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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Micron Technology, Inc. v. Hunt International
Case No. D2001-0501
1. The Parties
The Complainant in this administrative proceeding is Micron Technology, Inc., a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, U.S.A. Micron maintains its principal place of business in Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.
The Respondent is Hunt International, a company located at 474 Bison Way, Caldwell, Idaho 83607, U.S.A.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain names in dispute are as follows: <micronmemory.com>; <microninternetservices.com>; and <crucialmemory.com>. The domain names <micronmemory.com> and <crucialmemory.com> were registered by Respondent with Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) on March 23, 2000. The domain name <microninternetservices.com> was registered by Respondent with NSI on April 4, 2000.
3. Procedural Background
On April 4, 2001, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center received from Complainant via e-mail a complaint for decision in accordance with the Uniform Policy for Domain Name Dispute Resolution, adopted by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on August 26, 1999 ("Policy"), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, approved by ICANN on October 24, 1999 ("Rules"), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (Supplemental Rules).
The Complaint was filed in compliance with the requirements of the Rules and the Supplemental Rules, payment was properly made, the administrative panel was properly constituted, and the panelist submitted the required Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence.
The instant Administrative Proceeding was commenced on April 12, 2001.
Respondent failed to submit a Response and a "Notification of Respondent Default," dated May 2, 2001, was forwarded by WIPO to Respondent.
The decision of the Panel was due to WIPO on or before June 1, 2001.
4. Factual Background
Complainant Micron is a worldwide leading manufacturer of semiconductors, personal computers and related products and services, with sales operations in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Micron is a United States Fortune 500 company with average worldwide sales of several billion dollars annually.
Since its founding in 1982, Micron has adopted and continuously used throughout the world several trademarks incorporating the mark MICRON. Micron owns a number of registrations around the world for its MICRON mark, as used on or in connection semiconductor devices and products. See Complaint, Exhibit C. For example, Micron's MICRON mark is the subject of U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 2142670 and 2276067.
Micron also owns U.S. trademark registrations (Nos. 2331855, 2316486) and a Community Trademark Registration (673053) for the mark CRUCIAL TECHNOLOGY, as used for personal computer components and other related goods and services. See Complaint, Exhibit C.
Micron also is the registrant of domain names incorporating the terms MICRON and CRUCIAL, including, but not limited to: <micron.com>, <micron.net>, <micronpc.com>, <micronu.com>, <microntechnology.com>, <crucialtechnology.com>, <crucialtechnologies.com>, and <crucial.com>.
As noted above, Respondent registered the domain names in dispute with NSI on March 23, and April 4, 2000.
On or about April 17, 2000, Micron's counsel contacted Respondent requesting that it transfer the domain name <micronmemory.com> to Micron. Respondent failed to respond to this letter. See Complaint, Exhibit E.
On October 25, 2000, Micron's counsel sent a letter to Respondent requesting that it transfer the disputed domain names to Micron. This letter was returned as undeliverable. See Complaint, Exhibit F.
On or about February 2, 2001, Micron's counsel again contacted Respondent and requested that it transfer the disputed domain names to Micron. Again, Respondent refused to respond or to transfer the domain names. See Complaint, Exhibit G.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant contends that the domain names in issue are "functionally identical" to its MICRON and CRUCIAL TECHNOLOGY marks because the domain names merely combine a generic term, i.e., "memory" or internetservices", with the distinctive mark MICRON or CRUCIAL. Furthermore, according to Complainant, in all three-domain names, Respondent directly associates itself with the products sold by Micron. In support of this assertion, Complaint submitted, as Exhibit D, a copy of its <crucial.com> web page in which the logo "The Memory Experts" is emphasized.
Complainant further argues that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the disputed domain names. It notes that Respondent is not a licensee of Micron, nor has Micron authorized Respondent to use the MICRON or CRUCIAL marks. Upon information and belief, Complainant further alleges that Respondent has never been identified or otherwise engaged in business under the domain names and it is not presently engaged in a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain names. Upon information and belief, Complainant also maintains that the disputed domain names are not nicknames or assumed names of Respondent or of its principals, or in any other way identified or related to a legitimate interest of Respondent.
With respect to the issue of "bad faith" registration and use, Complainant contends that Respondent has neither created active websites nor specified with any degree of particularity how it plans to use the domain names. It also notes that Respondent has registered several domain names that incorporate the names of other corporate entities and contends that Respondent appears to be in the business of registering and selling domain names. Complainant also argues that "[i]t is improbable that Respondent registered three domain names that infringe two distinct registered trademarks of Complainant by mere happenstance," particularly given that Respondent is located less than 40 miles from Complainant's corporate headquarters.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Panel has carefully reviewed the evidence presented and determines that Complainant clearly has met all the requirements set forth in ¶4.a. of the Policy.
First, there is no question that the domain names in dispute are confusingly similar to Complainant's MICRON and CRUCIAL marks. The inclusion of the generic terms "memory" and "internetservices" and the addition of the top-level designator ".com" in Respondent's domain names are without legal significance.
It is also clear that Complainant, through its extensive use of, and registrations covering, the MICRON and CRUCIAL marks, has rights in the marks.
The Panel further determines that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain name. Based on Complainant's unrebutted evidence, the Panel concludes that Respondent has not made use of the domain names in connection with the bona fide offering of goods or services, is not known by the domain names, and is not presently engaged in a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the names.
Finally, there is ample evidence of "bad faith" registration and use. The evidence establishes, for example, that Respondent is not "using" any of the disputed domain names. Such passive holding of the domain names constitutes evidence of "bad faith" registration and use. See Neuberger Berman, Inc. v. Jacobsen, WIPO Case No. D2000-0323 (failure to use disputed domain name in the eight months since registration supports finding of "bad faith"); Mondich and American Vintage Wine Biscuits, Inc. v. Brown, WIPO Case No. D2000-0004 (finding that it is "possible to infer from this failure of use that the domain name was registered without a bona fide intent to make good faith use").
Further, the evidence supports a determination that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of registering domain names that correspond to the marks of others and that such conduct occurred in this case, within the meaning of ¶4.b. (ii) of the Policy. Exhibit I to the Complaint reveals that Respondent has registered several domain names that incorporate the marks and names of other corporate entities. These include "Eddy's Bakery", "Dorsey Music, Inc.", and "Scientific Technology, Inc." As noted in E. & J. Gallo Winery v. Spider Webs, Ltd., 2001 WL92197 (S.D. Tex. January 29, 2001), "registration of domain names "with either company names or famous trademarks" is the type of behavior the [Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act] singles out "as indicative of bad faith." See 15 U.S.C. §1125(d)(1)(B)(I)(VIII).
In view of the above, the Panel grants Complainant's request for transfer to it of the domain names <micronmemory.com>; <microninternetservices.com>; and <crucialmemory.com>.
Jeffrey M. Samuels
Dated: May 26, 2001