Easygroup IP Licensing Limited v. American Systems USA Inc.
Case No. D2005-1101
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Easygroup IP Licensing Limited, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Collyer-Bristow, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Respondent is American Systems USA Inc., Dubai United Arab Emirates;
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <easyjettours.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Go Daddy Software.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 19, 2005. On October 20, 2005, the Center transmitted by email to Go Daddy Software a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. Go Daddy Software 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 October 27, 2005. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 16, 2005. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 18, 2005.
The Center appointed Mark Partridge as the sole panelist in this matter on December 7, 2005. 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.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is the operator of a passenger airline and has used the mark EASYJET since 1995.
Complainant owns various domain names relating to its trademark, including <easyjet.net>, <easyjet.co.uk> and <easyjet.com>, to name a few.
Complainant has spend large sums to promote and advertise its business under the EASYJET mark.
Complainant owns registrations for its mark in various countries. Complainant has used, registered or applied to register the EASYJET mark in many countries throughout the world.
Respondent registered the Domain Name on February 20, 2003. On May 26, 2005, it was using the Domain Name for a website with links to sites selling holiday travel packages.
In response to a written objection from Complainant, a representative of Respondent advised Complainant that it would not transfer the Domain Name without monetary compensation. Complainant declined to pay. Later, Respondent advised Complainant that it was no longer interested in the Domain Name and reportedly offered to transfer it to Complainant. Complainant’s further attempts to reach the Respondent to arrange transfer were not successful. The Domain Name currently reverts to an error message.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its EASYJET mark, that Respondent lacks any legitimate interest in the Domain Name, and that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s EASYJET mark. The addition of “Tours” is insufficient to avoid confusion, since it is an apt descriptive term for Complainant’s services such that consumers would expect the Domain Name to be related to or affiliated with Complainant’s business.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant has shown that it made substantial and prominent use of the mark EASYJET long prior to Respondent’s registration of the Domain Name and that Complainant has not authorized the Respondent to use the Domain Name. Respondent has failed to show any basis for concluding that it has rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Domain Name was used for a site that provided links to travel sites in a manner that appeared to trade on Complainant’s mark. After being challenged, Respondent discontinued use. The Domain Name is currently inactive. Therefore, the Panel finds that the Respondent lacks any right or legitimate interest in the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant contends that Respondent registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith by using it to attract Internet users to a website for commercial gain based on confusion with Complainant’s EASYJET mark. Respondent has not denied this contention.
Complainant also shows that Respondent has a prior record of registering domain names based on another’s registered trademark. See World Black Belt, Inc. v. Mazar Ali Chawla, WIPO Case No. D2004-0708.
The record supports Complainant’s claim of bad faith registration and use by showing Complainant’s prior rights and wide use of the EASYJET mark and Respondent’s subsequent registration and use of the confusingly similar Domain Name for a commercial website. There appears to be no good faith reason for Respondent to have registered and used the Domain Name. The Panel concludes therefore that Complainant has met its burden of demonstrating that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <easyjettours.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 12, 2005