WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Bull HN Information Systems, Inc. v. Integris Consulting Group
Case No. D2001- 0280
1. The Parties
Complainant, Bull HN Information Systems, Inc. is a Delaware Corporation headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts USA ("Bull"). Bull initiated this administrative proceeding pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy") whose terms form of a domain name services agreement (the"Agreement") entered into between Network Solutions, Inc. of Herndon, Virginia and New York, New York USA (the "Registrar") and Integris Consulting Group, a proprietorship owned by Michelle Sellentin of Seattle, Washington USA (the "Respondent"). The Agreement calls for the Respondent to receive Internet message traffic addressed to the domain name, <integris.org>.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The Domain Name is <integris.org>. The Registrar is Network Solutions, Inc., of Herndon, Virginia, and New York, NY USA.
3. Factual Background
Bull is the owner of U.S. Reg. No. 1,818,588 for INTEGRIS as applied to "computer consultation services; namely, integrating computer hardware and software of all types for others, in class 42" (the "Ď588 Registration"). Bull alleges that it "has used, and . . . continues to use, the Trademark [INTEGRIS] since April 29, 1992, using internet and intranet technologies" and "has marketed and sold computer related services in connection with the Trademark throughout the United States"; however, Bullís carefully-worded complaint contains no description of how, if at all, Bull currently provides services under the mark to persons located in the United States, or when it last did so. Bull alleges that it "owns domain name integris.com and operates a website at www.integris.com through its Integris Services division." As of April 23, 2001, the site indicated that Bull had zero U.S. revenues in the year 2000.
On or about February 22, 2001, Bull filed a complaint with the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization (the "Center") which is qualified to administer proceedings commenced under the Policy. In its Complaint Bull alleges that Respondent registered the domain name <integris.org> in bad faith and in violation of pre-existing rights of Bull to exclude others from using INTEGRIS as a designation of origin. By letter dated March 1, 2001, the Center notified the Respondent of Bullís complaint.
4. Procedural History
Respondent served a Response dated March 20, 2001. In its response, the Respondent claimed to have been doing business in Seattle, Washington under the trade name "Integris Consulting Group" since 1997. Annexed to Respondentís response were copies of business licenses issued by the City of Seattle, Washington for each of the years 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001, for a business named "Integris Consulting Group." The Respondent additionally submitted a business card bearing telephone numbers and a e-mail address, "firstname.lastname@example.org." The Respondent characterizes its business as a "human resources consulting business with a clear emphasis on hiring assessment tools, leadership development and conflict resolution training." The Respondent questioned whether Bull was making use of INTEGRIS as a service mark in the United States.
On April 3, 2001, Bull filed a motion for entry of reply to Respondentís response. In its reply, Bull reiterated its contention that it "has been using the mark INTEGRIS continuously since April 29, 1992," and that it "owns and operates a website integris.com for use with its Integris Services division." Conspicuously absent from Bullís reply submission was any evidence or description of where Bull "has been using" INTEGRIS.
5. Discussions and Findings
Section 4(a) of the Policy entitles a complainant, such as Bull, to seek an administrative transfer of a second level Internet domain name in the event that it "proves," to the satisfaction of the Panel, three predicates: (1) an accused domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; (2) a registrant has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the accused domain name; and (3) a registrantís domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel is satisfied that the accused domain name, <integris.org>, is identical or confusingly similar to a service mark in which Bull claims rights; however, Bull has come nowhere near carrying its burden of proving that the registrant -- whom Bull itself identifies as "Integris Consulting Group" -- has "no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the accused domain name" or registered the domain name and has used it in "bad faith."
The Respondent contends, and has submitted evidence tending to show, that the Respondent adopted and has used the trade name "Integris Consulting Group" since 1997 in association with human resources consulting rendered in the vicinity of Seattle, Washington. Bull has submitted no evidence that Respondentís contention in this regard is untrue. The Panel infers, from Bullís carefully worded allegations and its failure to produce any evidence of current use of the INTEGRIS mark association with services provided to persons located in the United States, that Bullís "use" of INTEGRIS in the United States in the recent past has been minimal, if extant at all. The record before this Panel is wholly insufficient to justify any finding that the Respondent has "no" rights or acted in bad faith in registering a domain name corresponding to a pre-existing business name of Respondent operating in an area geographically remote from Bull.
It is, therefore, the decision and judgment of this Panel that the complainant, Bull, take nothing under its complaint, and that this proceeding be dismissed.
James W. Dabney
Dated: April 26, 2001