WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Lockheed Martin Corporation v. Jeffrey Bruhjell
Case No. D2004-0235
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Lockheed Martin Corporation, a Maryland corporation with principal place of business in Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America, represented by Susan Okin Goldsmith, Esq., of Duane Morris LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Jeffrey Bruhjell, domiciled in the city of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <skunk-work.com> is registered with Network Solutions, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on March 25, 2004. On March 26, 2004, the Center transmitted by email to Network Solutions, Inc., a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On March 26, 2004, Network Solutions, Inc., transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy"), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules"), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules").
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 30, 2004. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 19, 2004. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on April 20, 2004.
The Center appointed Fernando Triana, Esq., as the sole panelist in this matter on April 26, 2004. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.
The Panel will issue a decision on or prior to May 10, 2004, and is unaware of any other proceedings, which may have been undertaken, by the parties or others in the present matter.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a legal entity with principal place of business in Bethesda, State of Maryland, United States of America. The Complainant is a manufacturer among other things of military and advanced technology goods and services. The Complainant has been in the market since the 1940's.
The Complainant registered before the USPTO the trademark SKUNK WORKS to cover goods and services in classes 8, 9, 14, 16, 18, 21, 25, 26, 28, 40, and 42 of the International classification. The Complainant's trademark is either registered or submitted for registration in different countries around the world, i.e., Argentina, Australia, China, European Union, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and Taiwan.
The Complainant has registered over 67 domain names bearing its trademark with different combinations and ccTLD and/or gTLD's.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <skunk-work.com> before Network Solutions Inc., on April 3, 2003.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant alleges that the Respondent registered the domain name <skunk-work.com> bearing a name similar to the Complainant's trademark, thus making an illegitimate registration and use in bad faith of the same, in accordance with the Rules and Policy.
The Complainant states that the trademark SKUNK WORKS is famous and representative of the goods and services offered and manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation. Noteworthy of such distinctiveness is the fact that articles, books and television programs have been produced based upon the goods and/or services manufactured by the Complainant.
Attesting the similarity between the domain name and the Complainant's trademark, i.e., <skunk-work.com> and SKUNK WORKS, the Complainant states that these are based upon typographical differences which lead to confusion of the potential purchasers.
Additionally the Complainant asserts that the Respondent has no legitimate rights and/or interest in respect with the contended domain name and in consequence the rights derived from prior registration of a trademark should prevail.
Furthermore the Complainant states that the Respondent's business has no relation with the disputed domain name, as the Respondent has changed in the past ten years its business name, being modified for the last time on February 2004, from Skunk Work Technologies, Inc., to Genoray Advanced Technologies, Ltd.
In order to prove the latter, the Complainant attaches to the Complaint evidence of the Certificates of the State of Nevada, which show that the Respondent has changed its business name several times. The last amendment was made on February 29, 2004, to the Respondent's current business name.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the Complainant contacted the Respondent several times in order to request them to change its corporate name, and transfer to the Complainant the domain name <skunk-work.com>. Even though the Respondent replied favorably to the Complainant's request showing interest in changing its corporate name and transferring the domain name, no tangible actions were made towards the transfer of the domain name. Nonetheless the business name was changed.
Complainant alleges there was bad faith of the Respondent when registering the domain name, as it should have known of the existence of the Complainant's registered trademark. The Complainant asserts that the Respondent advertises in the web page, to have as a client the U.S. Department of Defense, which is one of the major clients for the services and goods offered by the Complainant. Furthermore the Complainant states that the Respondent attempts to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its website, by using a domain name similar to the Complainant's registered mark, and divert those prospective purchasers believing it to be sponsored or otherwise endorsed by the Complainant or connected with its SKUNK WORKS brand of products or services. The Complainant annexed copies of the web page which shows the content and use of the domain name by the Respondent and the links that can be accessed through the Internet page.
