WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Direct Line Insurance plc & Others v Snoop4.com
Case No. D2002-0699
1. The Parties
The First Complainant is Direct Line Insurance plc., Croydon, Surrey, United Kingdom.
The Second Complainant is Direct Line Group Services Limited, Croydon, Surrey, United Kingdom.
The Third Complainant us Jam Jar Cars Limited (previously Jamjar.com Limited), Croydon, Surrey, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Snoop4.com Limited (previously known as 24seven Consulting Limited, London, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The Domain Name is <jamajr.com>.
The Registrar is Melbourne IT Limited dba Internet Names Worldwide.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed on July 24, 2002. WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, (the "Center") verified that the Complaint satisfies the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("the rules") and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("the Supplemental Rules") and that payment was properly made. The Panelist is satisfied this is the case.
The Complaint was properly notified in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 2(a), however no formal Response has been received and the Respondent is in default.
The undersigned Panelist submitted a Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence. The administrative panel was properly constituted.
No further submissions were received by the Center or the Panel as a consequence of which the date scheduled for the issuance of the Panelís decision was October 3, 2002.
4. Factual Background
The Complainants are members of a group of companies which trade under the mark JAM JAR on the Internet using the url "www.jamjar.com" selling new and used vehicles and other motor accessories and products. They own UK and Community Trademark registrations for JAM JAR and/or JAMJAR.COM. The Respondent operates an on line car retailer web site at "www.Snoop4.com" offering new and used cars, searching facilities for cars, car loans and car insurance. The Respondent signed an undertaking agreeing to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainants and not to use the JAM JAR mark or any mark confusingly similar thereto, however the Domain Name was not transferred to the Complainants and the Domain name has been used to point to the Respondentís web site on at least two subsequent occasions.
5. Partiesí Contentions
The Complainantsí contentions are as follows:
The Complainants are the owners of two UK trademark registrations and one Community Trademark including the mark JAM JAR registered for, inter alia, motor vehicles, insurance and motor vehicle maintenance services. The Complainants also own the domain names <jamjar.com> and <jamjarcars.com> and several other domain names including the mark JAM JAR. The Complainants have used the JAM JAR and JAMJAR.COM trademarks to sell cars, motor insurance, car loans, car rental, breakdown cover and motor accessories over the Internet since 1996/7, and the mark has become a famous mark in the on line motor industry. In the last year the Complainants have been selling approximately 1000 cars per month under the JAM JAR mark.
The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainantsí JAM JAR and JAMJAR.COM trademarks in which the Complainants have rights in the UK and Europe. It is also confusingly similar to the domain name <jamjar.com> which was registered by the Complainants on April 18, 2000, and is a central focus of the Complainantsí business today. The only difference between the Domain Name and the Complainantsí trademarks is that in the Domain Name the second "j" and "a" appear changed around. This is a common form of typo piracy which is, inter alia, a deliberate attempt to attract or divert Internet users who make a common error or spelling mistake in their Internet search. The Domain Name would be of little use to the Respondent if it was not of sufficient confusing similarity with the Complainantsí trademarks so as to attract potential customers of the Complainants.
The Respondent trades under the name of Snoop 4 Limited. The Respondent has not been trading or advertising using the JAMAJR name other than use of the Domain Name and have not been commonly known by this name. The Complainants have not licensed the Respondent to make any use of their JAM JAR mark or the Domain Name. If the Respondent were to commence other use of the JAMAJR name for motor vehicle related goods or services the Complainants would consider taking legal action against them.
The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to their web site by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainantsí trademarks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondentís products and services on its web site. The Respondentís web site does not feature the word "JAMAJR" in the web site or any similar word but provides products and services in direct competition with the Complainants. The Respondent has deliberately registered the Domain Name so that should a customer misspell the Complainantís web site address then they will be directed to the Respondentís web site which can divert business away from the Complainants' web site.
The Respondent signed an undertaking dated July 19, 2001, agreeing to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainants and agreeing not to use the JAM JAR mark or any mark confusingly similar thereto. By doing this the Respondent has acknowledged the Complainantsí rights in the JAM JAR mark. In fact, the Respondent did not transfer the Domain Name to the Complainants and the Domain Name has been pointed to the Respondentís site at least twice since that time. On each occasion the Complainants has succeeded in having the site taken down through the Respondentís Internet service provider.
The Respondent has not submitted a formal Response and is in default.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedure Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) The Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or confusing similarity
The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainantís JAM JAR trademark consisting of a misspelling of the mark such that the second "j" and "a" are swapped around such as might happen if an Internet user mistyped the Complainantís internet address.
B. Rights or legitimate interest of the Respondent
The Respondent appears to have no right or legitimate interest in the domain name and is in default.
C. Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four non exclusive criteria which shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith including:
(i) the Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(ii) by using the domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainantís mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its web site or location or of a product or service on its web site or location.
The Respondent is a competitor of the Complainants. The Domain Name has been used to point to the Respondentís competing on line car retailing web site. The Respondent has acknowledged the Complainantsí rights in the JAM JAR trademark by agreeing not to use that or any confusingly similar mark and agreeing to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainants. Despite this the Respondent has failed to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainants and has continued to point the Domain Name to its competing site. It can be inferred perhaps from this that it was certainly worth the Respondentís while to point the Domain Name to its site and that traffic must have been diverted from the Complainantsí site to the site of the Respondent. Accordingly, it is clear that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its web site or other on-line location, by creating confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its products or services and/or it has registered the Domain Name primarily to disrupt the business of a competitor. I, therefore, find that bad faith has been demonstrated under Paragraphs 4(b)(iii) and/or (iv) of the Policy.
In light of the foregoing the Panelist decides that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainantsí trademark JAM JAR, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the Domain Name, and the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith.
Accordingly, it is ordered that the Domain Name <jamajr.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: October 1, 2002