National Arbitration Forum




Internet Movie Database, Inc. v. Alf Temme

Claim Number: FA0504000449837



Complainant is Internet Movie Database, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Kevin M. Hayes, of Klarquist Sparkman, LLP, One World Trade Center, Suite 1600, 121 SW  Salmon Street, Portland, OR 97204.  Respondent is Alf Temme (“Respondent”), 8137 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91605.



The domain names at issue are <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <> and <>, registered with Moniker Online Services, Inc.



The undersigned certifies that they have acted independently and impartially and to the best of their knowledge have no known conflict in serving as Panelists in this proceeding.


Professor Darryl C. Wilson, Chair, Honorable Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., M. Kelly Tillery, Esq. as Panelist.



Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on April 1, 2005; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on April 5, 2005.


On April 1, 2005, Moniker Online Services, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the domain names <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <> and <> are registered with Moniker Online Services, Inc. and that the Respondent is the current registrant of the name.  Moniker Online Services, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Moniker Online Services, Inc. registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).


On April 7, 2005, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of April 27, 2005 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent via e-mail, post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts, and to,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and by e-mail.


Having received no Response from Respondent, using the same contact details and methods as were used or the Commencement Notification, the Forum transmitted to the parties a notification of Respondent Default.


On May 10, 2005, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a three-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Professor Darryl C. Wilson, Chair, Honorable Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr., M. Kelly Tillery, Esq. as Panelists.


Having reviewed the communication records, the Administrative Panel (the “Panel) finds that the Forum 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.”  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 names be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.




            A.            Complainant


Complainant contends that it is the owner of a famous trade name and trademark, IMDB, associated with the provision of movie reviews, information and searching services which it offers from its website at <>.  Complainant asserts that Respondent is engaged in typosquatting and further asserts that Respondent has registered 20 domain names that are confusingly similar to Complainant's trademark.  Complainant also states that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domains registered and that the domain names are being used in bad faith since they are not associated with any trade names or trademarks and the websites to which they are attached redirect users to a variety of miscellaneous sites.


            B.            Respondent


            Respondent did not file an answer to the Complaint,




Complainant is a well-known corporation based in Seattle, Washington that is in the business of providing services related to the movie industry.  Complainant has been offering services from its website at <> since as early as 1995 and has been cited by numerous publications regarding its popularity.  These publications indicate that Complainant's website is visited and its services used by millions of Internet users.  Complainant also has secured federal registrations for IMDB as service marks on the Principal Register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office pursuant to Reg. No. 2,730,592 dated June 24, 2003, Reg. No. 2,612,776 dated August 27, 2002 and Reg. No. 2,609,882 dated August 20, 2002, for International Classes 35, 38, and 41 respectively.


Respondent is an individual whose address, as reflected in the WHOIS database, indicates that he resides in North Hollywood, California.  The domain names in dispute are registered with Moniker Online Services, LLC whose address is located in Pompano Beach, Florida.  Respondent's domain names are variants of Complainant's mark with six fully including Complainant's trademark while adding one letter in front or at the end of the same, and the other fourteen adding one letter or numeral within Complainant's trademarks.




Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (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 the 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 the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(2)    the 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.


Identical and/or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has used the IMDB mark since 1995 in connection with movie reviews, information, and searching services from its website at <>.  Complainant has also provided evidence that it holds several federal registrations for the IMDB mark.  The Panel finds that the registration with the USPTO and Complainant's continuous use of the mark in commerce demonstrates

 Complainant's rights in the IMDB marks for purposes of Policy ¶4(a)(i).  See Janus Int'l Holding Co. v. Rademacher, D2002-0201 (WIPO Mar. 5, 2002)(finding that panel decisions have held that registration of a mark is prima facie evidence of validity, which creates a rebuttable presumption that the mark is inherently distinctive, and that a respondent has the burden of refuting this assumption).


Complainant further argues that the letters and numerals added to its trademark in forming the disputed domains are located adjacent to the correct keys for typing Complainant's mark on the QWERTY keyboard commonly used throughout the world.  The Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to Complainant's mark because Respondent's marks are common misspellings of Complainant's mark involving keys that are conspicuously placed adjacent to the current keys comprising Complainant's mark.  See Marriott Int'l., Inc. v. SEOCHO, FA 149187 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 28, 2003)(finding that the respondent's <> domain name was confusingly similar to the complainant's MARRIOTT mark because "Respondent's typosqatting, by its definition, renders the domain name confusingly similar to Complainant's mark").


Furthermore, the Panel finds that the addition of the generic top level domain ".com" fails to distinguish the domain names from Complainant's IMDB mark and therefore, the domain names are confusingly similar to the mark under Policy ¶4(a)(i).  See Rollerblade, Inc. v. McCrady, D2000-0429 (WIPO June 25, 2000)(finding that the top level of the domain name such as ".net" or ".com" does not affect the domain name for the purpose of determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar).


