WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Wan-Fu China, Ltd.
Case No. D2007-0634
1. The Parties
The Complainant is SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., San Mateo, California, United States of America, represented by Morrison & Foerster, LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Wan-Fu China, Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sciclonepharmaceuticals.com> is registered with BelgiumDomains, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 26, 2007. On April 30, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to BelgiumDomains, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On May 1, 2007, BelgiumDomains, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the 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 May 2, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 22, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 23, 2007.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on June 1, 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 is a biopharmaceutical company with registered trade marks for SCICLONE PHARMACEUTICALS and SCICLONE in the United States and other countries around the world. The Complainant became aware of the Respondent’s registration of the Domain Name in March 2007, which was connected to a site bearing sponsored links to third party sites not connected with the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions can be summarized as follows:
The Complainant is a biopharmaceutical company with registered trade marks for SCICLONE PHARMACEUTICALS and SCICLONE in the United States and other countries around the world.
The Complainant has operated a website at <sciclone.com> since 1998.
The Domain Name is virtually identical and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trade marks.
The Respondent has used the name for “link farming” or third party links to various pharmaceutical related sites. The Respondent is therefore not making bona fide use or legitimate non commercial and fair use of the Domain Name and is not commonly known by the Domain Name.
The Complainant has not authorized the Respondent to use the Domain Name or the Complainant’s trade marks and the Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Name in an effort to mislead consumers and to misappropriate the goodwill connected to the Complainant’s marks. Consumers are likely to believe that the website and the links on it are sponsored, affiliated with or connected with the Complainant. The Domain Name will attract customers seeking to reach the Complainant at its website at <sciclone.com>. Respondent’s use of a Domain Name that is virtually identical and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade marks in connection with competing or similar services is calculated 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 and endorsement of the Respondent’s website and the links therein.
Mere registration of a Domain Name identical to the Complainant’s well-known mark with no legitimate interest in itself constitutes bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Disregarding the “.com” generic part of the Domain Name, the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s SCICLONE PHARMACEUTICALS trade mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not filed a Response and does not appear to have any rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name. “Link farming” is merely taking advantage of the Complainant’s reputation and does not provide the Respondent with a right or legitimate interest in 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 including:
“by using the domain name [the Respondent] has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [its] website or other on line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, affiliation or endorsement of [its] website or location or of a product or service on [its] website or location.”
The Respondent has not provided any explanation why it would be entitled to register a Domain Name equivalent to the Complainant’s trade marks. In the absence of a Response from the Respondent, and considering the material attached to the Domain Name the panelist is satisfied that the Complainant has shown on the balance of probabilities that the Respondent registered the Domain Name in bad faith with an intent to use the Domain Name to attract business to its site for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion that its website is connected to the Complainant by using a Domain identical to the Complainant’s mark and featuring links to competing third party sites connected with the pharmaceutical industry.
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, <sciclonepharmaceuticals.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 4, 2007