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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. Netcetera CSG
Case No. D2000-0798
1. The Parties
Complainant is CBS Broadcasting, Inc., a New York corporation located in New York, New York, USA.
Respondent is Netcetera CSG, located in South CLE Elum, Washington, USA.
2. The Domain Name(s) and Registrar(s)
The disputed domain name is "18wheelsof justice.com".
The registrar is Network Solutions, Inc., 505 Huntmar Park Drive, Herndon, VA.
3. Procedural History
This action was brought in accordance with the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, dated October 24, 1999 ("the Policy") and the ICANN Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, dated October 24, 1999 ("the Rules").
The complaint was received by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center July 14, 2000. Notification of the Complaint was sent to Respondent on July 31, 2000, to the post and email addresses provided by Respondent to Network Solutions, Inc. in its application. Notification of Default was similarly sent to Respondent on September 13, 2000. The case was assigned to Mark V. B. Partridge on September 27, 2000. There has been no response from the Respondent.
I find that WIPO 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, I issue this Decision based on the Complaint, the Policy, the Uniform Rules, the WIPO Supplemental Rules, and without the benefit of any Response from Respondent.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is a provider of cable and network television programming and is the owner of all rights in a literary property known as "18 Wheels of Justice." Beginning in October 1999, Complainant announced through various media that it planned to broadcast a new dramatic series entitled "18 Wheels of Justice" starring Lucky Vanous, Billy Dee Williams and G. Gordon Liddy. Complainant has spent substantial sums of money to promote the series which airs three times a week on the cable channel TNN.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on October 29, 1999, the same day that an article about Complainant’s series appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. Respondent has provided no response.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under Paragraph 14 of the Rules, when a Respondent defaults, the Panel shall draw such inferences as it considers appropriate and proceed to a decision. Here, the Respondent has defaulted. It is therefore appropriate to accept the allegations of the Complainant as correct and to infer that Respondent is not able to rebut those allegations.
To obtain relief under the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires the complainant to prove each of the following:
(1) that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(2) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name; and
(3) the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.
A. Similarity Between Domain Name and Trademark
In this case, the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to the common law trademark of Complainant.
B. Respondent’s Legitimate Interest In Domain Names.
Under Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, evidence of a registrant’s rights to and legitimate interest in the domain name includes:
(1) demonstrable preparations to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to the dispute;
(2) an indication that the registrant has been commonly known by the domain name even if it has acquired no trademark rights; or
(3) legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name without intent to divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark.
Here, there is no evidence that Respondent has any right or legitimate interest in the domain name. The name seems to be unique and distinctive to Complainant, and I find no plausible explanation for Respondent’s selection of the name other than as a reference to Complainant’s program.
C. Bad Faith Registration and Use
Under Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, evidence of bad faith registration and use includes:
(1) circumstances indicating the domain name was registered for the purpose of resale to the trademark owner or competitor for profit;
(2) a pattern of conduct showing an attempt to prevent others from obtaining a domain name corresponding to their trademarks;
(3) registration of the domain name for the purpose of disrupting the business of competitor; or
(4) "by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark . . ."
Complainant claims that Respondent’s bad faith is shown by the fact that it offered to sell the name to Complainant for $8,000.00. Moreover, Respondent’s registration prevents Complainant from reflecting its mark in the .com domain. Respondent has not associated the domain name with a web site, from which it might be possible to discern a legitimate purpose for registration of the domain name. Finding no legitimate explanation for Respondent’s registration of the domain name and considering the fact that Respondent offered to sell the domain name to Complainant for profit, I find that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
I conclude (a) that the domain name "18 wheelsofjustice.com" is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s common law mark 18 WHEELS OF JUSTICE (b) that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name and (c) that Respondent registered and used the domain name in bad faith. Therefore, pursuant to Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the domain name should be transferred to Complainant.
Mark V. B. Partridge
Dated: October 11, 2000