WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Mr. Peter Frits Saerang and PT Peter Frits Saerang v. ImediaBiz Pty Ltd
Case No. D2007-0474
1. The Parties
The Complainants are Mr. Peter Frits Saerang and PT Peter Frits Saerang, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia, represented by Law Offices Anwar Mutalib, Indonesia.
The Respondent is ImediaBiz Pty Ltd, South Yarra, Australia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <peterfsaerang.com> is registered with Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 28, 2007. On March 29, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On March 29, 2007, Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.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. On April 12, 2007, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 April 13, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 3, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 4, 2007.
The Center appointed Francine Tan as the sole panelist in this matter on May 11, 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 Complainant, Mr. Peter Frits Saerang, is an Indonesian citizen and a famous hairstylist in Indonesia. He started his career as a professional hair stylist 30 years ago and his clients have included the Royal Family of Brunei. He has also attended to other prominent figures such as the Hollywood actress, Julia Roberts, as well as the former British Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher. All 15 hair and beauty salons in Jakarta, Indonesia use the sign “Peter F. Saerang”.
The other Complainant, PT Peter Frits Saerang (“the Company”), is a limited liability company incorporated under the laws of Indonesia. Mr. Saerang is the Chairman of, and holds a significant shareholding in, the Company. The Company was incorporated in 1988 and is engaged in the operation of hair and beauty salons and beauty academies, as well as the distribution and sale of personal skin and hair care products.
The Company maintains a domain name <peter-f-saerang.com>, first registered on July 14, 2002. It also has trademark registrations in Indonesia for the following marks, applied for on September 19, 1994: PETER F. SAERANG COSMETICS in Class 3, PETER F. SAERANG ACCESSORIES & JEWELRY in Class 14, PETER F. SAERANG HAIRDRESSING SCHOOL in Class 41, and PETER F. SAERANG HAIRDRESSING SALON in Class 42. The trade mark PETER F. SAERANG has been actively used by the Complainants in connection with their business activities and services.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <peterfsaerang.com> on September 7, 2004. The domain name directs to a pornographic website featuring Indonesian girls. Unknown to the Company, it was named by the Respondent as the Billing Contact in connection with its registration of the disputed domain name.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainants contend that:
1. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainants have rights.
Firstly, the Company has trademark registration rights in various marks incorporating the name PETER F. SAERANG. Secondly, Mr. Saerang has acquired trademark rights in his name as a result of the active use of the name in his business. Reference was made in the Complaint to the cases of Julia Fiona Roberts v. Russell Boyd, WIPO Case No. D2000-0210 and Dr. Michael Crichton v. In Stealth Mode, WIPO Case No. D2002-0874 in support of the Complainants’ contention that rights in personal names can be protected under the Policy.
2. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The trademark PETER F. SAERANG is used by the Complainants in connection with legitimate business activities and services. The Respondent is not known by the name Peter Frits Saerang or Peter F. Saerang. The Complainants have no relationship with the Respondent and have not permitted the Respondent to use the name and trademark PETER F. SAERANG. The Respondent’s pornographic website at “www.peterfsaerang.com” tarnishes the name and reputation of Mr. Saerang who is a prominent and well-known figure in the relevant industry in Indonesia.
3. The domain name was registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith.
Mr. Saerang’s reputation as well as that of his business has been built up over the years with hard work and patience. It can reasonably be inferred in this case that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name with the intention to profit from the Complainants’ reputation and well known trade mark.
Furthermore, the Respondent’s giving of false information to the registrar in identifying the Company as the Billing Contact is an indication of bad faith registration. The Complainants were unaware of this and had never permitted the Respondent to do so. The Respondent has breached clause 4 of the Domain Name Registration Agreement. The domain name has therefore been registered deceptively and use of the domain name in connection with pornography is in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainants’ contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Notwithstanding the Respondent’s default, the burden for the Complainants, under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, is to show:
(i) That the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainants have rights; and
(ii) That the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) That the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
All three elements have to be satisfied by the Complainants before an order for the transfer of the domain name can be made.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainants have established that they have rights in the trademark PETER F. SAERANG, by virtue of the trademark registrations referred to above as well as by virtue of Mr. Saerang’s professional activities in the hair styling arena and the international reputation he has gained over the years.
The domain name <peterfsaerang.com> incorporates Mr. Saerang’s name, in which he has trademark rights, and is virtually identical thereto but for the additional suffix <.com>. As has been well established in numerous UDRP panel decisions, the suffix <.com> is insignificant and does not serve to distinguish it from the trademark.
The Panel also finds that the domain name is confusingly similar to the above-referenced trademark registrations. Although these registrations include descriptive words namely, “Cosmetics”, “Accessories & Jewelry”, “Hairdressing School” and “Hairdressing Salon”, these generic words are incidental to the primary trade mark, i.e. “PETER F. SAERANG”. These generic additions to the trademark registrations correspond to the goods and services for which the trademark PETER F. SAERANG is used. The omission of these words in the domain name therefore does not serve to avoid confusion.
The Panel accordingly finds that the Complainants have satisfied the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In view of the facts asserted by the Complainants which have been outlined above in regard to this issue under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, and in the absence of any Response from the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Complainants have made out a prima facie case. It is apparent in this case that the trademark is unique to the Complainants and personal to Mr. Saerang, and it would be difficult for any third party to assert rights to the trademark. It is therefore not surprising that the Respondent has not submitted any evidence to show that it is commonly known by the domain name or that it has acquired rights to the trademark PETER F. SAERANG. Further, the evidence submitted by the Complainants of the use of the domain name in relation to pornographic material flies in the face of what would be considered to be legitimate non-commercial or fair use. The evidence suggests, on the contrary, that the Respondent is misleadingly diverting consumers or seeking to tarnish the Complainants’ trademark. The Panel therefore has no hesitation in accepting that the second element of paragraph 4(a) is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists certain factors which, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of bad faith registration and use. This list is not exhaustive and includes:
i) registration for the primary purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name to the complainant who is the owner of the trade mark or to a competitor of the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
ii) registration for the purpose of preventing the owner of the trade mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding name, provided the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
iii) registration primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
iv) intentionally attempting, through the use of the domain name, to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website or location or of a product or service on the website or location.
The Panel also has, for the following reasons, no hesitation in finding that the third element of paragraph 4(a) is satisfied:
The Respondent has used the domain name to direct Internet users to its pornographic website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainants’ mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website. Although the Internet users would probably realize the unlikelihood of a business relationship between the Complainants and the Respondent, the fact is that the Respondent would have succeeded in drawing in unsuspecting visitors to the site. Apart from the tarnishing of the Complainants’ trademark, the Panel also finds the Respondent’s act of falsely naming the Company as the Billing Contact in the registration of the domain name to be mischievous. Both of these are factors which the Panel has taken into consideration in arriving at a finding of bad faith registration and use.
The Panel has, in its deliberation, obtained guidance from other panel decisions such as America Online, Inc. v. East Coast Exotics, WIPO Case No. D2001-0661 in which the position is stated as follows: “Registration of a domain name incorporating another’s mark and use of that domain name for a pornographic website has been widely held to be registration and use in bad faith.” [See also National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is v. Buy This Name, WIPO Case No. D2001-1302; America Online, Inc. v. Viper, WIPO Case No. D2000-1198; National Football League Properties, Inc. and Chargers Football Company v. One Sex Entertainment Co., a/k/a chargergirls.net, WIPO Case No. D2000-0018.]
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 <peterfsaerang.com> be transferred to the Complainants.
Date: May 25, 2007