Rights or Legitimate Interests

Respondent has failed to submit a response in the proceeding thus the Panel may accept as true all reasonable allegations contained in the Complaint unless clearly contradicted by the evidence.  Respondent has failed to propose any set of circumstances that could substantiate its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶4(a)(ii).  See Vertical Solutions Mgmt, Inc. v. Webnet-Marketing, Inc., FA95095 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 31, 2000)(holding that a respondent's failure to respond allows all reasonable inferences of fact in the allegations of a complaint to be deemed true); see also Parfums Christion Dior v. QTR Corp., D2000-

0023 (WIPO Mar. 9, 2000)(finding that by not submitting a response, the respondent failed to invoke any circumstance which could demonstrate any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name). 


Complainant asserts that Respondent is not commonly known by any of the disputed names and notes that the WHOIS information states that Respondent is known as "Alf Temme."  The Panel finds that Respondent has failed to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain names under Policy ¶4(c)(ii).  See RMO, Inc. v. Burbridge, FA96949 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 16, 2001) (interpreting Policy ¶4(c)(ii) "to require a showing that one has been commonly known by the domain name prior to registration of the domain name to prevail").


The Panel also finds that Respondent's commercial use of the websites to which the disputed domain names resolve is not a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶4(c)(i) and not a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain names pursuant to Policy ¶4(c)(iii).  See MSNBC Cable, LLC v., D2000-1204 (WIPO Dec. 8, 2000)(finding no rights or legitimate interests in the famous MSNBC name where Respondent attempted to profit using Complainant's mark by redirecting internet traffic to its own website).


Registration and Use in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that Respondent's registration of multiple domain names incorporating various misspelled versions of Complainant's IMDB mark is evidence of bad faith registration.  See Harcourt, Inc. v. Fadness, FA 95247 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 8, 2000)(finding that one instance of registration of several infringing domain names satisfies the burden imposed by the Policy ¶4(b)(ii)).      


Furthermore the Panel agrees with Complainant's contention that Respondent's registration of the domain names in dispute constitutes bad faith because the domain names are merely typosquatted versions of the IMDB mark.  See Nat'l Ass'n of Prof'l Baseball Leagues v. Zuccarini, D2002-1011 (WIPO Jan. 21, 2003)("Typosquatting is the intentional misspelling of words with intent to intercept and siphon off traffic from its intended destination, by preying on Internauts who make common typing errors.  Typosquatting is inherently parasitic and of itself evidence of bad faith.").


Complainant argues that Respondent's registration of domain names confusingly similar to Complainant's mark suggests that Respondent knew of Complainant's rights in the IMDB mark.  Additionally, Complainant asserts that Complainant's federal registration gave Respondent constructive notice of the IMDB mark.  The Panel finds that Respondent registered the domain names in dispute based on the distinctive and well-known qualities of Complainant's mark which evidences bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶4(a)(iii).  See Sony Kabushiki Karsha v. Inja, Kil, D2000-1409 (WIPO Dec. 8, 2000)(finding bad faith where (1) Respondent knew or should have known of Complainant's Sony marks and (2) Respondent registered multiple domain names which infringed upon Complainant's mark); see also Orange Glo Int'l v. Jeff Blume, FA 118313 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 4, 2002)("Complainant's OXYCLEAN mark is listed on the Principal Register of the USPTO, a status that confers constructive notice on those seeking to register or use the mark or any confusingly similar variation thereof").  Complainant's marks are similarly situated and the Panel finds the conclusions of those cases apply with equal force to the present circumstances.



Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.


Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <> and <> domain names be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.



Professor Darryl C. Wilson, Chair

Honorable Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr.


Dated: May 24, 2005






I concur with both the reasoning and the results with the Majority as to the six (6) domain names as follows:

1.                  <>

2.                  <>

3.                  <>

4.                  <>

5.                  <>

6.                  <>

I also concur with the Majority’s reasoning and findings for all of the domain names in question except the reasoning and finding that the following domain names are confusingly similar to Complainant’s Mark:

1.            <>

2.            <>

3.            <>

4.            <>

5.            <>

6.            <>

7.                  <>

8.                  <>

9.            <>

10.            <>

11.              <>

12.              <>

13.              <>

14.              <>


These fourteen (14) domain names are simply, in my judgment, not confusingly similar to Complainant’s Mark.  Marks made up of four letters that are clearly abbreviations are not very strong and when one interrupts the flow of the Mark with a randomly (or even not so randomly) selected letter or number, it makes the resulting gibberish fairly distinct from the Complainant’s Mark.  For example, I do not believe that “ikmdb” brings to mind “imdb;” it is a meaningless string of letters and nothing more.

Respondent’s selection of letters/numbers to intersperse is curious, if not suspicious, at best, and is substantial and convincing evidence of registration and/or use in bad faith, but it is not evidence of confusingly similarity, the finding of which is an essential element of a successful complaint.

I would find in favor of Respondent on these fourteen because Complainant has failed to prove that they are confusingly similar to its Mark. 



M. Kelly Tillery, Esquire

Dated: May 24, 2005












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