Redcats USA, L.P. v. Stefan Hansmann / Two Stooges Llc
Claim Number: FA1106001396286
Complainant is Redcats USA, L.P. (“Complainant”), represented by Stephen M. Werner of Redcats USA, Indiana, USA. Respondent is Stefan Hansmann / Two Stooges Llc (“Respondent”), China.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <womanwithin.co>, registered with Dominio Amigo.
The undersigned certifies that he or she has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his or her knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
Sandra J. Franklin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on June 29, 2011; the National Arbitration Forum received payment on June 29, 2011.
On June 30, 2011, Dominio Amigo confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <womanwithin.co> domain name is registered with Dominio Amigo and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Dominio Amigo has verified that Respondent is bound by the Dominio Amigo 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 June 30, 2011, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of July 20, 2011 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 June 30, 2011, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the email 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 National Arbitration Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On July 26, 2011, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Sandra J. Franklin as Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the National Arbitration 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 National Arbitration Forum's Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable, without the benefit of a response from Respondent.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <womanwithin.co> domain name is identical to Complainant’s WOMAN WITHIN mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <womanwithin.co> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <womanwithin.co> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Redcats USA, L.P., is a large retailer of woman’s apparel. Complainant utilizes the WOMAN WITHIN mark to promote and support its catalog sales vehicle. Complainant owns multiple federal trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for the WOMAN WITHIN mark (e.g., Reg. No. 3,220,573 registered March 20, 2007).
Respondent, Stefan Hansmann / Two Stooges Llc, registered the disputed domain name on July 20, 2010. The disputed domain name resolves to a site offering links to Complainant’s competitors in the women’s apparel market.
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."
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(e), 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 and inferences set forth in the Complaint as true unless the evidence is clearly contradictory. See Vertical Solutions Mgmt., Inc. v. webnet-marketing, inc., FA 95095 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 31, 2000) (holding that the respondent’s failure to respond allows all reasonable inferences of fact in the allegations of the complaint to be deemed true); see also Talk City, Inc. v. Robertson, D2000-0009 (WIPO Feb. 29, 2000) (“In the absence of a response, it is appropriate to accept as true all allegations of the Complaint.”).
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.
The Panel finds that Complainant has established its rights in the WOMAN WITHIN mark by registering the mark with the USPTO. See Enter. Rent-A-Car Co. v. Language Direct, FA 306586 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 25, 2004) (finding that the complainant, who registered the ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR mark with the USPTO, successfully established rights in the mark); see also UnitedHealth Group Inc. v. Hassan, FA 947081 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 17, 2007) (finding “no difficulty” in holding that the complainant had established rights in its asserted marks for the purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through its trademark registrations with the USPTO).
The Panel also finds that Respondent’s disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s WOMAN WITHIN mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). The disputed domain name contains that entire mark while removing the space between the two terms comprising the mark and adding the country-code top-level domain (“ccTLD”) “.co.” The removal of a space and the addition of a ccTLD have repeatedly been found insufficient when making a determination regarding identity or confusing similarity under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Isleworth Land Co. v. Lost in Space, SA, FA 117330 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 27, 2002) (“[I]t is a well established principle that generic top-level domains are irrelevant when conducting a Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) analysis.”); see also Gardline Surveys Ltd. v. Domain Fin. Ltd., FA 153545 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 27, 2003) (“The addition of a top-level domain is irrelevant when establishing whether or not a mark is identical or confusingly similar, because top-level domains are a required element of every domain name.”).
Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
The Panel finds that Complainant has made its prima facie case indicating that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; therefore, Respondent now bears the burden of proving its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See Domtar, Inc. v. Theriault., FA 1089426 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 4, 2008) (“It is well established that, once a complainant has made out a prima facie case in support of its allegations, the burden shifts to respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.”). The Panel may assume that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name based upon its failure to file a response. See Charles Jourdan Holding AG v. AAIM, D2000-0403 (WIPO June 27, 2000) (finding it appropriate for the panel to draw adverse inferences from the respondent’s failure to reply to the complaint). Nonetheless, the Panel will examine the entire record and make the determination according to the factors listed in Policy ¶ 4(c) and Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
The Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). This finding is based upon the lack of evidence on record indicating that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name and the WHOIS information which does not contain any information suggesting such a relationship. See Coppertown Drive-Thru Sys., LLC v. Snowden, FA 715089 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 17, 2006) (concluding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <coppertown.com> domain name where there was no evidence in the record, including the WHOIS information, suggesting that the respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain name); see also St. Lawrence Univ. v. Nextnet Tech, FA 881234 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 21, 2007) (concluding a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name where there was no evidence in the record indicating that the respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain name)
The Panel also finds that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) and Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). Complainant contends and the Panel agrees that Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a site offering links to Complainant’s competitors in the women’s apparel market. The site includes links to companies such as Talbots and Lane Bryant, which are both well-known purveyors of women’s apparel. See ALPITOUR S.p.A. v. Albloushi, FA 888651 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 26, 2007) (rejecting the respondent’s contention of rights and legitimate interests in the <bravoclub.com> domain name because the respondent was merely using the domain name to operate a website containing links to various competing commercial websites, which the panel did not find to be a use in connection with 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)); see also TM Acquisition Corp. v. Sign Guards, FA 132439 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 31, 2002) (finding that the respondent’s diversionary use of the complainant’s marks to send Internet users to a website which displayed a series of links, some of which linked to the complainant’s competitors, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services).
Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent’s <womanwithin.co> domain name resolves to a website offering links to Complainant’s competitors in the women’s apparel market. Internet users may click through to the linked sites where they may purchase goods from a third party rather than Complainant. The Panel finds that this is evidence of Respondent’s bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See Persohn v. Lim, FA 874447 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 19, 2007) (finding bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii) where a respondent used the disputed domain name to operate a commercial search engine with links to the complainant’s competitors); see also Tesco Pers. Fin. Ltd. v. Domain Mgmt. Servs., FA 877982 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 13, 2007) (concluding that the use of a confusingly similar domain name to attract Internet users to a directory website containing commercial links to the websites of a complainant’s competitors represents bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii)).
The Panel infers that Respondent collects click through fees from the linked sites for each Internet user diverted thereto. Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent is gaining commercially from the operation of the disputed domain name and capitalizing on the confusion created, evidence of bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See BPI Comm’cns, Inc. v. Boogie TV LLC, FA 105755 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 30, 2002) (“Complainants are in the music and entertainment business. The links associated with <billboard.tv> and <boogie.tv> appear to be in competition for the same Internet users, which Complainants are trying to attract with the <billboard.com> web site. There is clearly a likelihood of confusion between <billboard.tv> and BILLBOARD as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the web site or of a product or service on the web site.”); see also TM Acquisition Corp. v. Warren, FA 204147 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 8, 2003) (“Although Complainant’s principal website is <century21.com>, many Internet users are likely to use search engines to find Complainant’s website, only to be mislead to Respondent’s website at the <century21realty.biz> domain name, which features links for competing real estate websites. Therefore, it is likely that Internet users seeking Complainant’s website, but who end up at Respondent’s website, will be confused as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent’s website.”).
Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been 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 <womanwithin.co> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Sandra J. Franklin, Panelist
Dated: August 2, 2011
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