WIPO

 

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Mayflower Transit, LLC v. Jonny Mayflower/Mayflowers Moving

Case No. D2002-0722

 

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Mayflower Transit, LLC, One Mayflower Drive, Fenton, Missouri 63026, United States of America.

The Respondent is Jonny Mayflower/Mayflowers Moving, 333 Cottonhead Road, California, California 90002, United States of America.

 

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name is <mayflowersmoving.com>.

The domain name originally was registered with 123 East Domain Names, Inc. d/b/a Signature Domains, Miami, Florida. However, on August 1, 2002, the Registrant changed registrars. The current Registrar is Go Daddy Software, Inc., 14455 North Hayden Road, Suite 226, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260, United States of America.

 

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed electronically on August 1, 2002, a hard copy was received on August 2, 2002. An Amended Complaint was filed electronically on August 2, 2002, the hard copy was received on August 5, 2002. On August 5, 2002, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") completed the formal requirements compliance checklist, and on August 6, 2002, issued a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding. This Panel concurs that the Complaint meets the formal requirements, and that Respondent was properly notified of the Complaint. However, Respondent did not file a Response. On August 29, 2002, the Center issued a Notification of Respondent Default. This Panelist was asked to serve and submitted a Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence. On September 9, 2002, the Center issued its Notification of Appointment of Administrative Panel and Projected Decision Date, that this Panelist was appointed, and projected the date for decision as September 23, 2002. There have been no other submissions. The language of this proceeding is English.

 

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a household goods transportation company, which was founded in 1927. It has used the mark MAYFLOWER continuously since its founding. Complainant owns six registered marks that use and incorporate the MAYFLOWER component, some that incorporate a ship design, for transportation and storage services. Complainant received its first US federal registration in 1948, reflecting its first use in commerce in 1927.

Through its parent company, UniGroup, Inc., Complainant owns many domain names that incorporate its MAYFLOWER mark or "moving". In particular, the parent company owns the domain name <mayflower.com>, which was registered on October 4, 1996.

On April 9, 2002, Respondent registered the disputed domain name with Registrar 123 East Domain Names, Inc. d/b/a Signature Domains. On August 1, 2002, Respondent changed Registrars. The current Registrar is Go Daddy Software, Inc. Respondent provided identical contact information to both Registrars.

The domain name currently is inactive. However, the Complaint states that, as of April 24, 2002, the website associated with the disputed domain name reverted to a site for Mayflowers Moving & Storage, which described moving services and contained a ship design.

 

5. Partiesí Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark MAYFLOWER, particularly when combined with the term "moving," which is descriptive of Complainantís business. Complainant also contends that the Respondent has no legitimate interest in or business purpose for the disputed domain name, and that Respondent has not engaged in any business in which it uses the MAYFLOWER mark. Respondent also allegedly has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith, because it provided false information to the Registrars, and it is precluding Complainant from using a domain name that corresponds to Complainantís marks. Complainant also contends that the site to which the domain name reverted on April 24, 2002, was intended to disrupt Complainantís business by confusing and misleading customers seeking Complainantís legitimate services.

B. Respondent

Respondent has not responded to the Complaint and the allegations contained therein.

 

6. Discussion and Findings

Under Paragraph 4(a) of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("the Policy"), the Complainant has the burden of proving each of the following: (1) that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainantís mark; (2) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and (3) that the Respondent registered and is using the domain name in bad faith.

A. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainantís mark

The evidence shows that the Complainant clearly has rights in the mark MAYFLOWER, based on common law usage continuously since 1927, and on its several registrations for MAYFLOWER for transportation and storage services. Additionally, Complainant owns several domain names containing MAYFLOWER, including <mayflower.com>, which it has used since 1996.

Respondentís addition of an "s" and the descriptive term "moving" to the MAYFLOWER mark does not distinguish Respondentís purported services from Complainantís moving services. In fact, addition of the descriptive term "moving" may compound a consumerís confusion, by appearing to clarify that the consumer has reached the MAYFLOWER entity known as a household goods transportation company.

The disputed domain name is identical to and clearly contains Complainantís registered mark MAYFLOWER. I find that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainantís mark.

B. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name

The domain name was registered on April 9, 2002, and transferred to a new Registrar on August 1, 2002. It currently is inactive, though allegedly was active on April 24, 2002.

The record shows that Complainant first used the MAYFLOWER mark 75 years before Respondent registered the domain name. Moreover, under 15 USC ß1072, Respondent had constructive notice of Complainantís MAYFLOWER registered mark. There is no evidence that Respondent has a license to use the MAYFLOWER mark. Consequently, it appears that Respondent has no rights in the mark, and that Complainantís use of MAYFLOWER preceded Respondentís registration of the domain name.

Furthermore, Respondent defaulted and chose not to submit any evidence of its legitimate rights in the domain name. Under Rule 14(b) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, this Panel therefore draws an adverse inference that Respondent has no evidence of legitimate rights in the domain name.

Accordingly, this Panel finds that Respondent has no legitimate rights in the disputed domain name, based on Complainantís prior use and registration, constructive notice of Complainantís registration, and Respondentís lack of rights.

C. Respondent has registered and has used the domain name in bad faith

Under 15 USC ß1072, registration of the mark MAYFLOWER constitutes constructive notice of the mark. Respondent therefore had legal, if not actual, notice of Complainantís mark prior to registering the disputed domain name.

Further, Respondent registered the name in bad faith, as evidenced by the false information provided to both Registrars. Respondent listed the following contact information:

Registrant: Jonny Mayflower
Mayflowers Moving
333 Cottonhead Rd
California, California 90002
United States

Adminstrative Contact Mayflower, Jonny
and Technical Contact: Mayflowers Moving
333 Cottonhead Rd
California, California 90002
United States
704-735-2343

However, extensive searches by Complainantís counsel show that Respondentís contact information contains several falsities. There is no city of California in the State of California. The zip code 90002 is for Los Angeles, California, and there is no Cottonhead Road within that zip code area. The telephone number area code, 704, is for North Carolina, and in particular, the phone number is for LF Goodson at 1009 Royal Court, Lincolnton, North Carolina 28092. No records were found for "Mayflowers Moving," or "Mayflowers Moving & Storage." No records for Jonny Mayflower were found. It appears that none of the information provided to the Registrars by Respondent was accurate.

Accordingly, I find that the mark was registered in bad faith.

I also find that the disputed domain name is being used in bad faith. From the beginning of the application of the Policy, many previous decisions have held that Respondentís inactivity with respect to the domain name weighs in favor of finding bad faith, particularly where Respondent has no bona fide use for the domain name and simply is precluding Complainant from using a domain name that corresponds to Complainantís mark. See Telstra Corporation v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003 (February 18, 2000), and cases citing same. This case follows that line.

 

7. Decision

Pursuant to Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, I find that Complainant has satisfied all of the required elements. I hereby grant Complainantís request for a transfer of the domain name <mayflowersmoving.com> to the Complainant. Registrar Go Daddy Software is directed to transfer the domain name.

 


 

Sandra A. Sellers
Sole Panelist

Dated: September 18, 2002