WIPO

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Ltd Commodities, Inc. v. Mike Wong

Case No. D2002-0490

 

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Ltd Commodities, Inc. having an address at 2800 Lakeside Drive, Bannockburn, Illinois, 60015, United States of America.

The Respondent is Mike Wong, having a mailing address at Dongu Tau 43/1 Seoul 32121, Republic of Korea.

 

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The domain name is <ltdcommidities.com>.

The Registrar is BulkRegister.com with an office at 10 East Baltimore Street, Suite 1500, Baltimore, MD 21202, United States of America.

 

3. Procedural History

On April 29 and May 27, 2002, a Complaint about the domain name, was filed in electronic form and in hard copy, respectively, by the Complainant with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center").

The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy") adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules") and the Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules").

In particular, the Center obtained confirmation from the Registrar (by email of May 31, 2002, from it) that the domain name was registered with it, that the domain name was registered to the Respondent and that the Policy applied to the domain name.

On June 14, 2002, the Center forwarded the Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding by email and post to Respondent. The due date for a response was indicated as June 25, 2002.

On July 5, 2002, the Center sent Notification of Respondent Default by email to Respondent as no response had been received by the due date.

The undersigned Panelist, Mr. Mark Yang, submitted to the Center a Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence.

On July 24, 2002, the Center transmitted by email to the parties a Notification of Appointment of Administrative Panel and Projected Decision Date, in which Mr. Mark Yang was formally appointed as the Sole Panelist and the projected Decision Date was indicated as August 7, 2002.

The Sole Panelist is satisfied with the Centerís assessment that it verified the Complaintís compliance with the relevant requirements of the Rules, Supplemental Rules and Policy, and that this Administrative Panel (hereinafter, "Panel") was properly constituted and appointed in accordance therewith.

The Panel has not received any requests from the Complainant or the Respondent regarding further submissions, waivers or extensions of deadlines, and the Panel has not found it necessary to request any further information from the parties (taking note of the Respondentís default in responding to the Complaint).

Having reviewed the communication records in the case file provided by the Center, the Panel finds that the Center has discharged its responsibility under the Rules, paragraph 2(a), "to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent". Therefore, the Panel shall issue its decision based upon the Complaint, the Policy, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules and without the benefit of the Respondentís response.

 

4. Factual Background

The Respondent registered the domain name with the Registrar on or about February 8, 2000.

In the Complaint (the paragraphs under #12, and the associated three Annexes, the Complainant submitted evidence and contentions of various factual and legal conclusions based on such evidence.

Since the Respondent has not submitted any evidence and has not contested the contentions made by the Complainant, the Panel is left to render its decision on the basis of the uncontroverted contentions made, and the evidence supplied, by the Complainant. The Panelís position on some contentions is amplified below (in Discussion and Findings).

In the absence of any evidence to the contrary submitted by the Respondent, this Panel accepts much (but not necessarily all) the submitted evidence and the contended for factual and legal conclusions as proven by such evidence, as set out in the Complaint. The Panel accepts enough to render its decision below.

 

5. Partiesí Contentions

A. The Complainant alleges that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark LTD COMMODITIES, INC. in which the Complainant has rights, that the Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interest in the domain name, and that the domain name is registered and being used in bad faith by the Respondent. The Complainant requests the transfer to it of the domain name.

B. The Respondent has not filed a response to the Complaint, and is in default.

 

6. Discussion and Findings

One requirement of fundamental due process is that a Respondent has notice of proceedings that may substantially affect its rights. The Policy, Rules and Supplemental Rules establish procedures intended to assure that a Respondent is given adequate notice of proceedings commenced against it, and a reasonable opportunity to respond (see, e.g., Rules, paragraph 2(a)).

In this case, the Panel is satisfied that the Center took all steps reasonably necessary to notify the Respondent of the filing of the Complaint and initiation of these proceedings, and that the failure of the Respondent to furnish a response to the Complaint is not due to any omission by the Center. There is sufficient evidence, in the case file provided by the Center, for the Panel to conclude the Center discharged its obligations under Rules, paragraph 2(a) (see Procedural History, supra).

