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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. v. Amit Dhir
Case No. D2000-0862
1. The Parties
Complainant is The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. with a principal place of business at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York, 10022, U.S.A.
Respondent is Amit Dhir whose address is listed by Network Solutions, Inc, as H 419 Naraina Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi 110 028, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name in dispute is "mcgraw-hill.org".
Although the Complaint initially identified the domain name as "www.mcgraw-hill.org", the prefix "www" is an accepted form of introduction on the Internet and is not considered by the Panel to be part of the domain name which has been identified by the Registrar as "mcgraw-hill.org".
The Registrar is Network Solutions, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") has provided documentation showing:
a) The Center received Complainant’s Complaint by e-mail and in hardcopy on July 26, 2000. The Complaint states that a copy thereof had been sent or transmitted to the Respondent on July 24, 2000, by first class mail on July 24, 2000, and that a copy had been sent or transmitted to the Registrar on July 24, 2000, by facsimile.
b) Following a request for verification made by the Center to the Registrar on August 5, 2000, the Registrar confirmed that it had received a copy of the Complaint from the Complainant, that "mcgraw-hill.org" was registered with the Registrar Network Solutions, Inc., and that the current registrant of the domain name was AMIT DHIR of H 419 Naraina Vihar, New Delhi, New Delhi 110028, India, that the registrant’s Administrative Contact, Billing Contact was Amit Dhir and the Technical Contact, Zone Contact Gurpreet Singh, in each case providing e-mail, fax and post delivery addresses. The Registrar also confirmed that Network Solutions’ 5.0 Service Agreement is in effect and that the domain name registration is in "Active"status.
c) On August 8, 2000, the Center forwarded the Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding to Complainant by e-mail, and to Respondent by post/courier (with enclosures), by facsimile(without attachments) and by e-mail (without attachments) at the respective addresses provided by the Registrar.
d) The Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding stated that Respondent had twenty days for submitting a Response, that the last day for its submission was August 28, 2000, and that if a Response were not sent by the above date, Respondent would be considered in default.
e) On September 13, 2000, the Center forwarded to Complainant and to Respondent, in the manner and at the addresses indicated in paragraph (c) above, Notification of Respondent Default.
f) On September 27, 2000, the Center forwarded to Complainant and to Respondent, in the manner and at the addresses indicated in paragraph (c) above, Notification of Appointment of Administrative Panel and Projected Decision Date.
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the Rules) and paragraph 5 of the Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the Supplemental Rules) the Center found that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the Policy) , the Rules and the Supplemental Rules, and further that the payment in the required amount to the Center had been made by the Complainant.
The Panel accepts the above findings of the Center and further finds:
a) The Complaint was properly notified to Respondent in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 2(a) on August 8, 2000, and that August 28, 2000, was the last day for filing a Response by the Respondent.
b) No response was received by the Center.
c) The Administrative Panel was constituted of Joan Clark, Q.C. who had previously submitted a Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality.
d) Due to a delay caused by a change in Case Administrators the Case was not transferred to the Administrative Panel until October 10, 2000.
e) On October 12, 2000, the Center advised that the Panel had an additional two weeks to write the decision.
4. Factual Background and Parties’ Contentions
A. The Complaint
The Complaint states that the domain name in dispute was registered on April 22, 1999. The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the Policy) presently in force was approved by ICANN on October 24, 1999. It has previously been established that this Policy applies to all registration agreements entered into prior, as well as subsequent, to the date of October 24, 1999.
Accordingly, Respondent is subject to the Policy approved by ICANN October 24, 1999 which was in force at the time of the commencement of proceedings in the present dispute.
The Complaint sets forth the history of Complainant which was incorporated in 1925 and has over 16,000 employees located in 400 offices worldwide, with a total company revenue during 1999 in excess of 4 billion dollars. The Complaint further asserts that Complainant is a publishing, financial, information and media services company which provides information through various media platforms, including books, magazines and newsletters, on-line over the Internet and electronic networks, by television, satellite and FM sideband broadcast and through software, videotape, facsimile and CD-ROM products.
