that use of a confusingly similar domain name to resolve to a website which purported to sell chewing gum-removal equipment which was either counterfeit versions of Complainant’s goods, or goods which competed directly with Complainant’s chewing gum-removal equipment business, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use within Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) or (iii)).
Given the forgoing, Complainant satisfies its initial burden and shows Respondent’s lack of rights and legitimate interests in the at-issue domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
The at-issue domain name was registered and used in bad faith. As discussed below without limitation, bad faith circumstances are present from which the Panel concludes that Respondent acted in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
As mentioned above regarding rights or legitimate interests, Respondent uses the confusingly similar <from-youporn.com> domain name to address a website offering products in competition with Complainant’s products. Using a confusingly similar domain name in such a manner is disruptive to Complainant’s business and falsely indicates that there is a sanctioned relationship between Complainant and Respondent when there is no such relationship. Respondent’s use of the domain name in this manner demonstrates Respondent’s bad faith under Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) and (iv). See Twitter v. Domain Admin, FA 1607451 (Forum April 2, 2015) (“Respondent’s use of the domain name disrupted Complainant’s business and misappropriated the trademark value of Complainant’s mark to wrangle visitors to its website thereby demonstrating Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of the name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii).”); see also, Walgreen Co. v. MUHAMMAD SALEEM / WALGREENSGENERAL TRADING LLC, FA 1790453 (Forum July 1, 2018) (“Respondent’s registration and use of the confusingly similar <walgreensshop.com> domain name in furtherance of trading competitively on [c]omplainant’s WALGREENS trademark demonstrates Respondent’s bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) and (iv).”).
Furthermore, Respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant’s rights in the YOUPORN mark when it registered <from-youporn.com> as a domain name. Respondent’s prior knowledge is evident from the notoriety of Complainant’s YOUPORN trademark and from Respondent’s use of the <from-youporn.com> website in furtherance of featuring products that compete with or resemble YOUPORN products. Registering and using a confusingly similar domain name with knowledge of Complainant’s rights in such domain name shows Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of the <from-youporn.com> domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Minicards Vennootschap Onder FIrma Amsterdam v. Moscow Studios, FA 1031703 (Forum Sept. 5, 2007) (holding that respondent registered a domain name in bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) after concluding that respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant's mark when registering the disputed domain name); see also, Univision Comm'cns Inc. v. Norte, FA 1000079 (Forum Aug. 16, 2007) (rejecting the respondent's contention that it did not register the disputed domain name in bad faith since the panel found that the respondent had knowledge of the complainant's rights in the UNIVISION mark when registering the disputed domain name).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <from-youporn.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Paul M. DeCicco, Panelist
Dated: August 5, 2021
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