WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
PartyGaming Plc v. Caviner Limited
Case No. D2005-1123
1. The Parties
1.1 The Complainant is PartyGaming Plc, a company registered in Gibraltar, and represented by Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson, United States of America.
1.2 The Respondent is Caviner Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, and, represented by Alston & Bird, LLP, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
2.1 The disputed domain name <partybackgammon.com> (the “Disputed Domain”) is registered with Go Daddy Software (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
3.1 The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 25, 2005. On October 26, 2005, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On October 26, 2005, the Registrar 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.
3.2 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”).
3.3 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 November 1, 2005 .
3.4 In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(d), the due date for Response was extended to November 29, 2005. The Response was filed with the Center on November 29, 2005.
3.5 On December 7, 2005, the Complainant filed a supplemental submission in reply to the Response.
3.6 The Center appointed Mr. Matthew S. Harris as the sole panelist in this matter on December 15, 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.
3.7 On reviewing the case file in this matter it became apparent to the Panel that there were proceedings ongoing in the United States and the United Kingdom involving the parties to these Proceedings. The United Kingdom proceedings took the form of litigation in the High Court of England and Wales Chancery Division. In that litigation the Complainant appeared to make allegations in respect of the Respondent’s dealings in the Disputed Domain.
3.8 On December 20, 2005, the Panel issued a procedural order in this matter (“Panel Procedural Order No. 1”), which:
(a) required the Complaint to provide reasons as to why the United States and United Kingdom proceedings were neither identified in the Complain nor subsequently notified to the Panel pursuant to 3(b)(xi) or 19(b) of the Rules;
(b) invited the parties to make submissions as to whether or not and if so in what manner the Panel should exercise its discretion under paragraph 18(1) of the Rules; and
(c) postponed the time for the issuing of a decision in these UDRP proceedings until January 27, 2006.
3.9 On January 3, 2006, the Complainant filed a submission pursuant to Panel Procedural Order No. 1.
3.10 On January 9, 2006, the Complainant filed a second supplemental submission (“Complainant’s Second Supplemental Submission”) comprising a request for leave to file that submission and alleged new evidence.
3.11 On January 11, 2006, the Complainant filed a further submission requesting that the Panel disregard certain aspects of the evidence contained in the Complaint (“Complainant’s Request to Disregard Evidence”) and providing reasons for that request.
3.12 On January 13, 2006, the Respondent filed a submission pursuant to Panel Procedural Order No. 1. This submission also in large part referred to matters raised in the Complainant’s Second Supplemental Submission and the Complainant’s Request to Disregard Evidence.
3.13 On consideration of the parties’ submissions
pursuant to Panel Procedural Order No. 1, the Panel formed the view that in
the unusual circumstances of this case, it was appropriate to order a stay of
these UDRP proceedings pending the outcome of the United Kingdom litigation.
Full reasons in this respect were set out in the Panel’s procedural order
putting that stay in place (“Panel Procedural Order No. 2”). A copy
of Panel Procedural Order No.2 is set out in an appendix to the
decision notified to the parties.
3.14 On February 2, 2006, the Complainant filed with the Centre a document titled “Joint Stipulation and Request for Order of Transfer” (the “Joint Stipulation”). This document was signed by representatives of both parties and stated as follows:
“Having reached an agreement for settlement of this dispute, the parties stipulate to a decision in favor of the Complainant and request that the Panel issue an Order for Transfer of the Disputed Domain Name <www.partybackgammon.com>.”
3.15 In light of the contents of the Joint Stipulation, the Panel hereby lifts the stay on proceedings imposed by Procedural imposed by Panel Procedural Order No.2.
4. Discussion and Findings
4.1 Given the parties’ agreement and the contents of the Joint Stipulation it is not necessary for the Panel to address the Complainant’s and Respondent’s substantive submissions1. The parties appear to seek a “decision in favor of the Complainant”. To the extent that it is necessary for the Panel to find that the Complainant has proved the three elements set out in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to obtain such a decision and to make the “Order for Transfer” requested, the Panel hereby makes such a finding.
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, <partybackgammon.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Matthew S. Harris
Date: February 7, 2006
1 For a discussion of the different approaches that panels have adopted in circumstances where a Respondent has consented to a transfer, see The Cartoon Network LP, LLP v Mike Morgan (WIPO Case No D2005-1132). However, it should be noted that the facts in the case currently before the Panel are slightly different from the facts in the Cartoon Network case and the cases it cites. In particular, in the current case the Respondent has positively stipulated to a decision in favor of the Complainant.