WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
JL Audio, Inc. v. Sidney Parfait
Case No. D2005-1185
1. The Parties
The Complainant is JL Audio, Inc., Miramar, Florida, United States of America, represented by Holland & Knight LLC, United States of America.
The Respondent is Sidney Parfait, Slidell, Louisiana, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <stealthboxes.com> is registered with Go Daddy Software.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 14, 2005. On November 15, 2005, the Center transmitted by email to Go Daddy Software a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On November 15, 2005, 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 November 21, 2005. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 11, 2005. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent of its default on December 16, 2005.
The Center appointed William L. LaFuze as the sole panelist in this matter on January 20, 2006. 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 alleges facts which are not rebutted by Respondent and, for the reasons set forth in Paragraph 6.B., are therefore assumed to be correct. JL Audio, Inc., is a manufacturer and seller of audio equipment including loudspeakers, amplifiers, audio signal processors, receivers, tuners, equalizers, and related accessories.
According to its complaint, JL Audio, Inc., has utilized the STEALTHBOX mark in conjunction with speaker box and enclosure products since at least as early as June of 1991. Such products are designed for positioning within vehicle interiors. On March 19, 1996, JL Audio, Inc., filed a federal trademark application for the STEALTHBOX mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Complainant’s application was eventually approved on May 26, 1998, for “speaker boxes and enclosures” and assigned Registration Number 2,159,876. However, according to the USPTO online trademark information system, this registration was withdrawn on August 7, 1998, and the application was restored to pendency. On November 20, 1998, an opposition proceeding relating to the STEALTHBOX mark was filed by a third party unrelated to this dispute. The opposition was eventually terminated on August 5, 2004 and the STEALTHBOX mark was registered under new Registration Number 2,890,608 on October 5, 2004. The Panel assumes the omission of this information was merely a clerical error on the part of Complainant.
Respondent has no relationship with or permission from Complainant for the use of its name or mark. On June 17, 2003, subsequent to the use and application for registration of STEALTHBOX by Complainant, Respondent registered the domain name <stealthboxes.com> with Go Daddy Software, Inc.
5. Parties Contentions
JL Audio, Inc. has used STEALTHBOX continuously since at least as early as June, 1991, and has common law trademark rights in the name. Further, JL Audio, Inc. obtained a federal trademark registration for speaker boxes and enclosures on October 5, 2004. Respondent has no relationship with or permission from Complainant for the use of its name or mark. The Respondent’s use of <stealthboxes.com> infringes upon the name and trademark of Complainant and clearly causes a likelihood of confusion as defined in the United States Lanham Act, 15. U.S.C. Section 1052(d).
Respondent’s bad faith is evidenced by the fact that it maintains a website associated with domain name <stealthboxes.com> which is essentially identical to the Complainant’s registered trademark. Such website contains links to Complainant’s competitors such that the Respondent profits from compensation received from the owners of such linked websites based on the number of hits received.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Applicable Standard for Transfer
Under paragraph 15(a) of the Rules, the Panel must decide this Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable. To qualify for cancellation or transfer, a Complainant must prove each element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, namely:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights;
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
B. The Effect of Respondent’s Failure to File a Response
A respondent is not obliged to participate in a domain name dispute proceeding. But, if it fails to do so, asserted facts that are not unreasonable are taken as true and the respondent is subject to the inferences that flow naturally from the information provided by the Complainant: Reuters Limited v. Global Net 2000, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0441. See also Hewlett-Packard Company v. Full System S.a.S., NAF Case No. FA 0094637; David G. Cook v. This Domain is For Sale, NAF Case No. FA0094957 and Gorstew, Jamaica and Unique Vacations, Inc. v. Travel Concierge, NAF Case No. FA0094925. Accordingly, all asserted facts in the Complaint that are not unreasonable are taken as true.
1. Identical or Confusingly Similar between the domain Name and Complainant’s Trademark in which it has rights
1. Complainant’s asserted prior common law use, ownership, and registration of the mark STEALTHBOX is uncontested and is taken as true.
Respondent’s domain name, <stealthboxes.com>, is substantially identical to, and confusingly similar to, Complainant’s STEALTHBOX trademark. The use of “.com” and the addition of the letters “es” by Respondent in its domain name are not material, and of no legal consequence in making this determination.
Complainant has established this element.
2. Rights or Legitimate Interests in the Domain Name by the Respondent
Respondent is not commonly known by the domain name at issue and has not acquired trademark or service mark rights in the domain name. Respondent has not requested or been given permission by Complainant to use <stealthboxes.com>. There is no evidence proffered by Respondent to show that it has any rights or legitimate interest in the domain name in question.
Accordingly, Complainant has established this element.
3. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
It is reasonable to presume that the Respondent intended to profit from the domain name registration of <stealthboxes.com> given that its website offers links to sponsored sellers of speaker boxes and enclosures other than Complainant. Such intent is evidence of bad faith.
Respondent has made no effort to respond or justify the reasons underlying its registration of the domain name in question.
Accordingly, Complainant has established this element.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Paragraph 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <stealthboxes.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
William L. LaFuze
Dated: February 3, 2006