Pursuant to the Complainant's claims is to diminish the harm being caused as a result of the illegitimate and bad faith use of the disputed domain name which is confusingly similar to the registered trademark. The Complainant attached the Certificates of Registration of the trademark SKUNK WORKS registered before the USPTO.
The relief sought by the Complainant is for the Panel to order the transfer of the disputed domain name <skunk-work.com>.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions and was declared in default.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Names Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules") instructs this Panel to: "decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable."
Likewise, paragraph 10 (d) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, provides that: "_t_ he Panel shall determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of the evidence."
This Panel considers worth mentioning that the evidence filed to prove the assertions made, have been thoroughly studied in order to determine its relevance and weight in arriving to a decision. The Panel wishes to clarify that the statements that have been accompanied by evidence have been given more importance than the mere statements made without further demonstration to its existence.
The Panel wants to point out that the Respondent did not contend any of the Complainant's assertions, thus it will make its decision based on the principles and legal grounds established on the Rules, the Policy and Supplemental Rules.
Nonetheless the Respondent's default in filing a response in this administrative proceeding will be considered by the Panel when taking its decision towards the present case. Bear in mind that in accordance with paragraph 14 of the Rules it is established that:
(a) In the event that a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any of the time periods established by these Rules or the Panel, the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the complaint.
(b) If a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under, these Rules or any request from the Panel, the Panel shall draw such inferences therefrom as it considers appropriate."
Default does not automatically result in a finding for Complainant. It is important to bear in mind that under Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy it remains Complainant's burden to establish that all three of the required criteria have been met in order to be granted with the transfer of the domain name or other remedy.
The Panel shall proceed to a decision based on the facts and evidence attached to the complaint, accordingly to Rule 5(e) and Rule 14(a). Furthermore, Rule 14(b) states that the Panel is empowered to draw such inferences from Respondent's default as it considers appropriate.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:
(1) the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(2) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The domain name <skunk-work.com> registered by the Respondent contains slight misspellings and no substantial variations of the Complainant's trademark SKUNK WORKS, and the various domain names registered by the same, i.e., <skunkworks.com>, <skunkworksdesign.com>, and <the-skunk-works.com>.
It is the belief of this Panel that the variations added by the Respondent do not make the disputed domain name significantly different from the Complainant's trademark. Noteworthy that comprising a hyphen to the trademark and/or the subtraction of the "s" at the end of WORKS are not sufficient to give to the domain name enough distinctiveness from the Complainant's registered trademark, as it is evident that the domain name is a version in singular of the mark.
This Panel considers that a domain name creates a nexus between the goods and services offered by the domain owners on their web pages and the web surfers. For the Panel the foregoing is an irrefutable fact, which makes necessary that the domain name itself be sufficiently distinctive to facilitate the search in the web of determined products and/or services.
Furthermore, sometimes the owner of a registered mark, is also the registrant of a domain name bearing the trademark. It is assumed by this Panel that the intention in doing such registration, is the fact that the trademark is discernable by the potential purchasers, looking for a web page that contains and/or includes the registered trademark/service and/or goods.
Though, it is a fact that when web surfers are searching the Internet they look for a domain name which implies specific services and/or goods. Taking into account the above-mentioned, a likelihood in the domain name which can lead to confusion might end in diversion of consumers and/or damaging business's goodwill.
Moreover, the test of similarity between a registered trademark and a domain name cannot be avoided by elements such as adding a sign and/or suppressing a letter. This issue has been addressed before by other Administrative Panels in the case Disney Enterprises, Inc., v. John Zuccarini, Cupcake City and Cupcake Patrol1, where it was appointed that:
"All of the disputed domain names fully incorporate the famous DISNEY mark. Most of the names also either fully incorporate or contain slight misspellings of other DISNEY-formative marks.
Thus there is no question that all of the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the DISNEY mark."
