WIPO

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Qantas Airways Limited v. Queenslander Travel

Case No. DBIZ2001-00003

 

1. The Parties

The Complainant in this administrative proceeding is Qantas Airways Limited, ABN 16 009 661 901, a company incorporated in Australia whose principle place of business is 203 Coward Street, Mascot, NSW Australia. The Respondent in this administrative proceeding is Queenslander Travel, (Administrative Contact, Mark Story Colorado, United States).

 

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name is <qantas.biz>. The Registrar of the domain name is Melbourne IT of Melbourne, Australia.

 

3. Procedural History

This is a mandatory administrative proceeding submitted for decision in accordance with the Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy for ".biz", adopted by NeuLevel, Inc. and approved by ICANN on May 11, 2001, (the "STOP"), the Rules for Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy for ".biz", adopted by NeuLevel, Inc. and approved by ICANN on May 11, 2001, (the "STOP Rules") and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy for ".biz" (the "WIPO Supplemental STOP Rules").

The Administrative Panel consisting of one member was appointed on March 23, 2002, by WIPO.

Complainant filed its STOP Complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 7, 2001. On December 17, 2001, the Center received a communication from the Respondent. On December 21, 2001, having verified that the STOP Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of STOP and the STOP Rules, the Center formally commenced this proceeding. On January 8, 2002, the Center received a communication from the Complainant which the Center answered on January 9, 2002. On January 14, 2002, a Notice of Default was issued. On January 14, 2002, the Center received a communication from the Respondent which the Center answered on January 15, 2002. On February 14, 2002, the case was suspended until March 5, 2002, when it was re-instated.

An examination of this material confirms that all technical requirements for the prosecution of this proceeding were met.

Neither party requested an opportunity to make further submissions and the Administrative Panel is content to proceed on the basis of the existing record.

By registering the subject domain name with the Registrar, the Respondent agreed to the resolution of disputes pursuant to STOP and STOP Rules.

 

4. Factual Background

The following information is derived from the Complaint.

The Complainant and its predecessors in title have operated an airline under the name "Quantas" since 1920. It is active in many countries around the world.

The word "Quantas" is contained in a great many trademarks owned by the Complainant.

The Respondent is not authorized to use the Complainantís trademarks and has not used the word "Quantas" to identify its business.

The Respondent communicated on several occasions to the Complainant and to the Center.

In an e-mail to the Complainantís representative dated January 8, 2002, the Respondent stated:

"After extensive review of your documents we have determined you have a strong case for rightful ownership of [the subject domain name]. [The Respondent] now seeks to relinquish the domain name to your company."

There were other communications to like effect.

 

5. Partiesí Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant relies on its registrations and use of the word "Quantas" and on the Respondentís concession.

B. Respondent

The Respondent concedes the strength of the Complainantís case.

 

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of STOP requires the Complainant to prove that:

(i) the domain name is identical to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(ii) the Respondent has no legitimate interest in respect of the domain name;

(iii) the domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.

Paragraph 4(b) provides for the implication of evidence of bad faith in a number of circumstances:

(i) circumstances that indicate that the Respondent has registered or has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondentís documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name;

(ii) registration of the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct;

(iii) registration of the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor;

(iv) by using the domain name, intentionally attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondentís web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the web site or location or of a product or service on it or a location.

These are illustrative and do not represent the only circumstances from which may arise evidence of bad faith.

The resolution of this dispute takes place in the context of a consideration of the requirements of paragraph 4(a) of the STOP.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

It is clear that the Complainant has rights to the word "Quantas" and that the subject domain name is identical to it.

B. Respondents Legitimate Interest

The Respondentís concession establishes that it does not have a legitimate interest in the subject domain name.

C. Bad Faith

Similarly, the Respondentís concession establishes that either it registered the subject domain name in bad faith or that if it were to continue to use it, the Respondent would be acting in bad faith.

 

7. Decision

Based on its findings and on the concession of the Respondent, the Administrative Panel concludes that the Complainant has established its case.

The Complainant requests that the subject domain name be transferred to it. It is so ordered.

 


 

Edward C. Chiasson, Q.C.
Sole Panelist

Dated: April 2, 2002