официальный сайт ВОИС
Для удобства навигации:
Перейти в начало каталога
Дела по доменам общего пользования
Дела по национальным доменам
WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The Coryn Group, Inc. and Apple Vacations East, Inc. v. Azra Khan
Case No. D2003-0655
1. The Parties
The Complainants are The Coryn Group, Inc. (the "First Complainant"), Wilmington, Delaware, United States of America, and Apple Vacations East, Inc. (the "Second Complainant"), Newtown Square, Philadelphia, United States of America, represented by Holland & Knight, LLC, United States of America.
The Respondent is Azra Khan, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <applevaction.com> (the "Domain Name") is registered with iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 20, 2003. On August 21, 2003, the Center transmitted by email to iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On August 28, 2003, iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy"), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules"), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules").
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 1, 2003. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 21, 2003. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 23, 2003.
The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on October 8, 2003. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.
Having reviewed the communications in the light of the Respondent’s non-response, the Panel is satisfied that the Center has discharged its responsibility under paragraph 2 of the Rules to notify the Respondent of this Complaint. Under paragraph 14(a) of the Rules, where a party fails to comply with the time limits provided by the Rules, the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the Complaint in the absence of exceptional circumstances. The Panel is aware of no such circumstances in this case.
4. Factual Background
The First and Second Complainants are Delaware corporations. The status of the Respondent is unknown. The Respondent registered the Domain Name on March 2, 2002.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainants state that they are leading travel tour providers who offer domestic and foreign vacation packages, including air transportation, ground transfers and hotel accommodation, to customers throughout the US.
The First Complainant is the owner of trade names and service marks including APPLE VACATIONS, APPLE and apple-related pictorial marks. Its US registered service marks include APPLE VACATIONS, registered on October 20, 1987, under registration number 1,462,268.
The Complainants have continuously used the name and mark APPLE VACATIONS and their other names and marks since 1979 in connection with the advertising, promotion and sale of their services. They have sold several millions of dollars worth of vacation packages under these marks. Their advertising has included newspapers, television, radio commercials, billboards, brochures and signage. They promote and sell their travel packages at websites located at "www.applevacations.com" and "www.applevac.com". By virtue of the above matters, the Complainants’ APPLE VACATIONS and other names and marks are strongly distinctive of the Complainants.
The Domain Name consists of the Complainants’ name and mark APPLE VACATIONS but with the second word misspelled only by the omission of the second letter "A" (the Complainant omits to refer to the "S"). The Domain Name is therefore legally identical and confusingly similar to the Complainants’ name and mark.
The Respondent can have no rights in the Domain Name because it is legally identical to the Complainant’s name and mark. The Complainants have not licensed the Respondent to use their name and mark and the Respondent is not known by the name or mark in issue.
The Respondent is using the Domain Name to connect to a website at "www1.vipfares.com" which features a vacation travel and booking function. The Respondent competes with the Complainants and is utilising the Complainants’ name and mark to attract Internet users who are interested in the Complainants’ own websites. The registration of the Domain Name for this purpose, and the intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s mark, are matters evidencing the Respondent’s bad faith.
The Complainants request a transfer of the Domain Name to the First Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in its complaint, a Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are:
(i) that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark
or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect
of the domain name; and
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad
Identical or Confusingly Similar
In this case, the Complainants have established their ownership of the service
mark APPLE VACATIONS. They have also established reputation and goodwill in
their website at "www.applevacations.com". The Panel finds that the
Domain Name, <applevaction.com>, is confusingly similar to the Complainants’
mark, being identical but for the omission of two characters, namely the second
"A" and the "S" in VACATIONS.
No Rights or Legitimate Interests
Under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, there are three sets of circumstances in
particular (but without limitation) to which a Respondent may point to demonstrate
a legitimate interest in the domain name in dispute. These are:
(i) before any notice to the Respondent of the dispute, its use of, or demonstrable
preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name
in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) that the Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization)
has been commonly known by the domain name, even if it has acquired no trademark
or service mark rights; or
(iii) that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use
of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain misleadingly to divert
consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
The Panel does not consider that any of the above, or any other circumstances
which would tend to support the Respondent’s legitimate interest in the Domain
Name, are present in this case. The Respondent has tendered no evidence in the
matter and the Panel agrees with the Complainants’ contention that this is a
case of deliberate misspelling of the Complainants’ name and mark (or "typosquatting").
It is to be inferred from all the circumstances that the Respondent registered
the Domain Name with the primary intention of diverting Internet users who intend
to access the Complainants’ website but make a predictable typing mistake in
so doing. This is unfairly to take advantage of the Complainants’ goodwill.
While the Respondent is using the Domain Name to offer goods and services via
its own website referred to above, such offering is not bona fide in the circumstances.
There is no evidence that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Domain
Name, and the circumstances set out in subparagraph (iii) above plainly do not
apply; indeed the reverse of those circumstances is true.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances,
in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall
be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for
commercial gain, Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by
creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source,
sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a
product or service on your website or location.
The Panel finds that the Respondent’s registration and use of the Domain Name
falls within this provision. The present case involves the deliberate diversion
of Internet users who intend to access the Complainants’ website and the taking
of unfair commercial advantage of the Complainants’ goodwill.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(a) of the Policy
and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name, <applevaction.com>,
be transferred to the First Complainant.
Steven A. Maier
Date: October 17, 2003