Where there is default, under Rule 14(a), "the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the complaint", and under the Rule 14(b), "the Panel shall draw such inferences [from the default] as it considers appropriate". Furthermore, Rule 15(a) provides that a "Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems appropriate". Since the Respondent has not submitted any material and has not contested the contentions made by the Complainant, the Panel is left to render its decision on the basis of the uncontroverted contentions made, and the evidence supplied, by the Complainant.

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy sets forth three elements to be established by a Complainant to merit a finding that a Respondent has engaged in abusive domain name registration, and to obtain relief. Each of the following three elements must be established by a Complainant:

(I) Respondentís domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(II) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(III) Respondentís domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

I. The Respondentís domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark LTD COMMODITIES, INC. in which the Complainant has rights

Based on the uncontroverted evidence submitted by the Complainant and the facts and conclusions contended for (see Factual Background, above), the Panel finds that:

(a) the Complainant holds registration #2315412 for the trademark LTD COMMODITIES, INC. issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on February 8, 2000, in association with catalog mail order distributorship for general merchandise including toys, jewelry, watches, housewares, luggage, clothing sports equipment, clothing, beauty products, food, tools, rugs, greeting cards, office products, furniture, crockery, dolls, puzzles, games, pans, wall hangings and other decorations, lighting, rugs, shoes and slippers, wallets, checkbooks, candles, frames, giftware, cookware, photo albums, books (hereinafter, "distributorship services"); and

(b) the Complainant, has since 1978, used its trademark LTD COMMODITIES, INC. in association with its distributorship services in the United States of America, and in particular, the Complainant is using it at its "www.ltd commodities.com" Website.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in its trademark LTD COMMODITIES, INC. in the United States of America.

The Panel finds that the mis-spelling of "LTD COMMODITIES, INC." as "ltdcommidities" is of insufficient legal significance to distinguish the latter from the former in the marketplace context of "distributorship services", especially when sounded by an English-speaking audience.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the domain name is confusingly similar to the LTD COMMODITIES, INC. trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

II. Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name

Respondent has submitted no evidence, generally, and none under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy in particular, to support a finding of it having any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. This is sufficient for the Panel to accept the Complainantís contention of II.

Furthermore, based on the uncontroverted evidence submitted by the Complainant and the factual and legal and conclusions contended for (see Factual Background, above), the Panel accepts in large measure, the evidence and contentions of factual and legal and conclusions set out in the Complaint. In particular, the Panel finds that (a) and (b) under I above, were likely known by the Respondent when it registered the domain name and that makes it very difficult, even if it had submitted evidence, for it to show it had rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.

III. Respondentís domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith

Based on the uncontroverted evidence submitted by the Complainant and the factual and legal conclusions contended for (see Factual Background, above), the Panel accepts in large measure, the evidence and contentions set out in the Complaint. In particular, the domain name was registered in bad faith because, it was done with knowledge of the Complainantís trademark registration of LTD COMMODITIES, INC. and its use of LTD COMMODITIES, INC. as a trademark for distributorship services. Also in particular, the domain name is being used in bad faith because it resolves to (and thereby diverts Internet use traffic to) a website involving online advertising and gambling web sites, for its financial gain, with a false association to the Complainant and its trademark LTD COMMODITIES, INC.

The Panel finds that the Respondentís domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Panel reiterates its above stated approach: Since the Respondent has not submitted any material and has not contested the contentions made by the Complainant, the Panel is left to render its decision on the basis of the uncontroverted contentions made, and the evidence supplied, by the Complainant. The Panel found for the Complainantís contentions I, II and III above, primarily because of its stated approach and not because it necessarily found the Complaint to be persuasive in some aspects.

 

7. Decision

The Panel finds, within the meaning of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, that the domain name <ltdcommidities.com> is confusingly similar to Complainantís trademark LTD COMMODITIES, INC. in which it has rights; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith by the Respondent.

The Panel orders that the domain name <ltdcommidities.com> be transferred to the Complainant Ltd Commodities, Inc.

 


 

Mark Yang
Sole Panelist

Dated: August 7, 2002