In regard with the practice of typosquatting, understood as the practice of registering misspelled versions of registered marks owned by others, this Panel considers that there is no evidence that proofs that the similarity in the domain name with the Complainant's registered trademark, has been unintentional and/or made for other reasons than in registering a misspelled version of the mark SKUNK WORKS with the intention of selling and/or divert consumers in the benefit of the Respondent.
Previous decisions2 concerning this issue have held that: "In determining whether a domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark, the intention of the domain name registrant is irrelevant. It is the objective likelihood of confusion that must be assessed. The panel finds that the disputed domain name are likely to attract customers of the broker seeking to access the broker's website who misspell or err in typing the domain address they seek. The close misspellings at issue here are confusingly similar to the Complainant's mark." (Emphasis added).
This Panel agrees with the aforementioned opinion, and moreover considers that being the main difference the deleting of a letter by the Respondent has to be considered as a typosquatting conduct. The above-mentioned considering that the error in the spelling of the domain name can lead to an average web navigator to unintentionally end in a web page that does not correspond to the initially searched for, which might also lead to the belief that there are other services offered under the same domain name creating confusion amongst the public.
Also the generic top-level domain (gTLD), in this particular case the suffix ".com", is not an element of distinctiveness that can be taken into consideration when evaluating the identity and similarity of the Complainant's trademark and the disputed domain name.
Other Administrative Panels have coincided in affirming the absence of distinctiveness of the gTLD in a domain name. For instance, in the case Kudos Information Limited, Kudos Information, Inc., v. Kudos Systems, Keith Pearson3, it was stated that:
"The domain name <kudos.com> is identical to the trademarks in which the Complainants have rights as the global top level domain name identification <.com> has no distinctive function." (Emphasis added.)
For the foregoing reasons, the Panel considers that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the registered trademark property of the Complainant, being both the Complainant's mark and the registered domain name by the Respondent, phonetically and visually confusingly similar, once the specific top level is taken away. It has been established that there is no sufficient distinctiveness in the domain name at issue.
Therefore this Panel considers that the domain name does fulfill the requirements of paragraph 4 (a) (i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It has been pointed out by this Panel, that the Respondent is in default in accordance with the parameters established by the Policy and the Rules, and Supplemental Rules.
In this case, the Panel finds that as a result of the default, no rebut of any of the factual assertions that are made and supported by evidence submitted by Complainant, have been made by the Respondent.
However this Panel did not draw any inferences from the default other than those that have been thoroughly proved or which can be fairly be inferred from the evidence attached by the Complainant and that have not been contended by any contrary assertions or evidence as a result of the default.
The aforementioned according with the faculty given by the Policy and the Rules to the Panel to draw inferences which are considered to be appropriate, in the presence of uncontested allegations by the Respondent.
Paragraph 4 (c) of the Policy, determines that the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall demonstrate the Respondent's rights or legitimate interests to the domain name:
(i) Before any notice to Respondent of the dispute, it has used or made demonstrable preparations to use the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the domain name, even if he has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
The Complainant has evidenced the use of its registered trademark related with offering goods and services derived from its business. It has been evidenced that the Complainant has over sixty-seven registered domain names, bearing the trademark SKUNK WORKS and/or related names. Moreover the fact that articles, books and television programs have been made based on the services and/or goods manufactured and offered by the Complainant prove that the mark is well known in the market. Said articles where written in relation with some of the goods manufactured, i.e., aircrafts such as the U-2® high altitude plane, the SR-71® high-speed jet and the F-117® NIGHTHAWLK® fighter jet.
On the contrary, this Panel considers that the Respondent lacks any relationship between its business corporate name and the goods and services offered, as it has changed the corporate name several times in the past ten years. Proof of such amendments were attached in the Complaint. In said evidence it was noted that the last amendment was made on February 29, 2004, changing the corporate name from Skunk Work Technologies, Inc., to Genoray Advanced Technologies, Ltd.
This last amendment was made as a result of a request made by the Complainant, when noticing that they where using their registered trademark and that they have registered a domain name bearing a confusingly similar name to said trademark.
