WIPO

 

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Alaska Airlines, Inc. v. Millenium Depot

Case No. D2000-0276

 

1. The Parties

Complainant Alaska Airlines, Inc. ("Alaska Airlines") is an Alaska corporation, with its principal place of business located at 19300 Pacific Highway South, P.O. Box 68900, Seattle, Washington, 98188 USA.

Respondent is Millenium Depot, with a place of business at 4167 Warner Avenue #306, Huntington Beach 1, California 92649 USA.

 

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

The domain name at issue is <alaskaairlines.net>. The registrar is Network Solutions, Inc. (the "Registrar") 505 Huntmar Park Drive, Herndon, Virginia 20170-5139 USA.

 

3. Procedural History

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") received the Complaint of Complainant on April 8, 2000, by email and on April 11, 2000, in hardcopy. The Complainant paid the required fee.

On April 11, 2000, the Center sent an Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Complaint to the Complainant. On the same date, the Center sent to the Registrar a request for verification of registration data. On April 13, 2000, the Registrar confirmed, inter alia, that it is the registrar of the domain name in dispute and that <alaskaairlines.net> is registered in the Respondent's name.

On April 11, 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 April 14, 2000, the Center also sent to the Respondent, with a copy to the Complainant, a notification of the administrative proceeding together with copies of the Complaint. This notification was sent by the methods required under paragraph 2(a) of the Rules. The formal date of the commencement of this administrative proceeding is April 14, 2000.

On May 4, 2000, the Center sent Notification of Respondentís Default. No Response has been received.

After receiving a completed and signed Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence dated May 4, 2000, the Center notified the parties of the appointment of a single-arbitrator panel consisting of Richard W. Page, Esq. (the "Presiding Panelist").

 

4. Factual Background

Founded in 1932, Alaska Airlines is currently the tenth largest commercial air carrier in the United States. Alaska Airlines provides air transportation services for passengers and baggage and provides air freight and cargo services to the West Coast of the United States as well as to Canada, Mexico and other jurisdictions, and has connecting flight arrangements throughout the United States.

Alaska Airlines has established a reputation as a provider of superior, high frequency air transportation service at competitive prices. Alaska Airlines has received numerous awards relating to its service, including being the highest-ranked major airline over the last five years in a well-known travel magazine. Alaska Airlines seeks to differentiate itself from its competitors by offering superior levels of value and service. Its efforts have resulted in high customer satisfaction rankings in customer surveys and consumer magazines.

Since at least 1942, Alaska Airlines has continuously used in commerce the mark ALASKA AIRLINES in connection with air transportation services. Alaska Airlines owns the following U.S. Registrations and Application:

(a) ALASKA AIRLINES

Serial No.: 75/088,829
Filing Date: April 16, 1996
First Use: Intent to Use

Services: Providing an interactive website containing information, services and reservation capability primarily relating to travel, namely, airline flight schedules, airline flight reservations, airline flight bookings, airline flight seating assignments, airline flight meals, and travel and tour packages (Class 39); providing an interactive website containing information, services and reservation capability primarily relating to lodging and dining, namely, hotel reservations, hotel bookings, hotel room assignments and restaurant reservations; providing interactive computer bulletin boards for the transfer and dissemination of a wide range of information (Class 42).

(b) ALASKA AIRLINES

Reg. No.: 1,561,416 (Incontestable Registration)
Reg. Date: October 17, 1989
First Use: June 1942

Services: Air Transportation Services (Class 39)

(c) ALASKA AIRLINES and Design

Reg. No.: 1,612,370 (Incontestable Registration)
Reg. Date: September 4, 1990
First Use: June 1987

Services: Air Transportation Services (Class 39)

(d) ALASKA AIRLINES (Stylized)

Reg. No.: 1,674,552, (Incontestable Registration)
Reg. Date: February 4, 1992
First Use: May 15, 1990

Services: Air Transportation Services (Class 39)

(e) ALASKA AIRLINES (Stylized)

Reg. No.: 862,903 (Incontestable Registration)

Reg. Date: December 31, 1968

First Use: June 1942

Services: Air transportation of passengers and freight (Class 39)

These marks are collectively referred to as the "Alaska Airlines Marks."

On March 18, 1999, Respondent registered the domain name <alaskaairlines.net>. Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant; is not otherwise authorized to use Complainantís Alaska Airlines Marks; is not the owner of any federally registered or common law trademarks containing the term "Alaska Airlines" in whole or in part; and the disputed domain name does not consist of Respondentís legal name. Respondent does not provide air transportation or related goods or services or conduct business of any kind in connection with <alaskaairlines.net>. Respondent had made no demonstrable preparations to use <alaskaairlines.net> in connection with an offering of goods or services.

