WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Blistex Inc. v. Online Multimedia Communications, Inc.
Case No. D2000-0552
1. The Parties
The Complainant in this administrative proceeding is Blistex Inc., a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Illinois and having its principal place of business at 1800 Swift Drive, Oak Brook, Illinois, U.S.A. The Respondent is Online Multimedia Communications, Inc., an organization with a mailing address of 223 Wall Street, Huntington, New York, U.S.A.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name in dispute is as follows: "stridex.com". The domain name was registered by Respondent with Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) on November 9, 1997.
3. Procedural Background
On June 9, 2000, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center received from Complainant via e-mail a complaint for decision in accordance with the Uniform Policy for Domain Name Dispute Resolution, adopted by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on August 26, 1999 ("Policy"), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, approved by ICANN on October 24, 1999 ("Rules"), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (Supplemental Rules).
The complaint was filed in compliance with the requirements of the Rules and the Supplemental Rules, payment was properly made, the administrative panel was properly constituted, and the panelist submitted the required Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence.
The instant Administrative Proceeding was commenced on June 10, 2000.
Respondent failed to file a Response and a "Notification of Respondent Default," dated July 1, 2000, was forwarded by WIPO to Respondent.
The decision of the Panel was due to WIPO on or before August 29, 2000.
4. Factual Background
As alleged in the Complaint, Complainant Blistex owns three (3) U.S. trademark registrations (Nos. 693,083; 988,073; and 2,094,392) for marks consisting in whole or in part of the mark STRI-DEX, as used on facial cleansers and medicated preparations for the prevention of acne and other skin affections. See Complaint, Annex 3. The mark STRI-DEX has been used since 1959, and has been the subject of over $50 million worth of advertising. Sales of STRI-DEX products now exceed $24 million annually. According to brand awareness studies, over 80% of all teen-aged individuals are familiar with the STRI-DEX mark.
As noted above, Respondent registered the domain name in dispute with NSI in November 1997. Respondent has no product designated by the term "stridex" or "stri-dex" and has no license to use the mark.
As alleged by Complainant, Respondent has announced on its "stridex.com" website its intention to sell the domain name. The website announces "This site is in the process of being sold. For information, please contact the e-mail address below." See Complaint, Annex 1. Approximately one year ago, Respondent contacted Complainant in an attempt to convince Complainant to purchase Respondent's Web development services.
Respondent also owns other domain names, i.e., "vitamins.net" and "healthblast.com", which provide health-related information online.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant contends that Respondent's domain name "stridex.com" is legally identical to Complainant's registered trademarks and that the domain name was acquired, and is being used, primarily for the purpose of selling the domain name registration to Complainant or a third party for consideration in excess of Respondent's documented costs directly related to the domain name. Complainant also alleges that the domain name was acquired for the purpose of preventing Complainant from using its mark in a corresponding domain name.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Panel has carefully weighed the evidence presented and determines that Complainant has established all of the elements required under ¶4(a) of the Policy.
Respondent's domain name is legally identical to Complainant's marks, which Complainant clearly has rights to through ownership of valid and subsisting U.S. trademark registrations, as well as through use of the marks in commerce. As Complainant notes, the use of a hyphen in Complainant's marks is immaterial.
It is also clear that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. None of the circumstances set forth in ¶4(c) of the Policy is applicable.
With respect to the issue of "bad faith" registration and use, the Panel determines that the evidence supports a determination that Respondent registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling the registration either to Complainant or to a third party for valuable consideration in excess of Respondent's documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name, within the meaning of ¶4(b)(i) of the Policy.
In view of the above, the Panel GRANTS Complainant's request for transfer to it of the domain name "stridex.com".
Jeffrey M. Samuels
August 27, 2000