Attached to the Complaint are the emails and mails sent by the Respondent as an answer to the Complainant's requests, which evidence that the Respondent is not commonly known by its business name or the domain name. Proof of the aforementioned is that the Respondent did not contested to comply with the Complainant's demands. Also, the fact that it agreed and changed its corporate name from Skunk Work Technologies, Inc., to Genoray Advanced Technologies, Ltd, evidences to this Panel that neither the products and/or services offered by the Respondent nor its business are commonly known for its name and/or domain name.
There is no evidence of the Respondent's bona fide offering of goods or services that have a close connection to its domain name, nor has been evidenced or can be inferred plausible proof that the Respondent business is commonly known by the domain name. Even more, the Panel could not establish if the Respondent has registered a trademark, that connects the services and goods manufactured and offered with its corporate name.
In the case of Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano v. La Casa del Latte di Bibulic Adriano4, this issue was addressed by the Panel, stating that:
"In addition, the Respondent is not commonly known by the domain name, has not acquire a trademark registration and has not submitted convincing evidence of the Respondent's intentions to make a legitimate, non-commercial or fair use of the domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark."
There is no evidence that suggest to this Panel that the Respondent is either connected or affiliated to the Complainant's business. Neither that it is a licensee and/or has been authorized to bear a significantly confusingly similar expression to the registered trademark SKUNK WORKS property of the Complainant, when registering its domain name, evidencing the Respondent's illegitimacy in registering and/or using the domain name.
The fact that there is not a disclaimer on the web page "www.skunk-work.com" in order to warn visitors from the fact that the Internet page they are visiting does not correspond to the page of the Complainant, leads this Panel to believe that the Respondent is trying to take advantage of the Complainant's business's goodwill.
Furthermore, the fact that the Respondent's use of the domain name is for commercial activity, even when being aware of the Complainant's trademark rights and failing to comply with its demands of ceasing and desisting in the use of the trademark and transferring the domain name, whilst continue to commercialize its products, can not be considered by the Panel to be bona fide in the offering of goods and/or services by the Respondent. Moreover, there is no evidence that leads this Panel to believe that the activity developed by the Respondent is non-commercial or is a fair use of the domain.
The legitimacy in using a domain name bearing a registered trademark, without any evidence to do so has been addressed by previous Panels. In the case Pivotal Corporation v. Discovery Street Trading Co. Ltd.5, addressed the aforementioned, stating that:
"The Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant, nor has he received any permission or consent to use the trademark from Complainant who has prior rights in that trademark which preceded Respondent's registration of the domain name."
This Panel agrees with the fact that in the absence of evidence of legitimacy in interest in the domain name considering the prior registration of a trademark by a party the latter should prevail. This is the case of the Complainant, who has evidenced the registration and continuous use of the trademark, the connection between the registered mark and the goods and services offered, plus the ownership of various registered domain names bearing its trademark.
Finally, there is no evidence that leads this Panel to believe that the Respondent chose the domain name <skunk-work.com> by mere coincidence, taking into consideration that the Complainant has proved thoroughly the notoriety of the registered mark SKUNK WORKS.
Therefore, this Panel considers that being none of the contentions made by the Complainant refuted as the Respondent is in default, and after studying the evidence attached to the present case it has been proven that there is no legitimate interest in the disputed domain name by the Respondent, and he does not meet Paragraph 4 (c) of the Policy.
Paragraph 4 (b) of the Policy, establishes the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, which if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) Circumstances indicating that 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 that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of Respondent's documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) Circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered 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 Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) Circumstances indicated that Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) Circumstances indicating that, by using the domain name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his 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 his web site or location or of a product or service on his web site or location.
The Panel has considered the long-term reputation of the Complainant as a manufacturer of military and advanced technology goods and services. Furthermore having as a client the U.S. Department of Defense evidences that it is recognized in the market for offering the aforementioned goods and services.
