HDR Global Trading Limited v. 正秀 正秀
Claim Number: FA2204001992098
Complainant is HDR Global Trading Limited (“Complainant”), represented by Mary D. Hallerman of SNELL & WILMER L.L.P, District of Columbia, USA. Respondent is 正秀 正秀 (“Respondent”), China.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <bitmexchina.com>, registered with Dynadot, 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.
Debrett G. Lyons as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on April 12, 2022; the Forum received payment on April 12, 2022.
On April 12 2022, Dynadot, LLC confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <bitmexchina.com> domain name is registered with Dynadot, LLC and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Dynadot, LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the Dynadot, 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 13, 2022, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of May 3, 2022 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 13, 2022, 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 May 9, 2022, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Debrett G. Lyons 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 asserts trademark rights in BITMEX. Complainant holds national and international registrations for that trademark. Complainant submits that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark.
Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Complainant alleges that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
The factual findings pertinent to the decision in this case are that:
1. Complainant uses the trademark BITMEX in connection with its business operating a cryptocurrency-based trading platform;
2. Complainant owns, inter alia, European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”) Reg. No. 16,462,327, registered August 11, 2017, for the trademark, BITMEX;
3. the disputed domain name was registered on February 17, 2022 and resolves to a Chinese language website which uses the trademark and appears to provide a crypto-currency trading platform; and
4. there is no relationship between the parties and Complainant has not authorized Respondent to use its trademark or to register any domain name incorporating the trademark.
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.
Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy requires a two-fold enquiry—a threshold investigation into whether a complainant has rights in a trademark, followed by an assessment of whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to that trademark.
It is well established by decisions under this Policy that a trademark registered with a national authority is evidence of trademark rights (see, for example, Mothers Against Drunk Driving v. phix, FA 174052 (Forum Sept. 25, 2003)). Complainant therefore has rights as it provides proof of its registration of the trademark BITMEX with the EUIPO, a pan-national trademark authority.
The disputed domain name takes the trademark to which it then adds the country name, “China”, and the gTLD, “.com”, both of which can be disregarded as trivial for the purposes of comparison of the trademark with the domain name (see, for example, Bloomberg Finance L.P. v. Nexperian Holding Limited, FA 1782013 (Forum June 4, 2018) (“Where a relevant trademark is recognisable within a disputed domain name, the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless, or otherwise) does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the first element.”; Dell Inc. v. SNAB Corporation, FA 1785051 (Forum May 30, 2018) finding that “[t]he geographic term “hyderabad” is also suggestive of Complainant as Complainant has corporate offices in Hyderabad, India.”).
The Panel finds the disputed domain name to be confusingly similar to the trademark and therefore finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy states that any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate rights or legitimate interests to a domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy:
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
Complainant need only make out a prima facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, after which the onus shifts to Respondent to rebut that case by demonstrating those rights or interests (see, for example, Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000‑0624).
The domain name registrant is “正秀 正秀”. There is no suggestion that Respondent might be commonly known by the disputed domain name, or that Respondent has any trademark rights. Complainant provides evidence that the disputed domain name resolves to a Chinese language website which uses Complainant’s trademark and appears to provide a crypto-currency trading platform in competition with the services provided by Complainant under the trademark.
The Panel finds that Complainant has made a prima facie case that Respondent lacks a right or interest in the disputed domain name (see, for example, General Motors LLC v. MIKE LEE, FA 1659965 (Forum Mar. 10, 2016) finding that “use of a domain to sell products and/or services that compete directly with a complainant’s business does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).”).
The onus shifts to Respondent. Absent a Response that onus is not met and so the Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.
Complainant must prove on the balance of probabilities both that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith and used in bad faith.
Further guidance on that requirement is found in paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, which sets out four circumstances, any one of which is taken to be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith if established.
The four specified circumstances are:
‘(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to respondent’s website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the site or location.’
The Panel finds that Respondent’s conduct falls under paragraph 4(b)(iv) above. The Panel has already found the domain name to be confusingly similar to the trademark. The likelihood is that the resolving website exists for commercial gain in one form or another. In terms of the Policy the Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the domain name was intended to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of that website (see, for example, Bittrex, Inc. v. Wuxi Yilian LLC, FA 1760517 (Forum Dec. 27, 2017) finding bad faith per Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where “Respondent registered and used the <lbittrex.com> domain name in bad faith by directing Internet users to a website that mimicked Complainant’s website in order to confuse users into believing that Respondent is Complainant, or is otherwise affiliated or associated with Complainant.”).
The Panel finds that the third and final element of the Policy is satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the <bitmexchina.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Debrett G. Lyons, Panelist
Dated: May 13, 2022
Click Here to return to the main Domain Decisions Page.
Click Here to return to our Home Page