The Complaint further asserts that, continuously since 1909, Complainant has used MCGRAW-HILL as its principal business name and trademark. Complainant is the owner of U.S. trademark registration no. 1,350,345 registered July 23, 1985 for, inter alia, educational motion pictures and film strips, books, pamphlets, brochures, newspapers, educational material, information services, information relating to investment, radio and television broadcasting services, and educational and publishing services, with a date of first use in 1909. The Complaint states that Complainant owns trademark registrations for the above-described trademark in 34 countries worldwide including the United States and further that Complainant has owned the Internet domain name "mcgraw-hill.com" since May 1994.
The Complaint contains further assertions of the importance of the trade name and trademark MCGRAW-HILL to Complainant, the fact its business is increasingly dependent on the Internet, and the fact that Complainant has spent an enormous amount of time, money and effort in promoting its MCGRAW-HILL trademark and in developing its website at "mcgraw-hill.com". The Complaint concludes that the MCGRAW-HILL mark has become famous around the world for Complainant’s goods and services and is of incalculable value to Complainant.
The Complaint asserts that the domain name in dispute "mcgraw-hill.org" is identical and confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark MCGRAW-HILL.
The Complaint recounts that, on May 20, 1999, Complainant’s outside trademark counsel forwarded a letter to Respondent placing him on notice that his registration and use of the domain name in dispute, "mcgraw-hill.org", violated Complainant’s legal rights under the U.S. Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C., paragraph 1051 et seq. and demanded that Respondent immediately relinquish all rights in the domain name in dispute. The Complaint reports that no response was received to this letter.
The Complaint further states that, on September 10, 1999, Complainant’s outside trademark counsel wrote to Network Solutions, Inc. on Complainant’s behalf requesting that they immediately invoke paragraph 6 of Network Solutions, Inc.’s Domain Name Dispute Policy then in effect and place the domain name in dispute on "hold "status so that it would not be available for use by any party.
The Complaint further reports that, on October 12, 1999, Network Solutions, Inc. wrote to Respondent informing him of Complainant’s position and giving him 37 days until November 18, 1999 to respond thereto, otherwise the domain name would be placed on hold.
The Complaint further reports that neither Complainant nor outside counsel has received any further communication from Network Solutions, Inc. or from Respondent regarding his registration and use of the domain name in dispute. The Complaint reports that the said domain name remains registered to Respondent and is not currently on hold status.
The Complaint recounts the activities of a subsidiary of Complainant, established since 1961, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Ltd, in India, where it conducts substantial business with head office and two warehouses in New Delhi, as well as offices elsewhere.
The Complaint concludes that, given the activities of Complainant’s subsidiary in India and Complainant’s numerous trademark registrations and the wide reputation and fame of Complainant’s MCGRAW-HILL mark, it is inconceivable that Respondent was unaware of Complainant’s rights in the MCGRAW-HILL mark at the time of his registration of the domain name in dispute.
The Complaint further notes that Respondent has not provided any evidence which would indicate that MCGRAW-HILL is a legitimate name by which Respondent or any other member of his family is known, or that it could be identified with him in any legitimate matter.
The Complaint declares it is not possible to contemplate any plausible actual or contemplated use of the domain name by the Respondent that would not result in consumer confusion or an infringement of Complainant’s trademarks.
The Complaint cites various decisions involving domain name disputes and asserts that Respondent’s registration and holding of the domain name in dispute constitutes a bad faith registration and use of that name.
The Complaint requests that the Administrative Panel issue a decision that the contested domain name be transferred to Complainant.
5. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, Complainant must prove each of the following in order that Respondent be required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding:
(i) The domain name in issue is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark or service mark, and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and
(iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four illustrative circumstances which, for the purpose of paragraph 4(a)(iii) above, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith but are not limitative.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out three illustrative circumstances, without limitation, each of which, if proven, shall demonstrate Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) above.
a) Identity or confusing similarity of the domain name to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
The suffix ".org" indicating generic top level domain (gTLD) serves to indicate the domain in which a particular Internet name has been registered.