The fact that the Complainant has registered the trademark SKUNK WORKS in the different International classes for goods and services, thus it is proprietor of over sixty-seven domain names which bear in different combinations the registered mark, are sufficient evidence for this Panel that the Complainant is well-known and identifiable in the market by its trademark.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the Respondent registered the domain name <skunk-work.com> bearing an expression almost identical to the Complainant registered mark. The fact that web surfers are attracted to its domain name in a false belief that they might be reaching the Complainant's web page or to be able to access the Complainant's services and goods has to be considered as an act of bad faith.
The Panel considers that the diversion of potential purchasers thus taking advantage of another's reputation pursuant of enhancing its business, evidences the bad faith when registering a domain name that is confusingly similar to a registered trademark.
Even though the fact that the Respondent did not contest the allegations asserted by the Complainant, the Panel has made a deep study of the evidence attached, in order to render a decision.
The Panel gave relevance to the following facts: (i) That the Respondent has changed its corporate name several times during the past ten years, being last amended on February 29, 2004, and; (ii) That there is written acceptance of the Respondent to the request made in order to change the business name for bearing the Complainant's trademark and also accepting to transfer the disputed domain <skunk-work.com> to the Complainant.
The circumstances set out in paragraph 4 (b) of the Policy are not limitative of the cases when bad faith can be found, but state a basic parameter for the Panel when determining bad faith of the Respondent.
This Panel considers that after evaluating the evidence attached to the Complainant, the facts that: (i) The Respondent did not contend or rebut any of the Complainant assertions; (ii) That it has been determined that the domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark; (iii) That there was no evidence of the legitimacy or rights of the Respondent in registering the disputed domain name; (iv) That there can be diversion of potential clients and tarnishing in the Complainant's interests by the Respondent's use of the domain name, and finally; (v) That the Respondent behavior can be catalogued as typosquatting, are reasonable facts for this Panel of sufficient proof of bad faith in the Respondent's behavior.
Additionally to the facts set forth, the Panel believes that it has to be considered the failure of the Respondent in voluntarily transferring the domain name to the Complainant. Even though the Complainant contacted the Respondent by mail and e-mail, sending several cease and desist letters, the Respondent did not execute the transfer. This behavior is considered by this Panel as additional evidence of bad faith of the Respondent.
The fact that the Respondent ignored the request of ceasing and desisting from the non-authorized, illegitimate and unrightful use of the domain name, has been also addressed by other Administrative Panels. For instance, the Panel appointed in the case of eBay Inc., v. Sunho Hong6, considered that:
"Respondent has ignored Complainant's request to transfer ownership of the domain name. Failure to positively respond to a complainant's efforts to make contact provides "strong support for a determination of bad faith registration and use."
In the case Nintendo of American Inc. v., Garret N. Holland et al7, the Panel stated that:
"Moreover, despite Complainant's efforts to persuade Respondent to cease its unauthorized use of the Character Name Marks, Respondent has continued to violate Complainant's trademark rights.
These facts are sufficient to support a finding of bad faith beyond the four nonexclusive criteria set forth in the Policy paragraph 4(b)."
This Panel agrees, with the aforementioned opinions and considers that in the present case it has been sufficiently evidenced the use and registration in bad faith of the domain name by the Respondent.
Likewise, it has been evidenced that the Respondent is preventing the Complainant from registering the domain name <skunk-work.com>. The disputed domain name is a variation of the Complainant's registered mark. It can not be an obstacle for the Complainant the fact that it owns various domain names bearing the trademark or its combinations, in the purpose of being capable of registering the disputed domain name. Nor it entitles the Respondent to be vested with any rights to register a confusingly similar expression of the Complainant's mark as a domain name.
