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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
DRAFT ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Pfizer Inc. v. Kurt Walstrom/Domain Finder
Case No. D2000-0570
1. The Parties
235 East 42nd Street
New York, New York 10017 USA
Hale and Dorr LLP
Nels T. Lippert
Johanna M. Toth
405 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10174 USA
1488 Saint Albans St.
St. Paul, Minnesota USA
P.O. Box 22353
St. Paul, Minnesota 55122 USA
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name in dispute is: "pfizeranimalhealth.com"
The registrar for the disputed domain name is:
575 8th Avenue
New York, New York 10018
3. Procedural History
This dispute is to be resolved in accordance with the Uniform Policy for Domain Name Dispute Resolution (the Policy) and Rules (the Rules) approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on October 24, 1999, and the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center’s Supplemental Rules for the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the Center, the Supplemental Rules).
The Complaint was filed on June 13, 2000. On June 14, 2000, the Center asked the registrar, Register.com, Inc., to check and report back on the registrant for the disputed domain name "pfizeranimalhealth.com". On June 16, 2000, Register.com, Inc. reported to the Center that the registrant was the Respondents: Kurt Walstrom and the entity Domain Finder.
On June 21, 2000, the Center forwarded a copy of the Complaint to Respondents by registered mail and by e-mail, and this proceeding officially began. Respondents did not file a response by July 10, 2000, as required by the Rules, and were declared to be in default on July 19, 2000.
The Administrative Panel submitted a Declaration of Impartiality and Independence on August 1, 2000, and the Center proceeded to appoint the Panel on August 3, 2000.
This Panel finds the Center has adhered to the Policy and the Rules in administering this Case.
This Decision is due by August 17, 2000.
4. Factual Background
Complainant, Pfizer Inc., a Delaware (USA) pharmaceutical corporation with offices in New York City, has organized a constituent group called Pfizer Animal Health. This group specializes in veterinary medicines and reported 1999 sales of U.S. $1,345 million. Complainant owns numerous trademarks using the name "Pfizer", including a registration for "VIP Privileges Pfizer Animal Health."
Respondents, Kurt Walstrom and his entity Domain Finder, on February 4, 2000, registered the domain name "pfizeranimalhealth.com". Complainant initiated this proceeding to contest Respondents’ right to use this domain name. Respondents did not file a Response to the Complaint and, on July 19, 2000, Respondents were declared in default in these proceedings.
5. The Parties’ Contentions
Complainant, Pfizer Inc., is the owner of numerous world-famous trademarks using the Pfizer name for pharmaceutical products.
Complainant owns a constituent group, Pfizer Animal Health that specializes in veterinary medicines, and in 1999, reportedly sold over U.S. $ 1, 345 million in veterinary medicines.
Respondents, Kurt Walstrom and Domain Finder, registered the domain name "pfizeranimalhealth.com" in bad faith, with no right or interest in the domain name, and with the intent to sell the name to Complainant.
Respondents did not file a Response and are in default.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order for Complainant to prevail and have the disputed domain name "pfizeranimalhealth.com" transferred to itself, Complainant must prove the following (the Policy, para 4(a)(i-iii)):
i. the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
ii. the Respondents have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
iii. the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
This Panel finds that, since Respondents are in default, where Complainant’s evidence is credible, it is appropriate to base this Decision on Complainant’s evidence.
Complainant owns numerous trademarks using the name "Pfizer" (for example: U.S. Trademark Registration No. 626,088 dated May 1, 1956, for "Pfizer" in International Class 5, and U.S. Service Mark Registration No. 2,168,957 dated June 30, 1998, for "VIP PRIVILEGES PFIZER ANIMAL HEALTH" in International Class 35. Complaint Annex 3).
This Panel finds Respondents’ domain name "pfizeranimalhealth.com" is identical in its non-generic elements to Complainant’s famous registered trademarks.
This Panel further finds that Respondents have no legitimate interest in the domain name since there is no evidence showing Respondents were using the domain name for any type of activity.
Finally, this Panel finds Respondents registered the domain name in bad faith because they had actual and constructive notice of Complainant’s famous trademarks. Respondents were using the disputed domain name in bad faith based on Complainant’s credible evidence of Respondents attempting to sell the domain name to Complainant (the Complaint, Annex 4).
This decision is based on the foregoing findings that Respondents’ domain name "pfizeranimalhealth.com" is identical in its nongeneric parts to Complainant’s famous trademarks. The Respondents, Kurt Walstrom and Domain Finder, have no legitimate interest in this domain name, and registered and are using it in bad faith. Therefore, based on ICANN Policy para 4 (i) and Rule 15, this Panel orders that the disputed domain name, "pfizeranimalhealth.com", be turned over to Complainant, Pfizer Inc.
Dennis A. Foster
Dated: August 17, 2000