Northwest Airlines, Inc., v Mario Koch

Claim Number: FA0009000095688


The Complainant is Northwest Airlines Inc., , St.Paul, MN, USA ("Complainant") represented by Joshua A Burke, Dorsey & Whitney LLP. The Respondent is Mario Koch, Ingolstadt, Bayern, DE ("Respondent").


The domain name at issue is registered with Network Solutions.


On October 25, 2000, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a One Member panel, the Forum appointed James P. Buchele as Panelist. The Panelist certifies that he has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his knowledge, has no known conflict in serving as the panelist in this proceeding.


Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum ("the Forum") electronically on September 25, 2000; The Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on September 25, 2000.

On September 27, 2000, Network Solutions confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name is registered with Network Solutions and that the Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Network Solutions has verified that Respondent is bound by the Network Solutions 5.0 registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s UDRP.

On September 28, 2000, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of October 18, 2000 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 by e-mail.

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

Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the Forum has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Uniform 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 the Respondent.


The Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from the Respondent to the Complainant.


A. Complainant

Complainant alleges the following:

    1. The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
    2. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
    3. The domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not submit a response.


Complainant is the world’s fourth largest airline. Complainant holds United States service mark registrations for, among others, NORTHWEST and NORTHWEST AIRLINES. Complainant is the registered holder of several domain names including,, and, all of which direct Internet users to Complainant’s web site.

Respondent registered the domain name on February 26, 1998. On several occasions, Respondent has offered to sell the domain name to Complainant. In 1998 Respondent was the registrant of at least 256 domain names. Currently, the evidence submitted indicates Respondent is the registrant of at least 50 domain names.


Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Policy ("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

The domain name is identical to Complainant’s federally protected marks. See e.g. Alaska Airlines, Inc. v. Millenium Depot, D2000-0276 (WIPO May 17, 2000) (finding the domain name to be identical with and confusingly similar to the Alaska Airlines marks, each of which contain the phrase "Alaska Airlines"); Easyjet Airline Company Limited v. Stephen B. Harding, D2000-0398 (WIPO June 22, 2000) (finding it prima facie obvious that the domain name was virtually identical to the Complainant's EASYJET mark and therefore that they are confusingly similar).

Rights or Legitimate Interests

Respondent did not demonstrate any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name Therefore, this panel must conclude that Respondent has no such rights.

Registration and Use in Bad Faith

The domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Because of the notoriety of Complainant’s mark, Respondent could not have registered the domain name in good faith. Under the ICANN Policy, Respondent warranted, by registering the domain name, that… "(b) to your knowledge, the registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party." ICANN Policy ¶ 2(b). The selection of a domain name which entirely incorporates the name of the world’s fourth largest airline could not have been done in good faith. See Singapore Airlines Limited v. P & P Servicios de Communicacion, D2000-0643 (WIPO August 29, 2000) (holding that "the domain name is so obviously connected with a well-known airline that its very registration and use by someone with no connection with the airline suggests opportunistic bad faith. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more blatant exercise in "cybersquatting").

Further, Respondnet proceeded to offer the domain name for sale, in direct fulfillment of ICANN Policy ¶ 4(b) which states that bad faith is evidenced by:

circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have 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 your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name.

Respondent made several attempts at extracting thousands of dollars from Complainant in exchange for the transfer of the domain name.


Having established all three elements required by the ICANN Policy, it is the decision of this panel that the requested relief be granted.

Accordingly, it is ordered that the domain name be transferred from the Respondent to the Complainant.


James P. Buchele, Arbitrator

Dated: October 27, 2000



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