LTWHP, LLC v. Client Care / Web Commerce Communications Limited
Claim Number: FA2111001974208
Complainant is LTWHP, LLC (“Complainant”), represented by Eric Perrott of Gerben Perrott, PLLC, District of Columbia, USA. Respondent is Client Care / Web Commerce Communications Limited (“Respondent”), Malaysia.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <lotto-argentina.com>, registered with ALIBABA.COM SINGAPORE E-COMMERCE PRIVATE LIMITED.
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 November 22, 2021; the Forum received payment on November 22, 2021.
On November 23, 2021, ALIBABA.COM SINGAPORE E-COMMERCE PRIVATE LIMITED confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <lotto-argentina.com> domain name is registered with ALIBABA.COM SINGAPORE E-COMMERCE PRIVATE LIMITED and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. ALIBABA.COM SINGAPORE E-COMMERCE PRIVATE LIMITED has verified that Respondent is bound by the ALIBABA.COM SINGAPORE E-COMMERCE PRIVATE LIMITED 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 November 30, 2021, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of December 20, 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 November 30, 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 December 26, 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 it markets clothing, accessories, sporting foods and footwear. Complainant has rights in the LOTTO mark through its registration in the United States in 1986.
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its LOTTO mark as it incorporates the mark in its entirety and merely adds a hyphen, the geographic term “argentina”, and the “.com” generic top-level domain (“gTLD”).
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 Complainant authorized or licensed Respondent to use its LOTTO mark in any way. Respondent does not use the disputed domain name for any bona fide offering of goods or services, nor any legitimate noncommercial or fair use, but instead passes off as Complainant to phish for user information. Further, the resolving website uses Complainant’s mark and logo to mimic Complainant’s legitimate website and list various third-party items for sale, including some that purport to be Complainant’s products.
Further, says Complainant, Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith. Respondent attracts internet users for commercial gain by passing off as Complainant on the disputed domain name’s resolving website in order to offer competing products and to steal visitors’ financial and personal information.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant has registered trademarks for the mark LOTTO and uses it to market clothing, accessories, sporting foods and footwear. The mark was registered in 1986.
Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use its mark.
The disputed domain name was registered in 2021.
The resolving website offers unauthorized or counterfeit versions of Complainant’s products; it displays Complainant’s mark and logo.
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 LOTTO mark in its entirety and merely adds a hyphen, the geographic term “argentina”, and the “.com” generic top-level domain (“gTLD”). Under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i), adding a geographic term spaced by a hyphen, along with the “.com” gTLD is generally insufficient in differentiating a disputed domain name from the mark it incorporates. See Health Devices Corp. v. Aspen S T C, FA 158254 (Forum July 1, 2003) (“[T]he addition of punctuation marks such as hyphens is irrelevant in the determination of confusing similarity pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”); see also Franklin Covey Co. v. franklincoveykorea, FA 1774660 (Forum Apr. 11, 2018) (finding that the <franklincoveykorea.com> domain name is confusingly similar to the FRANKLIN COVEY mark, as “[t]he addition of a geographic term and a gTLD do not negate confusing similarity between a domain name and a mark per Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).”). Therefore the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s 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: under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii), where a response is lacking, relevant WHOIS Information may demonstrate that a Respondent is not commonly known by a disputed domain name. See Bittrex, Inc. v. Operi Manaha, FA 1815225 (Forum Dec. 10, 2018) (concluding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <appbittrex.com> domain name where the WHOIS information listed Respondent as “Operi Manaha,” and nothing else in the record suggested Respondent was authorized to use the BITTREX mark.). Here, the WHOIS of record identifies Respondent as “Web Commerce Communications Limited”. Therefore the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii).
Complainant presents evidence showing that the resolving website offers for sale unauthorized or counterfeit versions of Complainant’s products, displaying Complainant’s mark and logo. Under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) and (iii), using a disputed domain name to sell unauthorized or counterfeit products is generally not considered a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use. See Keihin Corp. v. Youli Ltd., FA 1106190 (Forum Dec. 18, 2007) (finding no rights and legitimate interests when the respondent sold counterfeit versions of the complainant’s products in competition with the complainant’s business); see also Fossil Group, Inc. v. wuwuima wu FA 1544486 (Forum Mar. 21, 2014) (finding the use of the Fossil mark and images of what appear to be genuine Fossil products including watches, wallets and purses established that Respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed 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. And the Panel finds that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Complainant alleges that Respondent uses the disputed domain name to phish for users’ personal and financial information. But it presents no evidence to support that allegation. The Panel finds that Complainant has failed to satisfy its burden of proof for this allegation, consequently it will not discuss it further.
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, the resolving website offers for sale unauthorized or counterfeit versions of Complainant’s products. Under Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) and (iv), using a disputed domain name to host unauthorized or counterfeit goods is generally evidence of bad faith disruption for commercial gain. See H-D U.S.A., LLC v. Linchunming / linchunming, FA1411001589214 (Forum Dec. 22, 2014) (“As mentioned above, Respondent uses the domain name to promote counterfeit goods like those offered by Complainant. Doing so disrupts Complainant’s business and demonstrates Respondent’s bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii).”); see also Hunter Fan Co. v. MSS, FA 98067 (Forum Aug. 23, 2001) (finding bad faith where the respondent used the disputed domain name to sell the complainant’s products without permission and mislead Internet users by implying that the respondent was affiliated with the complainant). Therefore the Panel finds bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv).
Further, Respondent registered the disputed domain name with actual knowledge of Complainant’s mark: the resolving website displays Complainant’s mark and logo. While constructive notice is insufficient to demonstrate bad faith, actual knowledge of a complainant’s rights in a mark prior to registration may be evidence of bad faith per Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Custom Modular Direct LLC v. Custom Modular Homes Inc., FA 1140580 (Forum Apr. 8, 2008) (“There is no place for constructive notice under the Policy.”); see also Orbitz Worldwide, LLC v. Domain Librarian, FA 1535826 (Forum Feb. 6, 2014) (“The Panel notes that although the UDRP does not recognize ‘constructive notice’ as sufficient grounds for finding Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) bad faith, the Panel here finds actual knowledge through the name used for the domain and the use made of it.”); 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). The Panel finds that Respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant’s rights in the mark prior to Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name and that this constitutes bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <lotto-argentina.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Richard Hill, Panelist
Dated: December 27, 2021
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