WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
CSC Holdings, Inc. v. WhoisGuard Protected
Case No. D2006-1441
1. The Parties
The Complainant is CSC Holdings, Inc., Bethpage, New York, United States of America of America, represented by Davis & Gilbert LLP, United States of America of America.
The Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, Lagos, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cablevsion.com> (the “Dispute Domain Name”) is registered with eNom.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 9, 2006. On November 14, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On November 15 2006, eNom 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 28, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 18, 2006. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 27 2006.
The Center appointed Michael D. Cover as the sole panelist in this matter on January 16, 2007. 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
As the Respondent has not submitted a Response, in absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel has decided this dispute based upon the Complaint in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(e).
The Complainant is one of the leading telecommunications and entertainment companies in the United States of America of America and has been carrying on business for over thirty years as “Cablevision”. The Complainant operates the United States of America of America’s largest single cable cluster, serving approximately three million households in the New York metropolitan area.
The Complainant is the proprietor of the United States of America trade mark registration No 1,348,581 CABLEVISION (plus logo).
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant states that the Respondent holds no trade mark registrations for CABLEVISION, does no legitimate business under any name that incorporates that name and is not known by any legitimate name that incorporates that name. It further states that the Respondent is not licensed in any way by the Complainant.
The Complainant then draws attention to the Respondent’s website at “www.cablevsion.com”. It appears that this site provides links to what appears to be pages about the Complainant’s products and services. These include reference to a facility to pay bills rendered by the Complainant and also a reference to a product of the Complainant, Optimum.
The Complainant contends that, because of the extensive use of the CABLEVISION brand name over many years and the United States of America trade mark registration for CABLEVISION, it has more than sufficient rights in that name to invoke the Policy. The Complainant states that the Disputed Domain Name is virtually identical and confusingly similar to the name CABLEVISION in which the Complainant has rights. It notes that the deletion of the letter “i” from the Disputed Domain Name effectively make little difference but does not comment on the further difference in relation to the United States of America trade mark registration for CABLEVISION, which appears to be in stylized form.
With regard to rights or legitimate interests, the Complainant states that the only use by the Respondent is that of links to what are presumed to be the Respondent’s sponsors, which pay for these links.
Finally on no rights or legitimate interests, the Complainant states that there is no evidence that the Respondent has ever been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name nor that it is making legitimate non-commercial use of the Disputed Domain Name.
With regard to registration and use in bad faith, the Complainant relies on the contentions that the Disputed Domain Name is being used to attract for commercial gain users who are actually attempting to access the Complainant’s website. It states that WIPO decisions have repeatedly recognized that this conduct satisfies the requirements of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Complainant then requests the transfer of the Disputed Domain Name to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the CABLEVISION trade mark in which the Complainant has rights. The rights in question are those in the United States of America trade mark registration of the Complainant. The removal of the “i” from the Disputed Domain Name is of no significant consequence as regards the likelihood of confusion. Whilst the Complainant did not deal with the point, the stylized nature of the registered trade mark is also of no consequence here, as the dominant element is the word “ Cablevision “. It might have been interesting to know in what other jurisdictions, if any, the trade mark CABLEVISION is registered but this omission is not damaging to the Complainant’s case. A trade mark registration in one jurisdiction, is sufficient for the purpose of establishing rights under the first element (see La Société Anonyme Des Bains De Mer Et Du Cercle Des Etrangers A Monaco v. Gest Trading S.R.L.; WIPO Case No. D 2000-1320 <casino-monte-carlo.com> ).
With regard to common law rights, it is not necessary for the Panel to make a finding on this in view of the registered status of the Complainant’s mark. The Panel notes that the Complainant does appear to have used the CABLEVISION mark over a number of years, based on the information on the Complainant’s customer base in the United States of America.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not filed a Response, so has not taken the opportunity to seek to demonstrate the it has rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. What the Complainant has to say on this aspect points to the Respondent having no such rights or legitimate interests. There appears to be no license and no apparent bona fide offering of goods or services. Indeed, this appears to be a classic example of what is now known as a “ Taster “ operation, in that the registrant registers a domain which is a very slight mis-spelling of a mark of a third party, provides links that reference that third party or link to its material and seeks to obtain revenue from those links.
The website at the Disputed Domain Name in this case appears to contain little more than a search engine and a number of what appear to be sponsored links. There is no evidence before the Panel to indicate the applicability of any of the three circumstances described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. The Panel is satisfied on the available evidence that the Complainant has made out at least a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, which the Respondent has not answered.
The Panel accordingly finds that the Respondent has no Rights or Legitimate Interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant to succeed has to establish that the Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
This case appears to be a classic example of “taster” activity involving a clear case of “typosquatting”. The available evidence indicates that the Domain Name, which is clearly confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark, is being used to post a number of what appear to be sponsored links, from which revenue is presumably obtained, or intended to be obtained. The Respondent has chosen to provide no response or explanation, from which the Panel draws appropriate inferences. None of the available evidence indicates any actual or intended good faith use by the Respondent, whose true identity remains obscure. The Panel considers it more likely than not in the circumstances that the Domain Name is being used in an intentional attempt to attract for commercial gain internet users to the website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant and its CABLEVISION mark.
The Complainant has demonstrated to this Panel’s satisfaction that the Respondent has registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The “ typosquatting “ described by the Complainant in the Complaint and the “ taster “ activity described already in this Decision is ample evidence of bad faith in this context.
The Panel accordingly finds for the Complainant under the third element.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Disputed Domain Name, <cablevsion.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Michael D. Cover
Dated: January 30, 2007