In the Panel’s view, a gTLD suffix, which is a requirement for a domain name registration, should not be taken into consideration when considering the identity or similarity of a domain name to a trademark or service mark of a complainant.
The Panel therefore concludes that the domain name in dispute, "mcgraw-hill.org", is identical to Complainant’s trademark MCGRAW-HILL. The criterion of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been met.
b) Rights or legitimate interests of Respondent in the domain name
Respondent has chosen not to file a Response and there is nothing in the evidence to indicate any rights or interests of Respondent in the name MCGRAW-HILL.
There has been no evidence of any use or demonstrable preparations for the use of the domain name by Respondent in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. There is no evidence that Respondent has been commonly known by the domain name, and there is no evidence that Respondent is making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the domain name without intent for commercial gain.
The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
The criterion of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has been met.
c) Registration and use of the domain name in bad faith
Apart from the initial registration, there is no evidence whatsoever of any activity by Respondent in connection with the domain name in dispute. Although such evidence may exist, none has been adduced in this proceeding. Therefore, the Panel is faced with the existence of a domain name, that it finds to be identical to a widely used trademark of Complainant, and in which the Panel finds Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests.
Registration in bad faith
While there is no direct evidence of the intent or the state of mind of Respondent at the time of registration of the domain name or subsequent thereto, the Panel relies on the following:
i) The evidence establishes the trademark MCGRAW-HILL is registered in many countries. The Complainant avers that the trademark has been widely used throughout the world, that the name McGraw-Hill is well-known in India, that McGraw-Hill products are sold across India and that Complainant’s Indian subsidiary the Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Ltd. operates throughout India with head office and two warehouses in New Delhi, which is Respondent’s location.
ii) There is no evidence to indicate that Respondent was previously known by the domain name or was associated with it in any way, and no explanation has been given for the choice by Respondent of the very distinctive and uncommon combination mcgraw-hill in his domain name.
There is no evidence before this Panel which would militate against the conclusion from the foregoing that the domain name in dispute was registered in bad faith.
Use in bad faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists, without limitation, four circumstances which, if present, "shall be evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith". These examples recognize that a passive holding of a domain name registration can, in certain circumstances, constitute using the domain name in bad faith. The concept of a domain name being used in bad faith is not limited to positive action.
- WIPO Case D2000-0003, Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows;
- WIPO Case D2000-0042, Compaq Computer Corporation v. Boris Beric;
- WIPO Case D2000-0055, Guerlain v. Peikang;
- WIPO Case D2000-0242, CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. Edward Enterprises;
The same reasons which lead to the conclusion that the domain name in dispute was registered in bad faith also contribute to the conclusion that it was, and is, used in bad faith:
i) The trademark MCGRAW-HILL is registered in many countries and the Complainant avers it has been widely used throughout the world and the name McGraw-Hill is well-known in India and is part of the name of the Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Ltd operating through India and particularly in New Delhi, Respondent’s own location..
ii) The evidence contains no explanation for the choice by Respondent of the domain name "mcgraw-hill.org", which is composed of a distinctive and uncommon combination of the two words which form Complainant’s trademark.
iii) The Complainant states Respondent failed to respond to a letter from Complainant’s outside trademark counsel calling upon Respondent to transfer the domain name to Complainant. Respondent has not filed a Response in this case. No justification has been offered for the choice by Respondent of a domain name which is identical to Complainant’s widely used trademark.
iv) Respondent may be presumed to have known that his passive holding of a registered domain name is likely to cause confusion with an identical trademark or trade name.
The Panel concludes that the domain name "mcgraw-hill.org" was registered and is being used by Respondent in bad faith. The criteria of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy have been met.
(1) The Panel decides, in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, paragraph 4:
- that the domain name "mcgraw-hill.org" is identical to the trademark MCGRAW-HILL of Complainant;
- that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
- that it has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
(2) The Panel accordingly requires that the domain name "mcgraw-hill.org" be transferred forthwith to Complainant.
Date: October 31, 2000