WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Corbis Corporation v. Corbisphotos.com
Case No. D2006-1293
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Corbis Corporation, Seattle, Washington , United States of America, represented by Preston Gates & Ellis, LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Corbisphotos.com, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <corbisphotos.com> is registered with Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a directNIC.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 6, 2006. On October 9, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a directNIC.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On October 10, 2006, Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a directNIC.com 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 13, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 2, 2006. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 3, 2006.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on November 17, 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
The Complainant is a company specializing in the provision of images and is the owner of a US registered trade mark and many registered trade marks worldwide for CORBIS. The Respondent registered the Domain Name on March 27, 2003.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s Contentions can be summarized as follows:
The Complainant is a leading visual solutions provider with one of the largest collections of historical and editorial photographs in the world.
The Complainant is the owner of a US registered trade mark and many registered trade marks worldwide for CORBIS. The CORBIS mark is well known in the US and throughout the world. The Complainant uses the CORBIS mark worldwide on the Internet at “www.corbis.com” from which most of Complainant’s revenues of over $200 million are obtained. Corbis owns more than one hundred domain names containing the CORBIS mark.
CORBIS is a fanciful term unrelated to photographs except through the Complainant.
The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CORBIS trade mark. The addition of the word “photos” in the Domain Name increases the likelihood of confusion.
The Domain Name has been used as a directory web site offering third party services in the photographic field. A consumer of image licensing services from the Complainant may reasonably have believed these third party services were connected with the Complainant and been confused.
Such use cannot be a bona fide offering of goods and services. Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
Respondent has been attempting to intentionally attract users to its web site due to confusion with the Complainant’s CORBIS mark. It has been benefiting in bad faith from visits to its web site due to such confusion by obtaining click through revenues for referrals to third party sites.
The web page attached to the domain name is currently blank. This amounts to passive holding of a Domain Name containing a famous trade mark and is bad faith registration and use.
Respondent has provided false contact details to hide its identity in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed in its complaint, Complainant must show that each of the conditions of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are satisfied, namely that:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Domain Name consists of the Complainant’s trade mark plus the word “photos” which is a generic indication of the business the Complainant is in and does not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s CORBIS trade mark. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is in default and has not put forward any evidence of rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has been known by the Domain Name or made any fair non commercial use of it. There appears to have been some use as a directory site with links to third party services related to photography. The Panel accepts the Complainant’s contention that this site appears to have been free riding on the goodwill of the Complainant’s CORBIS trademark and that such use did not amount to a bona fide offering of goods and services under the Domain Name. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4 (b) of the Rules sets out four non exclusive criteria which shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith as follows:
(i) the 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 trade mark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant for valuable consideration in excess of the respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trade mark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct: or
(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its 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 its web site or location or of a product or service on its web site or location.
The registrant details for the Domain Name contain the word “this domain is for sale”. Given the well known nature of the Complainant’s trade mark and the confusing similarity of the Domain Name thereto it appears highly likely that the name was registered to sell to the Complainant for a profit. Such conduct amounts to bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy as set out above.
Additionally, by the use of the Domain Name as a directory site to point to third party sites related to photography the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its 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 its web site or location or of a product or service on its web site or location. Such conduct amounts to bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy as set out above.
Finally, the Respondent has provided false contact details another indication of its bad faith in registration and use of the Domain Name.
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 <corbisphotos.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: December 1, 2006