WIPO

 

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Internet America, Inc. v. Internet Amercia

Case No. D2000-0355

 

1. The Parties

Complainant Internet America, Inc., a Texas corporation, whose principal place of business is 350 North St. Paul, Suite 3000, Dallas, Texas 75201, USA.

Respondent is "Internet America" an unknown type of entity purportedly located at 3785 16th Street, San Francisco, California 94114, USA. Respondent has not provided a telephone number, facsimile number or email address in its domain name registration

 

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

The domain name at issue is <internetamerica.com >. 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 Complainants on April 28, 2000 by email and on May 1, 2000 in hardcopy. The Complainants paid the required fee. On May 5, 2000, the Center sent an Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Complaint.

On May 5, 2000, the Center sent to the Registrar a request for verification of registration data. On March 11, 2000, the Registrar confirmed, inter alia, that it is the registrar of the domain name in dispute and that <internetamerica.com> is registered in the Respondentís name.

On May 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 May 18, 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. The formal date of the commencement of this administrative proceeding is May 16, 2000.

On June 5, 2000, the Center received a completed and signed Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence from Richard W. Page, Esq. (the "Presiding Panelist").

On June 6, 2000, the Center sent Notification of Respondentís Default. No Response has been received.

On June 7, 2000, the Center notified the parties of the appointment of a single-arbitrator panel consisting of the Presiding Panelist.

 

4. Factual Background

Complainant is an Internet service provider (or "ISP") that provides Internet services to individual and business subscribers. Its primary service offering is dial-up and broadband Internet access and related value added-services. Complainantís stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol GEEK.

Complainant was originally incorporated in Arizona as "The Net, Inc." on December 13, 1994. On January 18, 1995, Complainant filed an amendment with the Arizona Secretary of State, changing its corporate name to "Internet America, Inc." On July 21, 1995, Internet America, Inc. was merged with Intrnetusa, Inc., a Texas corporation. The surviving corporation was Internet America, Inc., a Texas corporation. Complainant has continually done business under the name "Internet America" since January of 1995.

Complainant has continuously used the service mark INTERNET AMERICA in interstate commerce throughout the United States since January of 1995. Complainant owns the following registration and application for its INTERNET AMERICA service mark:

- INTERNET AMERICA (word), Reg. No. 1,151,607, filed June 13, 1995 and registered on April 21, 1998 for "providing multiple user access to a global computer network for the transfer and dissemination of a wide range of information" in International Class 42; and

- INTERNET AMERICA & Design, Serial No. 75/523013, filed July 21, 1998 for "providing multiple user access to a global computer network for the transfer and dissemination of a wide range of information" in International Class 42.

Complainantís registration is in full force and effect, and use of the mark has not been abandoned.

Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant, and has not received any permission or consent to use the service mark INTERNET AMERICA or apply for the domain name <internetamerica .com>. Other than as listed in the WHOIS database maintained by Network Solutions, Inc., Respondent is not (either as an individual, business or other organization) known by the name INTERNET AMERICA. Further, there is no evidence of the Respondentís use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to <internet america.com> in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The disputed domain name does not resolve (and never has resolved) to a website or other online presence.

In a letter dated April 12, 2000, Complainant (through its legal representative) offered Respondent the opportunity to provide any evidence that might demonstrate Respondentís rights or legitimate interests to <internetamerica.com>. The correspondence to Respondent dated April 12, 2000 remains unanswered.

 

5. Partiesí Contentions

Complainants contend that the domain name <internetamerica.com> is identical with and confusingly similar to Complainantís INTERNET AMERICA service marks pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).

Complainants contend that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name <internetamerica.com> pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).

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

Respondent presented no evidence challenging that the domain name <internetameric.com> is identical with or confusingly similar to the INTERNET AMERICA service marks.

Respondent presented no evidence of its rights or legitimate interest in <internetamerica.com> domain name.

Respondent presented no evidence that its registration and use of the <internetamerica.com> 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 Claimants, the Presiding Panelist hereby reviews the evidence before him to determine whether the Claimants have supported each of the required elements in its contentions within the existing record.

Identity or Confusing Similarity.

Complainant is the sole and exclusive owners of the United States registered service mark INTERNET AMERICA (word) (Reg. No. 1,151,607) and INTERNET AMERICA & Design (Serial No. 75/523013). The domain name <internetamerica.com> contains the identical phrase "Internet America." Therefore, the Presiding Panelist finds that the domain name <internetamerica.com> is identical with and confusingly similar to the service marks INTERNET AMERICA pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).

Rights or Legitimate Interest.

Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant, and has not received any permission or consent to use the service marks INTERNET AMERICA or to apply for the domain name <internetamerica .com>. There is no evidence of the Respondentís use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to <internetamerica.com> in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The disputed domain name does not resolve (and never has resolved) to a website or other online presence. Therefore, the Presiding Panelist finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name <internetamerica.com> pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).

Bad Faith.

Respondentís failure (1) to respond to the inquiries of Complainant or to the Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding sent by the Center, (2) to respond to Complainantís communciations, (3) to post any content on a website or to use the disputed domain name and (4) to take any action and the mere passive holding of the disputed domain name support the inference that the registration and the use of the domain name <internetamerica .com> has been in bad faith. Therefore, the Presiding Panelist finds that the registration and use of the domain name <internetamerica.com> is in bad faith pursuant to the Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).

 

7. Decision

The Presiding Panelist concludes (a) that the domain name <internetamerica.com> is identical with and confusingly similar to the service marks INTERNET AMERICA, (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 <internetamerica.com> be transferred to Complainant Internet America, Inc.

 


 

Richard W. Page
Presiding Panelist

Dated: June 19, 2000