WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Valero Energy Corporation , Valero Refining and Marketing Company v. RareNames, WebReg
Case No. D2006-1336
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Valero Energy Corporation , Valero Refining and Marketing Company, Texas, United States of America, represented by Stumpf Craddock Massey & Fairmond, United States of America.
The Respondent is RareNames, WebReg, Washington D.C., United States of America, represented by ESQwire.com Law Firm, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <valero.org> is registered with TierraNet d/b/a DomainDiscover.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 16, 2006. On October 19, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to TierraNet d/b/a DomainDiscover a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On October 19, 2006, TierraNet d/b/a DomainDiscover transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact information. 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 26, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for the Response was November 15, 2006. The Response was filed with the Center on November 16, 2006. In the Response, in addition to denying prior knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark and any bad faith in registering the domain name, the Respondent stipulates for the Panel to transfer the disputed domain name to save the cost involved in defending its rights to the disputed domain name.
On November 17, 2006, the Center emailed the Complainant referencing the Respondent’s Response and its transfer stipulation. The Center notified the Complainant that if the parties need some time to finalize the agreement and transfer the domain name, the proceedings could be suspended for up to 30 days, but that the Complainant would need to notify the Center by November 20, 2006. On November 24, 2006, the Center notified the parties that the Center had not received any comments on the possible settlement, and would proceed to appoint the Panel in due course.
The Center appointed Sandra A. Sellers as the sole panelist in this matter on December 8, 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. Discussion and Findings
In this matter, the Complainant has requested that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant. In its Response, the Respondent has stipulated for the Panel to transfer the disputed domain name to the Complainant. This stipulation is set forth in the Declaration of Rochelle Hastings of Rarenames, WebReg, attached to the Response, under penalty of law for providing false testimony.
This Panel agrees with the decision in The Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. Mike Morgan, WIPO Case No. D2005-1132:
[T]his Panel considers that a genuine unilateral consent to transfer by the Respondent provides a basis for an immediate order for transfer without consideration of the paragraph 4(a) elements. Where the Complainant has sought transfer of a disputed domain name, and the Respondent consents to transfer, then pursuant to paragraph 10 of the Rules the Panel can proceed immediately to make an order for transfer. This is clearly the most expeditious course (see Williams-Sonoma, Inc. v. EZ-Port, WIPO Case No. D2000-0207).
In Williams-Sonoma, Inc. v. EZ-Port, WIPO Case No. D2000-0207, the Panel held inter alia:
Because Respondent has consented to the relief requested by Complainant, it is not necessary to review the facts supporting the claim. I am left to decide the appropriate procedure to conclude the case in a situation not directly addressed by the Rules. Several provisions provide guidance. Rule 10(a) gives the panel the discretion to conduct the proceeding in such manner as it deems appropriate under the Policy and the Rules. Rule 10(c) requires the Panel to “ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition.” Rule 12 permits the Panel to require further statements from the parties. Rule 17 requires the Panel to terminate the proceeding when the parties have agreed to a settlement.
Here, although Respondent has consented to the requested relief, the parties have not agreed to a formal settlement and terminating the proceeding would not effect the parties intent. Under Rules 10 and 12, the Panel appears to have authority to delay the decision and permit the parties time to submit confirmation that they have agreed to a settlement. That procedure, however, would delay this proceeding and impose unnecessary cost on both the parities and WIPO. Under the circumstances, I believe the better course is to enter an order granting the relief requested by the Complainant so that the transfer may occur without further delay.
Accordingly, this Panel finds that the disputed domain name can be transferred to the Complainant without determination of the elements of paragraph 4(a).
For the foregoing reasons, the Panel orders that the domain name <valero.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sandra A. Sellers
Dated: December 22, 2006