This issue has been addressed by other Administrative Panels, where the fact of a party having various domain names bearing a trademark are not sufficient reason for preventing it from being able to register a confusingly similar variation of the mark. Regarding this issue the Panel appointed for the case of Focus Do It All Group and others v. Athanasios Sermbizis8, stated that:
"There is almost always some other variant of a mark, which is still available to be turned into a proximate Domain Name. The mark owner is entitled to "reflect" the mark in all domain names, which are confusingly similar to the mark, once he has demonstrated the scope of his right to the mark. Any registration which is undertaken in order to prevent him obtaining any one of those variants is made in bad faith, if there is also evidence of a pattern of conduct." (Emphasis added.)
In the evidence attached by the Complainant, there is the irrefutable fact that the Respondent declared on January 19, 20049, by mail sent to the Complainant that: "Regardless, I will get the name changed and the domain name transferred by mid February."
Though the Respondent accepted to transfer the disputed domain name to the Complainant it has failed to do so. For this Panel this evidences Respondent's bad faith, due to the fact that it is preventing the Complainant from registering and using a domain name which contains a variation of its registered trademark, accordingly to the Policy.
It is also considered by this Panel that the refusal to transfer the domain name, evidences the bad faith of the Respondent, noteworthy that the Complainant addressed by mail and email several times the Respondent before filing a complaint. Other Panels have agreed on considering bad faith this kind of behavior.
For instance in the case Nike Inc., v. Azumano Travel10, it was stated that:
"A third factor is Respondent's refusal to voluntarily transfer the contested Domain Names. Complainant alleges that the following communications took place with Respondent:
- On May 2000, Complainant contacted Respondent by phone, placing Respondent on notice of his ongoing trademark infringement and dilution of Complainant's trademarks, and seeking transfer of Respondent's Domain Names.
- On May 30, 2000, Complainant confirmed this discussion by written correspondence, which included the necessary transfer forms for Respondent's completion. Complainant's letter also offered to reimburse Respondent for its out-of-pocket costs in registering the Domain Names. Respondent did not respond.
- Complainant then placed several phone calls to Respondent's Chief Executive Officer, none of which were returned. Complainant again wrote Respondent on August 9, 2000, and reiterated its position. Again, Respondent failed to respond.
- On September 21, 2000, Respondent's Chief Executive Officer assured Complainant's Vice President that he would sign and return the transfer documents the following day. As of this date, nearly two months later, Complainant has not received these documents, and has no reason to believe that they are forthcoming.
Failure to positively respond to a complainant's efforts to make contact provides "strong support for a determination of `bad faith' registration and use." (Emphasis added.)
All the foregoing reasons led the Panel to consider that the Complainant has met its burden in evidencing bad faith according to paragraph 4 (b) of the Policy, this is registering and using the domain name in bad faith.
In accordance with Paragraph 4 of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, for all the set forth reasons the Panel orders that the domain name <skunk-work.com> be TRANSFERRED to the Complainant.
Dated: May 10, 2004.
1 WIPO Case No. D2001-0489 Three member Panel Alan L. Limbury (Presiding Panelist), Peter L. Michelson (Panelist), Gordon Harris (Panelist). June 19, 2001.
2 WIPO Case No. D2000-1571 Sole Panelist. Alan L. Limbury January 17, 2001
3 WIPO Case No. D2004-0015 Sole Panelist Brigitte Joppich. February 19, 2004.
4 WIPO Case No.D2003-0661 Sole Panelist Luca Barbero. October 21, 2003.
5 WIPO Case No.D2000-0648 Sole Panelist Jacques A. Léger. August 14, 2000.
6 WIPO Case No. D2000-1633. Sole Panelist Richard W. Page. January 18, 2001.
7 WIPO Case No. D2000-1483. Sole Panelist Richard W. Page. January 11, 2001.
8 WIPO Case No. D2000-0923. Sole Panelist William R. Cornish. October 6, 2000.
9 Exhibit 7 of the Complaint filed by Lockheed Martin Corporation.
10 WIPO Case No. D2000-1598 Sole Panelist Richard W. Page February 17, 2001.