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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AAR Corp. v. Mr. Singh Dha
Case No. D2001-0635
1. The Parties
The Complainant in this administrative proceeding is AAR Corp., located at 1100 N. Wood Dale Road, Wood Dale, Illinois, USA.
The Respondent in this Administrative Proceeding is Mr. Singh Dha with an address of 531 Barking Road, Eastham, London, England.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name is <aarcorp.net>.
The registrar is CORE Internet Council of Registrars.
By registering the subject domain name with the Registrar, the Respondent agreed to the resolution of dispute pursuant to the Policy and Rules.
3. Procedural History
This is a mandatory administrative proceeding submitted for decision in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on August 26, 1999 (the "Policy"), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, approved by ICANN on October 24, 1999 (the "Rules") and the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules").
Complainant filed its Complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on May 11, 2001 by email and on May 8, 2001 by hardcopy. On May 11, 2001, the Center emailed the Complainant advising of deficiency. The Center received the Registrar Verification on May 14, 2001.
On May 15, 2001, having verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Policy and the Rules, the Center formally commenced this proceeding. On June 6, 2001, the Center sent a notification of Respondent’s default.
The Administrative Panel consisting of one member was appointed on June 19, 2001, by WIPO.
On June 19, 2001, the Respondent delivered a letter to the Center his position on the merits of the case. A copy was provided to the Complainant and was given until June 26, 2001, to comment. No comment was made.
An examination of this material confirms that all technical requirements for the prosecution of this proceeding were met.
The time for the delivery of the decision was extended to July 9, 2001.
4. Factual Background
The following information is derived from the Complainant’s material.
The Complainant is a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded company. The Complainant has been in business for over fifty years and has become the preeminent provider of products and services to the worldwide aerospace and aviation community. The Complainant generated $957.5 Million in revenue for its 2000 fiscal year (June 1, 1999 to May 31, 2000). Its global operations consist of forty facilities in twelve countries and include proprietary inventory management and logistic support services, encompassing the supply, repair and manufacture of aircraft and engine parts and systems, together with the purchase, sale and lease of commercial aircraft and engines.
The Complainant continues to maintain and has operated since 1996, a website for the express purpose of providing products and services to its worldwide customers at the following URL: <aarcorp.com>. Users of <aarcorp.com> may query inventory status and initiate transactions for the following products and services: (i) Repair Service; (ii) Federal Aviation Administration Parts Manufacturer Authorization (PMA); (iii) Engine Sales & Leasing; (iv) Aircraft Sales and Leasing; (v) Landing Gear Services; (vi) Manufacturing Capabilities; (vii) Purchase & Sale of Military and Government Parts; (viii) E-Business & Upcoming Auctions; and (ix) the Purchase & Sale of Aviation Commercial Parts and General Aviation New Parts.
The Complainant registered the domain name <aarcorp.com> on May 26, 1996, with Network Solutions and thereafter spent a large amount of time and money constructing its website at this address. The Complainant also registered the trademark aarcorp.com with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
The subject domain name was registered initially with Easily Limited in London, England. The Respondent has no trademark for among other things the following reasons: first, he has not registered <aarcorp.net> for trademark protection with any government agency in any country; second, he also has not referred to himself by, or conducted a business under the subject domain name; third, he does not use the domain name in any legitimate noncommercial or commercial manner.
The following information is derived from the Respondent’s material.
The Respondent acquired the subject domain name to create a religious site for the Sikh community. It has been researching and developing the site and local religious leaders have expressed interest and have contributed time and effort to the venture.
No attempt has been made to sell the site.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant relies on it use and registrations of the "aarcorp" and says that the subject domain name is confusingly similar. To support its contention that the Respondent does not have a legitimate interest in the subject domain name, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent has made no use of the subject domain name and it does not relate to any activity or product of the Respondent. It says that the Respondent has acted in bad faith because these matters lead to the conclusion that the Respondent acquired the subject domain name to sell it.
The Respondent denies the claim and says that it does have a legitimate interest in the subject domain name and that it has no intention of selling it.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires the Complainant to prove that:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name;
(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(b) provides for the implication of evidence of bad faith in a number of circumstances:
(i) circumstances that indicate that the Respondent has registered or has 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 the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name;
(ii) registration of 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 the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct;
(iii) registration of the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor;
(iv) by using the domain name, intentionally attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s 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 the website or location or of a product or service on it or a location.
These are illustrative and do not represent the only circumstances from which may arise evidence of bad faith.
The resolution of this dispute takes place in the context of a consideration of the requirements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
It is clear that the Complainant has rights to "aarcorp". The subject domain name essentially is identical. It differs only by the addition of "net".
The Administrative Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has met the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Respondents Legitimate Interest
There is no clear link between the Respondent and the subject domain name and he has made no overt use of it, but the Respondent has explained why he acquired the subject domain name and the planned use he has for it. There is no information to refute the Respondent’s assertions. The Complainant’s position is based solely on inference.
The Administrative Panel is not satisfied that the Complainant has met the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Bad Faith
Proof of bad faith is a separate requirement. Information that is relevant to a consideration of the other ingredients of a claim can be relevant to bad faith inquiry, but it usually will not be sufficient to meet the Complainant’s burden of proof.
In this case, the acquisition of the subject domain name by the Respondent does not lead to any inference adverse to him. There is no information to support the suggestion that he intends to sell the subject domain name. There is no information that the Complainant asked the Respondent to cease using the subject domain name. There is positive information of a legitimate, planned use.
The Administrative Panel is not satisfied that the Complainant has met the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii).
Based on the evidence and findings made in this case, the Administrative Panel concludes that the claim is not established. The complaint is dismissed.
Edward C. Chiasson, Q.C.
Dated: July 9, 2001