On April 13, 1999, Alaska Airlines sent Respondent a certified letter notifying Respondent of Alaska Airlinesí rights in the Alaska Airlines Marks and alerting Respondent that Alaska Airlines considered Respondentís registration of the <alaskaairlines.net> to be trademark infringement. In the letter, Alaska Airlines demanded that Respondent cease and desist use of the disputed domain name and immediately assign or transfer the disputed domain name to Alaska Airlines

The disputed domain name has never been used by Respondent in association with any website or online presence. On April 21, 1999, Alaska Airlines received a response to its letter from Respondent's attorney. In the response, Respondentís attorney admitted that Respondent had registered <alaskaairlines.net>. He further stated that the disputed domain name was Respondentís property "to do with as he wishes, subject to the limitations of applicable trademark law." Respondentís attorney indicated that Respondent was "willing to consider all reasonable offers" if Alaska Airlines wished to purchase <alaskaairlines.net>. Respondentís attorney incorrectly stated that the Alaska Airlines Marks are registered only in stylized form. Registration No. 1,561,416 is an incontestable registration for the mark in block letters.

On May 24, 1999, Alaska Airlines filed a complaint with the Registrar against Respondent pursuant to the NSI Domain Name Dispute Policy. On June 17, 1999, the Registrar notified Respondent of Alaska Airlinesí complaint. Respondent was advised that "because the effective date of the trademark or service mark precedes [Respondentís] domain name, Network Solutions has invoked Section 9 of the Domain Name Dispute Policy (Rev. 03)." Respondent was required to respond within 37 days. On July 30, 1999, the Registrar notified Alaska Airlines that Respondent had not responded timely and the domain name <alaskaairline.net> was placed on "Hold" status.

 

5. Partiesí Contentions

A. Complainant contends that the domain name <alaskaairlines.net> is identical with and confusingly similar to the Alaska Airline Marks pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).

B. Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name <alaskaairlines.net> pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).

C. Complainant contends that Respondent registered and is using the domain name <alaskaairlines.net> in bad faith in violation of the Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).

D. Respondent presented no evidence challenging that the domain name <alaskaairlines.net> is identical with or confusingly similar to the Alaska Airline Marks.

E. Respondent presented no evidence of its rights or legitimate interest in <alaskaairlines.net> domain name.

F. Respondent presented no evidence that its registration and use of the <alaskaairlines.net> domain name is in good faith.

 

6. Discussion and Findings

Even though Respondent has filed no Response and has offered no evidence attacking the contentions of Claimant, the Presiding Panelist hereby reviews the evidence before him to determine whether the Claimant has supported each of the required elements in its contentions within the existing record.

Identity or Confusing Similarity

Each of the Alaska Airlines Marks contains the phrase "Alaska Airlines" which is identical to the phrase "alaskaairlines" used in the disputed domain name. Therefore, the Presiding Panelist finds that the domain name <alaskaairlines.net> is identical with and confusingly similar to the Alaska Airlines Marks.

Rights or Legitimate Interest

Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant; is not otherwise authorized to use Complainantís Alaska Airlines Marks; is not the owner of any federally registered or common law trademarks containing the term "Alaska Airlines" in whole or in part; and the disputed domain name does not consist of Respondentís legal name.

Furthermore, the disputed domain name has never been used by Respondent in association with any website or online presence. Respondent shows no demonstrable preparation to use the <alaskaairlines.net> for the sale of any goods and services.

Therefore, the Presiding Panelist finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name <alaskaairlines.net>.

Bad Faith

On April 21, 1999, Alaska Airlines received a letter from Respondent's attorney. In the response, Respondentís attorney admitted that Respondent had registered <alaskaairlines.net>. He further stated that the disputed domain name was Respondentís property "to do with as he wishes, subject to the limitations of applicable trademark law." Respondentís attorney indicated that Respondent was "willing to consider all reasonable offers" if Alaska Airlines wished to purchase <alaskaairlines.net>.

These statements constitute an admission by Respondent that he has registered and used <alaskaairlines.net> for the sole purpose of selling it to Complainant for profit. These actions constitute bad faith in the registration and the use of the domain name <alaskaairlines.net>.

 

7. Decision

The Presiding Panelist concludes (a) that the domain name <alaskaairlines.

net> is identical with and confusingly similar to the series of United States marks registered by Complainant and defined above as the Alaska Airlines 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 <alaskaairlines.net> be transferred to Complainant Alaska Airlines, Inc.

 


 

Richard W. Page
Presiding Panelist

May 17, 2000


 

Footnotes:

1. Please note that in the Whois printout Respondentís address shows the city as "Hunting Beach," however, on information and belief the correct city is "Huntington Beach."