WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Ranstad Holding N.V.; Tempo-Team Beheer B.V. v. Uri Brazilai
Case No. D2001-0649
1. The Parties
The Complainants are Ranstad Holding N.V.; Tempo-Team Beheer B.V. (Complainants), represented by Mrs. Mieke Renee of Shield Mark B.V., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The Respondent is Uri Brazilai of Israel (Respondent), with administrative contact and occasional representative H. Grishaver in the Netherlands.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name in dispute is as follows: <tempoteam.com>.
The Registrar is NameSecure of Concord, CA, U.S.A.
3. Procedural History
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the Center) received Complainants’ complaint on May 14, 2001 (hard copy) and on May 17, 2001, by e-mail. The Center acknowledged receipt on May 16, 2001.
On May 17, 2001, the Center transmitted via e-mail to NameSecure a request for registrar verification in connection with this case. On May 22, 2001, NameSecure transmitted via e-mail to the Center a Verification Response, confirming that the registrant is Uri Brazilai, and that the domain name registration at issue is in "Active" status.
The Center verified that the complaint satisfied 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 WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the Supplemental Rules). Complainants made the required payment to the Center. The formal date of the commencement of this administrative proceeding is May 23, 2001.
On May 23, 2001, the Center transmitted Notification of Complaint and Commencement of the Administrative Proceeding by e-mail and international courier, together with a copy of the Complaint. There has been no response from the Respondent.
On June 15, 2001, the Center notified Respondent’s Default.
On June 25, 2001, the Center advised the parties via e-mail that the undersigned had been appointed as the sole panelist in this proceeding.
The Panel finds that WIPO has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules "to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent." Therefore the Panel issues its Decision based on the Complaint, the Policy, the Uniform Rules, the Supplemental Rules, and without the benefit of any Response from the Respondent.
4. Factual Background
The following facts are clear from the Complaint and its numerous attachments: Complainants are companies in a substantial group involved in the provision of various types of employment services, such as recruitment of personnel and related advice. Complainants have between 1987 and July 1999 made numerous trademark registrations including an International Registration under the Madrid Convention at WIPO, various Benelux registrations, and registrations in Ireland and the United States.
Tempo-Team (wordmark), registration number 0704520 in the classes 35, 41 and 42, registered on 30.10.1987, renewed on 19.06.92 for a duration of 10 years.
Tempo-team Uitzendbureau (devicemark), registration number 0433893 in the classes 35, 41 and 42, registered on 30.10.1987, renewed on 28.08.97 for a duration of 10 years.
Tempo-Team werk in goede banen (wordmark), registration number 599535 in the classes 35, 41 and 42, registered on 23.09.1996 for a duration of 10 years.
Tempo-Team Uitzendwerk in goede banen (wordmark), registration number 599534 in the classes 35, 41 and 42, registered on 23.09.1996 for a duration of 10 years.
Tempo-team Van uitzendbaan naar Uitzendloopbaan (wordmark), registration number 627442 in the classes 35, 41 and 42, registered on 20.03.1998, for a duration of 10 years.
Tempo-Team (wordmark), registration number 215356 in the class 35, registered on 03.06.1999 for a duration of 10 years.
International Registration (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom)
Tempo-Team (wordmark), registration number 715723 in the classes 35, 41 and 42, registered on 03.06.1999 for a duration of 10 years.
United States of America
Tempo-Team (wordmark), application number 75/742,284 in class 35, filed on 02.07.1999.
All of these registrations comport the word "Tempo-Team". It furthermore appears that complainants have actively used their trademarks in connection with their business.
Respondent’s domain registration was obtained after the date of Complainants’ registration of all the above trademarks. Complainants have also submitted evidence, in the form of a letter from Israeli patent and trademark attorneys, to the effect that Respondent has not applied for or obtained and Trademark registrations in his home country of Israel.
On July 14, 1999, Complainants’ counsel wrote to a certain Mr. Devries, who was then the registered holder of the complained of domain name to notify him of Complainants’ rights, and subsequently sent Mr. Devries forms for the transfer of the name. It appears that Mr. Devries transferred the name back to NAMESECURE and that it was thence transferred to a Netherlands-based entity called Wisent, and then on to the Respondent, Mr. Brazilai (or Barzilai). Complainants’ counsel on August 2, 2000, then wrote to
Mr. Brazilai requesting voluntary transfer of the domain name. On November 16, 2000, Mr. Grishaver, who is listed as the administrative contact for the complained of domain name, phoned Complainants’ counsel and apparently offered to sell it for US$ 10,000. Mr. Grishaver also confirmed this offer, on behalf of Mr. Brazilai, in writing by means of an e-mail dated January 24, 2001, and sent two follow-up or reminder e-mails concerning his offer.
The facts, to the extent relevant, are further discussed in Section 6 below.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainants contend that the complained of domain name should be transferred to them as it is identical or confusingly similar to their marks, that there are no circumstances indicating that Respondent has any legitimate interest in or permission to use the contested domain name, and that the evidence shows that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent has made no submissions in this proceeding, and the Panelist is entitled to draw appropriate inferences from this failure and the material in the file.
6. Discussion and Findings
It is evident from the well-documented complaint in these proceedings that Complainants have met their burden of proving the three elements required for a transfer of the contested domain name pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
6.1 Identity or Confusing Similarity
The only difference between Complainants’ marks and the contested domain name is the absence of a hyphen in the latter ("Tempo-Team" as opposed to "Tempoteam"). This difference is, in this context, most certainly inadequate to dispel or even significantly diminish the near identity and obvious confusing similarity. Cf. The Press Association v. Connect Support Services Ltd., WIPO Case N° D2001-0263 (addition of hyphens to domain name still results in it being in essence identical to mark).
6.2 Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no indication that Respondent has any rights of legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, or that he was seeking to make use of it in connection with a bona fide offer of goods or services. The Complaint also make clear that Complainants have not authorized or licensed Respondent to use their marks. The Panel concludes that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the contested domain name.
6.3 Registration and Use in Bad Faith
Respondent registered the complained of domain name after Complainants had made numerous trademark registrations of the "Tempo-Team" mark and variations thereof. After registration of the disputed domain name, Respondent’s administrative contact and representative offered it for sale at an amount far in excess of any legitimate costs. This is clear and sufficient evidence of bad faith registration and use of the domain name. Respondents’ apparent pattern of shifting around the registration for the domain name is further evidence of bad faith, albeit not necessarily dispositive on the issue. See also Delaware Park Racing Association v. Mr. Lew Blanck, Case N° D2001-0182.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Panel decides that Complainants have proved each of the three elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy and orders that the domain name <tempoteam.com> be transferred to Complainants or either of them.
Nicolas C. Ulmer
Dated: July 8, 2001