WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Copart, Inc. v. SalvageNow
Case No. D2000-0417
1. The Parties
1.1 The Complainant is Copart, Inc., a corporation having its principal place of business at 5500 E. Second Street, Benicia, California, United States of America.
1.2 The Respondent is SalvageNow, having its principal place of business at 123 N.W. 13th Street, Suite 312, Boca Raton, Florida, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name(s) and Registrar(s)
The domain name at issue is <copart.net>, which domain name is registered with Network Solutions, Inc., based in Herndon, Virginia.
3. Procedural History
3.1 A Complaint was submitted electronically to the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "WIPO Center") on May 11, 2000, and the signed original together with four copies forwarded by express courier was received on May 15, 2000. An Acknowledgment of Receipt was sent by the WIPO Center to the Complainant, dated May 11, 2000.
3.2 On May 11, 2000, a Request for Registrar Verification was transmitted to the registrar, Network Solutions, Inc. ("NSI") requesting it to: (1) confirm that the domain name at in issue is registered with NSI; (2) confirm that the person identified as the Respondent is the current registrant of the domain name; (3) provide the full contact details (i.e., postal address(es), telephone number(s), facsimile number(s), e-mail address(es)) available in the registrar’s Whois database for the registrant of the disputed domain name, the technical contact, the administrative contact and the billing contact; (4) confirm that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy") is in effect; (5) indicate the current status of the domain name.
3.3 On May 14, 2000, NSI confirmed by reply e-mail that the domain name <copart.net> is registered with NSI, is currently in active status, and that the Respondent, SalvageNow, is the current registrant of the name. The registrar also forwarded the requested Whois details, and confirmed that the Policy is in effect.
3.4 The WIPO Center determined that the Complaint satisfies the formal requirements of the Policy, the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Uniform Rules") and the Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules"). The Panel has independently determined and agrees with the assessment of the WIPO Center that the Complaint is in formal compliance with the requirements of 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 Uniform Rules, and the Supplemental Rules. The required fees for a single-member Panel were paid on time and in the required amount by the Complainant.
3.5 No formal deficiencies having been recorded, on May 16, 2000, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification") was transmitted to the Respondent (with copies to the Complainant, NSI and ICANN), setting a deadline of June 4, 2000, by which the Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint. The Commencement Notification was transmitted to the Respondent by courier and by e-mail to the e-mail addresses indicated in the Complaint. Evidence of proper notice is provided by the evidence in the record of the Respondent’s participation in these proceedings.
3.6 A response by email was received on June 4, 2000, and the hard copy of the response was received on June 9, 2000. On June 4, 2000 the WIPO Center transmitted an Acknowledgement of Receipt (Response).
3.7 On June 13, 2000, having received M. Scott Donahey’s Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, the WIPO Center transmitted to the parties a Notification of Appointment of Administrative Panel and Projected Decision Date, in which M. Scott Donahey was formally appointed as the Sole Panelist. The Projected Decision Date was June 26, 2000, which was subsequently extended to June 29, 2000. The Sole Panelist finds that the Administrative Panel was properly constituted and appointed in accordance with the Uniform Rules and the WIPO Supplemental Rules.
4. Factual Background
4.1 Complainant registered <copart.com> in January 1996.
4.2 Complainant has registered the trademark "CI Copart Inc. Salvage Auto Auctions" as of January 17, 1995.
4.3 Complainant has used the "Copart" mark or a derivation thereof since 1983.
4.4 Complainant had approximately 5,939,406 unique visitors to its "www.copart.com" website from April 1, 2000, to May 9, 2000.
4.5 Respondent is in the same business as Complainant.
4.6 During the period January through May 2000 there were only five direct hits on Respondent's website resulting from the entry of "www.copart.net" which linked to the SalvageNow website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
5.1 Complainant contends that Respondent has registered as a domain name a mark which is identical to the service mark registered and used by Complainant, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name at issue, and that Respondent has registered and is using the domain name at issue in bad faith.
5.2 Respondent denies that the domain name at issue is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark registered and used by the Complainant. Respondent contends that it has rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name at issue and that it did not register, nor is it using, the domain name in bad faith.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1 Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use in determining the dispute: "A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules, and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable."
6.2 Since both the Complainant and Respondent are domiciled in the United States, and since United States’ courts have recent experience with similar disputes, to the extent that it would assist the Panel in determining whether the Complainant has met its burden as established by Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Panel shall look to rules and principles of law set out in decisions of the courts of the United States.
6.3 Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following:
1) that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and,
2) that the Respondent has no legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and,
3) the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.
6.4 The domain name at issue <copart.net> is not identical to nor substantially similar to the mark registered and used by Complainant, "CI Copart Inc. Salvage Auto Auctions."
6.5 Because the Panel has determined that the domain name at issue is not identical or substantially similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights, there is no need to determine whether the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. Policy, ¶¶ 4(a)(i) and (ii).
6.6 Nor is it necessary to determine whether the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Policy, ¶ 4(a)(iii)
6.7 Accordingly, the Panel declines to determine matters unnecessary to a resolution of the rights of the parties.
For all of the foregoing reasons, the Panel decides that the domain name registered by Respondent is not identical or substantially similar to the trademark in which the Complainant has rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds in favor of the Respondent.
M. Scott Donahey
Dated: June 28, 2000