AbbVie, Inc. v. Jack Gao
Claim Number: FA2007001906861
Complainant is AbbVie, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Molly Buck Richard of Richard Law Group, Inc., United States. Respondent is Jack Gao ("Respondent”), Argentina.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <abbvie.ceo> (‘the Domain Name’), registered with NameCheap, Inc..
The undersigned certifies that she has acted independently and impartially and to the best of her knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
Dawn Osborne as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on July 31, 2020; the Forum received payment on July 31, 2020.
On August 2, 2020, NameCheap, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <abbvie.ceo> domain name is registered with NameCheap, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. 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 August 3, 2020, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of August 24, 2020 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 August 3, 2020, 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 25, 2020 pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Dawn Osborne 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.
The Complainant’s contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is the owner of the well-known ABBVIE mark registered, inter alia, in the USA for medical services and pharmaceutical preparations with first use recorded as 2013.
The addition of the gTLD ".ceo" does not distinguish the Domain Name registered in 2020 from the Complainant’s mark and they are identical for the purposes of the Policy.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, is not commonly known by it or authorised by the Complainant.
The Domain Name does not resolve to a web site. Passive holding is not a bona fide offering of goods or services or legitimate noncommercial or fair use. It is registration and use in bad faith.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
The Complainant is the owner of the ABBVIE mark registered, inter alia, in the USA for medical services and pharmaceutical preparations with first use recorded as 2013.
The Domain Name registered in 2020 has not been used.
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 Domain Name consists of the Complainant's ABBVIE mark (which is registered, inter alia, in USA for medical services and pharmaceutical preparations with the first use recorded as 2013) merely adding the gTLD ".ceo".
The gTLD ".ceo" does not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s mark. See Red Hat Inc v Haecke FA 726010 (Forum July 24, 2006) (concluding that the redhat.org domain name is identical to the complainant's red hat mark because the mere addition of the gTLD was insufficient to differentiate the disputed domain name from the mark).
Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Domain Name is identical for the purpose of the Policy to a mark in which the Complainant has rights.
As such the Panel holds that Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been satisfied.
The Complainant has not authorised the use of its mark. The Respondent has not answered this Complaint and there is no evidence or reason to suggest the Respondent is, in fact, commonly known by the Domain Name. See Alaska Air Group, Inc. and its subsidiary, Alaska Airlines v. Song Bin, FA1408001574905 (Forum September 17, 2014) (holding that the respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain name as demonstrated by the WHOIS information and based on the fact that the complainant had not licensed or authorized the respondent to use its ALASKA AIRLINES mark).
There has been no use of the mark which is being passively held. See Hewlett-Packard Co. v Shemesh, FA 434145 (Forum April 20, 2005) (Where the panel found inactive use is not a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy 4(c)(i)).
As such the Panelist finds that the Respondent does not have rights or a legitimate interest in the Domain Name and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
The Respondent has not answered this Complaint or explained why it should be allowed to register a domain name containing the Complainant’s mark which is well known for medical services and pharmaceutical products.
The overriding objective of the Policy is to curb the abusive registration of domain names in circumstances where the registrant seeks to profit from or exploit the trade mark of another. Passive holding of a domain name containing an established third-party mark can be bad faith registration and use. See Telstra Corporation Limited v Nuclear Marshmallows, D2000-0003 (WIPO Feb. 18, 2000).
As such, the Panel holds that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb of the Policy.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <abbvie.ceo> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Dawn Osborne, Panelist
Dated: August 25, 2020
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