WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Retecasa Spa v. Admin, Domain
Case No. D2007-0125
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Retecasa Spa of Vicenza, Italy, represented by Studio Legale Tamos Piana & Partners, Italy.
The Respondent is Admin, Domain, eCommerce Advertising for West Bay, Grand Cayman, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <retecasa.com> is registered with Network Solutions, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 30, 2007. On February 2, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Network Solutions, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On February 2, 2007, Network Solutions, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent’s contact details. 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 February 7, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 26, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 28, 2007.
The Center appointed Frank Schoneveld as the sole panelist in this matter on March 7, 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
The Complaint includes copies of registration by the Complainant of the trademark RETECASA in Italy (from 1995) and with the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market of the European Union (from 1999), as well as a print-out showing registration by the Complainant of the contested domain name <retecasa.com> until September 16, 2006. Another print-out provided indicates that on September 17, 2006, the Respondent became the registrant of the disputed domain name, <retecasa.com>. The Complaint also includes print-outs of Complainant’s registration of <retecasa.it> and <retecasa.net>. As the Respondent does not contest any of this documentation, the Panel accepts the evidence set out in this documentation as fact.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant says that the Respondent was only able to register the disputed domain name because of Complainant’s mistake in not renewing the registration before its expiry.
The Complainant submits that the domain name is the same as its registered trademark, and that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name because:
- the name is a combination of two Italian words and Respondent has no apparent interest in Italy;
- Respondent has not been active in selling goods/services or including any meaningful content connected to or peculiar to the name or website, only using it to re-route visitors to other websites;
- Respondent has no trademark or interest in respect of the disputed domain name;
- Respondent is making no legitimate use of the domain name and is using the domain name only to leverage the renown of the Complainant’s registered mark RETECASA to earn money by re-routing users of the website to other websites.
Complainant alleges the Respondent has registered and is using <retecasa.com> in bad faith, as shown by the Respondent’s conduct in that:
- Respondent has used a false name (or alias) as registrant, and has done so as a cybersquatter, for the disputed domain name as well as thousands of others, in order to earn money from traffic generated by these domain names as part of a pattern of business;
- Respondent has engaged in spamming and scanning activities;
- Respondent is the subject of tens of UDRP proceedings in which he has provided no response, all of which were decided against Respondent on the basis of use in bad faith;
- Respondent is using the domain name to illicitly trade off the Complainant’s registered trademark, particularly in Italy where the trademark is well known, by (amongst other things) including links to other “retecasa” websites registered in the Complainant’s name and as evidenced by the pre-dominance of Italian websites listed on the <retecasa.com>’s website and to which re-routing is occurring;
- Respondent’s bad faith is confirmed by a long pattern of abusive registration and trademark infringement.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 5(e) of the Rules provides that:
“If a Respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the complaint.”
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules states that:
“A Panel shall decide a 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.”
Given that no response has been submitted, and there being no exceptional circumstances, the Panel proceeds to decide the dispute based upon the Complaint and the statements and documents submitted by the Complainant.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The registered trademark of the Complainant is the same as the disputed domain name. The Panel therefore finds that domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights. Consequently, the terms of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that in the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name there is the use of a false name or alias, no known address at the address given and the telephone number does not enable any contact with the Respondent, all indicating the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, because if he had such rights/interest, he would not seek to hide his true identity. Other than use of the name “retecasa” on the heading to the first page of the website at the disputed domain name, the only other apparent use of the domain name at the website is at links to domain name websites registered by the Complainant. Further, the Complainant alleges there is no legitimate use being made of the disputed domain name by the Respondent.
In the absence of any response to these assertions of the Complainant concerning the use of a false name (or an alias) and address, together with the lack of apparent legitimate use of the disputed domain name or the name “retecasa” by the Respondent, all these factors indicate and the Panel finds, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent has apparently set up the website at the disputed domain name to attract Internet users for commercial gain. This is done, according to the Complainant, by earning money from the Google Ad Sense service or the like, through re-routing visitors to the website to other websites in exchange for payment. Also, at the disputed domain name website, the Respondent apparently uses the Complainant’s mark RETECASA on the website and links to other “retecasa” domain name websites for which the Complainant is the registrant.
This use of the Complainant’s mark in the disputed domain name and on the attached website creates a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website. The confusion arises since anyone visiting the website using the disputed domain name would likely consider that it was the website not of the Respondent but of the Complainant, or that it was sponsored, affiliated or endorsed by the Complainant, when in fact it is not.
In view of the above, and in the absence of any response to the Complainant’s assertions, the Panel finds that the Respondent, by using the domain name in this way, has in all likelihood intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website, as set out in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Pursuant to paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, the Panel therefore finds that there is evidence of registration and use of the domain name in bad faith. In the absence of any response by the Respondent, the Panel accordingly finds that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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, <retecasa.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: March 21, 2007