WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Lake Las Vegas Joint Venture v. M. Bridges and Third Party Protection, Investigations and Consultants
Case No. D2001-0226
The Complainant in this administrative proceeding is Lake at Las Vegas Joint Venture, which is located at 1605 Lake Las Vegas Parkway, Henderson, Nevada 89011 United States of America.
The Respondent is M. Bridges and Third Party Protection, Investigations and Consultants, having an address at Box 7, Westchester NS B0M2A0, Canada.
2. Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name in dispute is <lakelasvegasresort.com>. The domain name was registered by Respondent with Register.com on June 28, 2000.
3. Procedural Background
On February 12, 2001, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center received from Complainant a complaint for decision in accordance with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, 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 February 23, 2001.
Respondent failed to file a response and a Notification of Respondentís Default, dated March 16, 2001, was sent by WIPO to Respondent.
The decision of the Panel was due to WIPO on or before April 16, 2001.
4. Factual Background
Since at least as early as 1991, Complainant Lake Las Vegas Joint Venture has used the marks LAKE LAS VEGAS and LAKE LAS VEGAS RESORT in conjunction with its multi-million dollar real estate development and resort operations in the State of Nevada. The centerpiece of the Complainantís resort is a man-made, privately owned lake.
Complainant owns a number of U.S. trademark registrations for the following marks: LAKE LAS VEGAS, as used in connection with providing facilities for recreational activities (Registration No. 1,840,100); LAKE LAS VEGAS, as used in connection with real estate development of hotels and resorts for recreational communities (Registration No. 1,752,891); LAKE LAS VEGAS and DESIGN, as used in connection with providing facilities for recreational activities (Registration No. 1,853,323); and LAKE LAS VEGAS and DESIGN, as used in connection with real estate development of hotels and resorts for recreational communities (Registration No. 1,752,890).
Complainant promotes its real estate development and resort services under the marks LAKE LAS VEGAS and LAKE LAS VEGAS RESORT at the web site lakelasvegas.com. In addition, Complainant expends millions of dollars annually on print and other advertising to promote its services in conjunction with its marks.
As noted above, Respondent registered the domain name <lakelasvegasresort.com> on June 28, 2000. The Panel notes that this web site is not active.
5. Partiesí Contentions
Complainant contends that, with full knowledge of Complainantís rights, Respondent registered the domain name in dispute incorporating Complainantís marks. It further argues that Respondent has no legitimate interest or right to use the name or marks LAKE LAS VEGAS and LAKE LAS VEGAS RESORT or the domain name <lakelasvegasresort.com> and that Respondentís registration of the disputed domain name creates a likelihood of initial interest confusion for Internet users who are searching for information about Complainantís resort operation.
Finally, Complainant maintains that Respondent has registered and used the domain name in bad faith with the intention of either selling the domain name for an undeserved profit or operating a web site at that location which would unjustly benefit from increased traffic from the unauthorized use of Complainantís marks.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Panel has carefully reviewed the evidence presented and determines that Complainant has met all the requirements set forth in para. 4.a. of the Policy.
First, there is no question that the domain name in dispute is confusingly similar to Complainantís LAKE LAS VEGAS and LAKE LAS VEGAS RESORT marks. The inclusion of the top-level domain name .com in Respondentís domain name is without legal significance.
It is also clear that Complainant, through its long use of its LAKE LAS VEGAS and LAKE LAS VEGAS RESORT marks and registrations covering its LAKE LAS VEGAS marks, has rights in the marks.
Further, the Panel determines that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain name, within the meaning of para. 4.c. of the Policy. As noted above, Respondentís <lakelasvegasresort.com> web site is not active; thus, it is clear that Respondent is not using the domain name in connection with the bona fide offering of goods or services. There also is no evidence that Respondent is commonly known by the domain name or that any use is noncommercial or "fair."
Finally, the Panel finds evidence of the requisite "bad faith" registration and use of the domain name. Respondentís "passive" holding of the domain name provides support for a determination of "bad faith" registration and use. See Telstra Corp. Ltd. v. Nuclear Marshmallows, Case No. D2000-0003 (Feb. 18, 2000).
In view of the above, the Panel grants Complainantís request for transfer to it of the domain name <lakelasvegasresort.com>.
Jeffrey M. Samuels
Dated: April 16, 2001