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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Hong Kong Trade Development Council v. Ting, Tiffany
Case No. D2001-0098
See Also PDF File D2001-0098
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Hong KongTrade Development Council, a statutory body incorporated in Hong Kong, having aregistered office at 38/F, Office Tower, Convention Plaza, 1 Harbour Road,Wanchai, Hong Kong SAR of P. R. China.
The Respondent is a physicalperson Ting, Tiffany with the contacting address at 5/F., No. 7, Lane 235,Pao-Chaio Road, Shin-Tine, Taipei 231, Taiwan.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name in disputeis [<ЩQ°lѕW.com>(BQ--3CGL65T4PWZA.COM)], which is registered with the registrar NetworkSolutions, Inc. of 505 Huntmar Park Drive, Herndon, VA 20170, USA.
3. Procedural History
On January 20, 2001, TheWIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") received acommunication from the Respondent.
The Center received theComplaint of the Complainant on February 5, 2001 by email and the amendedComplaint by email on February 27, 2001 and in hard copy on
March 2, 2001.
On February 27, 2001, theCenter forwarded the communication from the Respondent to the Complainant.
The Center sent to theRegistrar a request for verification of registration data on
February 27, 2001. On March 6 and 8, 2001, the Registrarconfirmed that the domain name in dispute is registered with Network Solutions,Inc. and the Respondent is the current registrant of the domain name. The disputed domain name registrationstatus is Ў°activeЎ±.
The Center completed theformal Requirements Compliance Checklist on March 8, 2001.
On March 9, 2001, The Centerreceived the supplemental Filing from the Complainant by email.
On March 13, 2001, theCenter sent to the Respondent the Notification of Complaint and Commencement ofthe Administrative Proceeding. This notification was sent by the methods required under paragraph 2(a)of the Rules. The formal date ofthe commencement of this administrative proceeding is March 13, 2001.
On April 5, 2001, the Centersent to the Respondent Notification of RespondentЎЇs Default.
On April 20, 2001, afterreceiving a completed and signed Statement of Acceptance and Declaration ofImpartiality and Independence, the Center notified the parties of the appointmentof a single-member panel consisting of Mr. Li Yong and informed the partiesthat a decision would be issued by May 3, 2001 absent exceptional circumstances.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is astatutory body incorporated in Hong Kong SAR China since 1966 under the HongKong Trade Development Council Ordinance (Annex 3 of the Complaint), and itsmain function is to promote, assist and develop Hong KongЎЇs overseas trade,with particular reference to exports.
The Complainant ownstrademark rights for Ў°ЩQ°lѕWЎ± in class 38 in Hong Kong SAR. The trademark registration in Hong Kongwas made in December of 1999. The Complainant received a letter from a law firmof Hong Kong named Deacons on October 27, 2000 in which the Complainant wasinformed that the trademark Ў°tdctrade.comЎ± in Chinese charactersЎ°ЩQ°lѕWЎ± had been accepted by the trademark Registrar andwas going to be advertised for opposition purposes(Annex 3 of the Complaint).
The Complainant also ownstrademark rights for Ў°ЩQ°lѕWЎ± in classes 35, 38 and 42 in Tai Wan. The trademark registration inTai Wan was made in March of 2000.
All the trademarkregistrations and applications above-mentioned were made in the name of HongKong Trade Development Council.
The domain name [<ЩQ°lѕW.com> (BQ--3CGL65T4PWZA.COM)] was created onNovember 24, 2000, according to the search result made by the complainant shownin the Annex 1 of the Complaint.
5. Parties's Contentions
The Complainant contendsthat Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory bodyincorporated in Hong Kong since 1966 with its mission to create and facilitateopportunities in international trade for Hong Kong companies. Developed byHKTDC, <tdctrade.com> is a resourceful web site specialized in trade.This web site provides HKTDCЎЇs comprehensive range of business information andservices, which include market intelligence, trade contacts, product cataloguesand trade fairs information. The disputed domain name is the official Chinesename for <tdctrade.com> and the name itself has been trademarked.
The Complainant believesthat the domain name is a unique service and reflects the identity, functionsand services offered by HKTDC. Other organization, which has registered theChinese domain name of <tdctrade.com>, would project a wrong impressionthat they are the Council or represent the Council, both of which are not true.
As such, the Complainantcontends that they have good reasons to believe that the current holder of thedisputed domain name has no rights or legitimate interests in respect to thedomain name.
The Complainant requests theAdministrative Panel issue a decision that the contested domain name betransferred to the Complainant.
The Respondent failed tosubmit formal Response according to 5 (a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain NameDispute Resolution Policy, but a Mr. Leslie Liu, calling himself therepresentative of the Respondent, sent an email letter to the Center on
January 20, 2001. In theletter, Mr. Leslie Liu made the statements as follows:
The Respondent is one of theshareholders of the TradeFind.com company in Tai Wan, which is the online B2Bmarketplace for exchanging trade information and business buying and sellingproducts. The company was formed in May 1999 and its headquartered in Tai Pei,Tai Wan. TradeFind.comЎЇs mission is to provide an Internet world of businessvalue, opportunities, transaction and places where buyers and sellers clickevery day. After founding from May 1999, the English and Chinese version hasbeen successfully operated and announced by the name of <tradefind.com>and <ЩQ°lѕW>, which is exactly thesame Chinese characters as the disputed domain name.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with the Policy, the Complainant asking for transfer of thedomain name must prove the following three elements: 1) Respondent's domainname is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark inwhich the Complainant has rights; 2) Respondent has no rights or legitimateinterests in the domain name; and 3) Respondent has registered the domain nameand is using it in bad faith. (ICANN Policy, 4 (a)).
