WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Ford Motor Company and Land Rover LTD. v. Institution
Case No. DBIZ2001-00045
1. The Parties
Complainants are Ford Motor Company, Michigan, USA and Land Rover Ltd., Maryland USA, represented by Howard, Phillips & Andersen, Utah, USA.
Respondent is according to the Whois database Institution, c/o Stuart Errington, Lancaster, UK.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name at issue is <rangerover.biz>. The register is Melbourne IT trading as Internet Names WorldWide.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was submitted for decision in accordance with the Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy ("STOP") for .BIZ, adopted by NeuLevel, Inc. and approved by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") on May 11, 2001, in accordance with 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 Complaint was received by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 15, 2001. The fees prescribed under the STOP Rules and the WIPO Supplemental STOP Rules and the STOP Schedule of Fees have been paid by the Complainants.
The Center sent the Notification of STOP Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding on December 24, 2001, to the Respondent in the prescribed manner, setting a deadline of January 13, 2002, by which the Respondent could file a Response. The Notification was also sent to the Complainants' representative. The Center also sent a copy of the Complaint (without attachments) to ICANN and the Registrar, Melbourne IT.
The Respondent failed to file a Response in the time allowed and has not filed a Response to date as far as the Panel is aware.
A Notification of Respondent Default was sent by the Center to the Respondent and the Complainants' representative on January 14, 2002.
The Panel submitted a Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence to the Center by email on January 28, 2002.
On February 15, 2002, the Center notified the parties of the appointment of the Panel and at the same time forwarded the case file to the Panel.
In accordance with Paragraph 4(a) of the STOP Rules, the Center has verified that the Complaint satisfies the formal requirements of the STOP, the STOP Rules and the WIPO Supplemental STOP Rules. The Panel has reviewed the Complaint and is satisfied with the Centerís assessment that the Complaint satisfies the formal requirements of the STOP, the STOP Rules and the WIPO Supplemental STOP Rules.
All other procedural requirements appear to have been satisfied.
4. Factual Background
Complainants have registered and used the trademark RANGE ROVER in several countries around the world including in the UK. The mark is registered and used primarily for motor cars and related services, but also for goods such as clothing, games and toys.
No information has been provided to the Panel as to the Respondents activities.
5. Partiesí Contentions
The contested domain name is identical to the Complainants' mark
The domain name is identical to the trademark RANGE ROVER in which the Complainants' has rights. The RANGE ROVER mark is both distinctive and has a global reputation and is exclusively associated with Complainants' products and services.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the contested domain name
To the best of Complainants' knowledge the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name that are the subject of the Complaint.
Respondent registered and used the contested domain names in bad faith
The Complainants have not explained this point in detail with reference to the requirements of Paragraph 4 (a)(iii) of STOP. However, they refer to the fact that Respondent has as apparently provided the Registrar with inaccurate information in breach of the Registration Agreement, which is a clear indication of bad faith.
As mentioned above, Respondent has not filed any Response.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to Paragraph 15(a) of the STOP Rules the Panel shall decide a complaint in accordance with the STOP, the STOP Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Paragraph 4(a) of STOP directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following:
1) that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and,
2) that the Respondent has no legitimate interests in respects of the domain name; and
3) the domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.
Identical or similar to Complainants' trademark
RANGE ROVER is registered and used as trademark by Complainants in a number of countries around the world.
The domain name <rangerover.biz> is identical to the trademark except for the addition ".biz".
The prerequisites in STOP, Paragraph 4(a)(i) are therefore fulfilled
Respondent's rights and legitimate interests
The Complainants have neither explicitly nor tacitly licensed nor otherwise permitted Respondent to use its trademark or to apply for any domain name incorporating the mark.
Further, the Respondent has not demonstrated that it has any prior rights or other independent, legitimate interests in the domain name.
The prerequisites in STOP, Paragraph 4(a)(ii), cf. 4(c) are therefore fulfilled.
Registration or use in bad faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of STOP further provides for registration or use in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(b) regulates, by way of example, the kind of evidence that is required.
The Respondent is located in the UK. The trademark RANGE ROVER is registered and used in this country and must in addition be considered to be particularly well known in the UK. The view of the Panel is therefore that there can be no reasonable doubt that Respondent knew of the Complainants' rights when it registered the contested domain name.
Further, the Panel finds that any use of the name will inevitably be associated with the Complainants and this must have been known to or foreseen by the Respondent.
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) cf. Paragraph 4(b) is thus fulfilled.
Consequently, all the prerequisites for transfer of the domain name according to Paragraph 4(a) of STOP are fulfilled.
In view of the above circumstances and facts the Panel decides, that the domain name registered by Respondent is identical to the trademark in which the Complainants have rights, and that the Respondent has not shown to have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and that the Respondentís domain name has been registered in bad faith.
Accordingly, pursuant to Paragraph 4(i) of STOP, the Panel requires that the registration of the domain name <rangerover.biz> be transferred to the Complainants.
Dated: March 26, 2002