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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

InfoSpace, Inc. v. Harjit Singh

Case No. D2000-1194

 

1. The Parties

Complainant is InfoSpace, Inc. ("Complainant" or "InfoSpace"), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, having its principal place of business in Redmond, Washington, USA and a mailing address of 601-108th Ave. N.E., Suite 1200, Bellevue, Washington 98004 USA.

Respondent is Harjit Singh who has a mailing address at P.O. Box 6956, Libertyville, Illinois 60048 USA.

 

2. The Domain Name(s) and Registrar(s)

The domain name at issue is <einfospace.com>. The registrar is Register.com, Inc. the ("Registrar") located at 575 8th Avenue, 11th Floor New York, NY 10018 USA.

 

3. Procedural History

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") received the Complaint of Complainant via email on September 9, 2000. On September 12, 2000, the Center received hardcopy of the Complaint. The Center sent an Acknowledgment of Receipt of Complaint to Complainant. The Complainant paid the required fee.

On September 21, 2000 after sending a Request for Verification to the Registrar requesting verification of registration data, the Registrar confirmed, inter alia, that it is the registrar of the Domain Name and that the Domain Name is registered in the Respondent's name.

On September 21, 2000, the Center verified that the Complaint satisfies the formal requirements of the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy"), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules"), and the Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules").

On September 25, 2000, the Center sent a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding to the Respondent together with copies of the Complaint, with a copy to the Complainant. This notification was sent by the methods required under paragraph 2(a) of the Rules.

On October 19, 2000, the Center advised Respondent that it was in default for failing to file its Response. No Response has been received.

On October 31, 2000 after the Center received a completed and signed Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence from Richard W. Page (the "Sole Panelist"), the Center notified the parties of the appointment of a single-arbitrator panel consisting of the Sole Panelist.

 

4. Factual Background

Complainant is in the business of providing computer services, including search engines for obtaining data on a global computer network.

On November 22, 1996, Complainant filed its trademark INFOSPACE with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. On December 16, 1997, the trademark was registered with Registration No. 2,121,439 in the line of commerce described as computer software for use in database and data warehouse access, queries, analysis, reporting, charting, and publishing; and consulting, design, and software development services in the fields of data warehousing, databases, and web/database integration.

On November 4, 1996, Complainant filed its trademark INFOSPACE with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. On December 1, 1997, the trademark was registered with Registration No. 2,206,397 in the line of commerce described as computer services, namely, providing search engines for obtaining data on a global computer network.

Additionally, Complainant is the owner of pending U.S. Federal Trademark Applications for the marks INFOSPACE.COM (Serial No. 75/484,980), POWERED BY INFOSPACE (Serial No. 75/551,293), POWERED BY INFOSPACE.COM (Serial No. 75/567,179), and INFO SPACE & Design (Serial No. 75/506,102), and INFOSPACE (Serial No. 75,816,220). The intended uses of these marks are as follows:

INFOSPACE.COM: Computer services, namely, providing search engines for obtaining data on a global computer network.

POWERED BY INFOSPACE: Computer services, namely, providing access to information in the fields of business, directories, shopping, finance, travel, sports, entertainment, news, weather, city guides, classified and personal information via the global computer network, computer services, namely, providing search engines for obtaining data on the global computer network; computer services, namely, brokerage

of electronic commerce transactions conducted via the global computer network.

POWERED BY INFOSPACE.COM: Computer services, namely, providing access to information in the fields of business, directories, shopping, finance, travel, sports, entertainment, news, weather, city guides, classifieds and personal information via the global computer network; computer services, namely, providing search engines for obtaining data on the global computer network; computer services, namely, brokerage of electronic commerce transactions conducted via the global computer network.

INFO SPACE & Design: Computer services, namely, providing online directory services in the fields of yellow pages, white pages, personal information, classifieds, electronic shopping, public records, business services, city guides, finance, data, news groups, message boards, personal Web pages, on-line auction services, email, personals, online events, telephone services, search services, news entertainment, international information, and government information, by means of a global computer network.

INFOSPACE: pens, pencils, decals and letter openers; duffel bags and umbrellas; key tags (not of metal) and plastic license plate holders; mugs; clothing, namely, shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, vests, jackets, hats and caps; and sports balls and stuffed toy animals.

These registrations and applications shall be collectively referred to as the "INFOSPACE Marks."

Respondent is the record owner of the domain name <einfospace.com>. This domain name was registered January 5, 2000. Respondent’s website is currently directed to the website www.register.com, Respondent's registrar. Upon arriving at the site, the user encounters a banner which reads: "Coming Soon! We recently registered our domain name at register.com". Beneath this banner are advertisements for the domain registration services of Register.com.

In addition, the Whois registry at Network Solutions, Inc. lists the organization affiliated with this site as "Harjit Singh (FOR SALE)". Therefore, the Respondent appears to have the Domain Name for sale.

 

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant contends that it has a registrations and applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the INFOSPACE Marks. Complainant further contends that the Domain Name is identical with and confusingly similar to the INFOSPACE Marks pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).

Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).

Complainant contends that Respondent registered and is using the Domain Names in bad faith in violation of the Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).

B. Respondent has not contested Complainant’s assertion that Complainant has trademarks in the INFOSPACE Marks or that the Domain Name is confusing similar to the asserted trademark or service mark.

Respondent does not contest Complainant’s contention that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name.

Respondent does not contest Complainant’s contention that the registration and use of the Domain Name is in bad faith. .

 

6. Discussion and Findings

Even though Respondent has not filed a Response or offered evidence contesting Complainant’s assertions, the Sole Panelist will review the existing proof to determine whether Complainant has established the necessary elements of its claim.

Identity or Confusing Similarity.

Complainant contends that it has registrations and applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the INFOSPACE Marks. Complainant further contends that the Domain Name is identical with and confusingly similar to the INFOSPACE Marks pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).

Respondent's domain name <einfospace.com> is confusingly similar to Complainants’ marks INFOSPACE and INFOSPACE.COM. But for the "e" at the beginning, the second level domain name "einfospace" is identical with Complainant's mark INFOSPACE. The remaining alphanumeric characters are identical and are arranged in identical order. The addition of a letter "e" by Respondent is not sufficient to distinguish the domain name from Complainant's name and marks in the minds of consumers. The letter "e" is frequently added to the beginning of widely recognized marks to identify a company's "electronic" or web-based business. At least one panel of arbitrators from this forum has in the past found confusing similarity in a situation remarkably similar to the present one. See Nike, Inc. v. Farrukh Zia, ICANN Case No. D2000-0167 (holding "enike.com" and "e-nike.com" to be confusingly similar to Complainant Nike, Inc.'s mark NIKE and its primary domain name nike.com).

In addition, the Domain Name is confusingly similar in that the offending domain name is misleading. The Domain Name <einfospace.com> suggests an association or relationship to Complainant which does not exist and, if used by parties other than Complainant, will cause confusion in the marketplace. See Nike, Inc., ICANN Case No. D2000-0167, id.

Complainant's mark and its services are famous. Complainant has been using its trademark as a web address and domain name since as at least as early as May 28, 1996 (the day <InfoSpace.com> was registered with Network Solutions, Inc.). The mark INFOSPACE has been used by Complainant in interstate commerce in connection with its goods and services since at least as early as April 1996. The enormous volume of traffic on Complainant's site is evidence of the fame of Complainant's mark: For the fourth quarter of 1999, Complainant had approximately 1.7 billion page views (including Complainant's affiliates). Complainant is one of the 20 largest web properties in the world. In the directory space, Complainant receives four (4) times as much traffic (that is, four times as many "hits") as its nearest competitor. Accordingly, Complainant's INFOSPACE mark is well known and foremost in the minds of consumers. Addition of the letter "e" to an established mark or name is a common way to identify a company's electronic or web-based business. Persons familiar with Complainant's marks INFOSPACE and INFOSPACE.COM are likely to conclude that <einfospace.com> is simply an extension of Complainant's business. Persons encountering Respondent's site will be mislead into believing Complainant is beginning another business, which could be detrimental to Complainant. In view of the fame of Complainant's marks and the lack of distinctiveness afforded by the simple addition of an "e" to Complainant's name and mark to create a new domain name, the Domain Name is misleading.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical with and confusingly similar to the INFOSPACE Marks owned by Complainant pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).

Rights or Legitimate Interest

Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).

Respondent has no relationship with or permission from Complainant for the use of the INFOSPACE Marks.

Respondent has to date made no use of or demonstrated preparations to use the domain name at issue in connection with a bona fide business. Instead, Respondent is merely holding the subject domain name, and attempting to sell it, as evidenced by the Network Solutions, Inc. registry.

The Policy paragraph 4(c) allows three nonexclusive methods for Respondent to demonstrate that it has rights or a legitimate interest in the Domain Name:

(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your 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) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

Respondent has offered no evidence in support of any of the three methods provided in the Policy paragraph 4(c).

Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).

Bad Faith.

Complainant contends that Respondent registered and is using the Domain Names in bad faith in violation of the Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).

The Policy paragraph 4(b) sets forth nonexclusive four criteria for Complainant to show bad faith registration and use of domain names:

(i) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or

(ii) you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) 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 as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.

The presence of the "(FOR SALE)" designation in the domain name registry is evidence of Respondent’s desire to sell the Domain Name. While other potential users may be willing to purchase the Domain Name, the primary potential purchasers are Complainant and its competitors. Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has sufficiently shown the elements of the Policy paragraph 4(b)(i) to find that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).

 

7. Decision

The Panel concludes (a) that the Domain Name <einfospace.com> is identical with and confusingly similar to the INFOSPACE Marks, (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 Panel orders that the Domain Name be transferred to InfoSpace, Inc.

 


 

Richard W. Page
Sole Panelist

November 15, 2000

 

Источник информации: https://internet-law.ru/intlaw/udrp/2000/d2000-1194.html

 

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