Identical or ConfusinglySimilar
The domain name at issue is [<ЩQ°lѕW.com>(BQ--3CGL65T4PWZA.COM)]. The Panel finds that the Chinese character of thisdomain name Ў°ЩQ°lѕWЎ± is completely identicalwith the registered trademarks held by the Complainant both in Hong Kong andTai Wan. The Panel also finds that the Chinese character of the disputed domainname is identical to the Chinese name of <tdctrade.com> developed by theComplainant. The top level domaindesignator ".com" is only a necessary portion to form abusiness-related domain name and cannot function to distinguish that name fromthe ComplainantЎЇs trademarks. Therefore,the Panel believes that the first element of the ICANN Policy, 4(a) is met.
Respondent's Rights orLegitimate Interests in the Domain Name
The Respondent has notprovided evidence of circumstances of the type specified in the ICANN Policy,4(c). There exists no evidence that the Respondent, before receipt of anynotice of the dispute, has used the domain name or a name corresponding to thedomain name in connection with bona fide; or that the Respondent has beencommonly known by the domain name; or that the Respondent is making alegitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name. Furthermore, theRespondent has not provided evidence of any other circumstances giving rise toa right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. The Respondent didnot present any evidence to show that the Respondent is one of the shareholdersof the TradeFind.com company and he can represent this company, though Mr.Leslie Liu so stated in his email letter dated January 20, 2001 to the Center.As such, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimateinterests in respect of the disputed Domain Name.
Domain Name Registered andUsed in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the ICANNPolicy specifies four types of circumstances that could be evidence of theregistration and use of a domain name in bad faith. According to the ICANNPolicy, circumstances of bad faith are not limited to the listed ones.
The Panel finds that thedomain name was registered and used in bad faith according to the ICCAN Policy4 (b) (ii). The panel is of the view that the domain name at issue wasregistered in order to prevent the owner of the trademark Ў°ЩQ°lѕWЎ± from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domainname.
First, the Complainantstates and the Respondent does not dispute that HKTDC, the Complainant, havedeveloped a web site called <tdctrade.com> which is a resourceful web sitespecialized in trade and provides HKTDCЎЇs comprehensive range of businessinformation and services including market intelligence, trade contacts, productcatalogues and trade fairs information.
Second, the panel acceptsthe ComplainantЎЇs contention that the disputed domain name is the officialChinese name for <tdctrade.com>, a web site which has been developed andused by the Complainant. The lawyerЎЇs letter of October 27, 2000 to the Complainant(Annex 3 of the Complaint) clearly indicates that the ComplainantЎЇs trademark Ў°ЩQ°lѕWЎ±is <tdctrade.com> in Chinese charactersЎ±.
Third, the official Chinesename of the Complainant is Ў°ПгёЫЩQТЧ°lХ№ѕЦЎ±. It is the panelЎЇs knowledge that becausethe name is rather long, as Chinese custom, the Complainant is often called Ў°ЩQ°lѕЦЎ±inshort in China. Thedisputed domain name <ЩQ°lѕW.com> strongly implicatesthat the web site using this name is the business internet site (ѕW) of Ў°ЩQ°lѕЦЎ±.In sense of Chinese, the disputed domain name hardly has other meaning. The domain name at issue is obviously connected withthe Complainant and its services. The Panel can not see any justified reasons for theRespondent to choose the wording <ЩQ°lѕW.com> to make his domain nameregistration at the time after the ComplainantЎЇs trademark Ў°ЩQ°lѕWЎ±was advertised for opposition.
Forth, the ComplainantЎЇstrademark Ў°ЩQ°lѕWЎ±implicates the meaning of Ў°thebusiness web site owned by Ў°ЩQ°lѕЦЎ±Ў±. By common knowledge, usingthe Chinese wording Ў°ЩQ°lѕWЎ± as the second level of a domain name can be a very direct, exact andpreferred way to reflect the ComplainantЎЇs identity, functions and servicesoffered by the Complainant. The RespondentЎЇs conduct of acquiring and holdingthe domain name [<ЩQ°lѕW.com> (BQ--3CGL65T4PWZA.COM)] has prevented the Complainant fromreflecting its trademark in a corresponding Chinese domain name.
Finally, Mr. Leslie Liustates that the Respondent is one of the shareholder of the TradeFind.comcompany incorporated in Tai Wan. Becausethere is no evidence showing the connection between the Respondent and thecompany, the matter concerning the TradeFind.com company is not within theexamining scope of the Panel.
Taking consideration of thecombination of the reasons above-mentioned, the Panel finds that the RespondentЎЇsregistration and use of the domain name at issue is in bad faith.
The Panel concludes (a) thatthe domain name [<ЩQ°lѕW.com> (BQ--3CGL65T4PWZA.COM)]is identical to the trademark owned bythe Complainant, (b) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interestin the domain name and (c) that the Respondent has registered and used thedomain name in bad faith. Therefore, the Panel orders that the domain name [<ЩQ°lѕW.com>(BQ--3CGL65T4PWZA.COM)] be transferred tothe Complainant.
Dated: May 3, 2001