WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center



The Prince’s Trust v. Serpentine Dynamic

Case No. D2007-0786


1. The Parties

The Complainant is The Prince’s Trust, of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Gordon W. Mead, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Respondent is Serpentine Dynamic, of New York, New York, United States of America.


2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain name <princes-trust.org> is registered with Go Daddy Software.


3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 29, 2007. On June 1, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Go Daddy Software a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On June 2, 2007, Go Daddy Software transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on June 19, 2007. 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 June 26, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 16, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 25, 2007.

The Center appointed Sir Ian Barker as the sole panelist in this matter on August 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.

On receipt of the file, the Panel ruled that the Complainant should provide additional information. The Complaint was very economical in the information it provided. For example, it did not annex a copy of its trademark registration. Nor did it provide reference to any precedent.

Accordingly, on August 10, 2007, the Panel issued an order that the Complaint provide the following information:

“- a copy of the Complainant’s trademark registration;

- a summary of the Complainant’s activities and size with attention to activities outside the United Kingdom and its profile, if any, in the United States of America.

- a copy of the website accessed by the disputed domain name;

- details of the transactions to recover the domain name and how registration was lost.”

The Complainant duly supplied the information requested. The Respondent was advised that it could comment on the further information by August 24, 2007. It failed to do so.


4. Factual Background

The Prince’s Trust is a registered charity in the United Kingdom. A subsidiary of the Complainant, Prince’s Trust Trading Limited, has used for 30 years the mark of a red oblong with white Prince of Wales feathers and the word “Prince’s Trust”. There is also a black and white version. Its first trademark was registered in the United Kingdom Patent Office on November 19, 2002.

The Prince’s Trust was formed more than 30 years ago by the Prince of Wales. Its prime objective is to help disadvantaged people aged between 14 and 31. It has 750 staff and 15,000 volunteers and has assisted over half a million young people in the United Kingdom.

The Complainant also owns and uses various domain names using the words “Prince’s-Trust”, including <princes-trust.com>, <princes-trust.net>, <princes-trust.eu> and <princes-trust.org.uk>.

The Complainant used to own the disputed domain name which it purchased some years ago. Although it had paid the cost of continuing registration, the domain name became registered into the name of the Respondent under circumstances of which the Complainant is apparently unaware. The Respondent was given no rights in respect of the domain name by the Complainant.

The Complainant has endeavoured to contact the Respondent at the addresses given in its registration data without success. The Complainant was given no warning by the then Registrar of the disputed domain name that its registration was expiring. It paid for re-registration through a credit card transaction which did not go through. Its agent failed to trace the Respondent in business registration data.

The domain name presently reverts to a website which advertises mobile phones and reroutes visitors to other sites.


5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark. The Respondent has no rights in the disputed domain name. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith and is using it in bad faith, as is evidenced by the website operated on the disputed domain name, advertising mobile phones and ‘click-through’ routings.

B. Respondent

The Respondent made no submissions.


6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to “decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:

(1) the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(3) domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s registered trade mark, apart from the presence of the hyphen. If it is not technically identical, because of the hyphen in the domain name, then it is confusingly similar.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Respondent has to prove that it comes within one of the limbs of Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. The Respondent has made no Response and therefore the Complainant must succeed under this part of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant supplied no evidence of its connections with the United States, other than to say that it works in that country with charities and high profile people “for our work in America, the UK and around the world”. However, despite the Respondent’s apparent residence in the United States of America, the Panel is able to infer bad faith registration and use in the peculiar circumstances of this case, despite the paucity of information from the Complainant. The reasons are:

(a) failure of the Respondent to reply to communications from the Complainant and to file a reponse;

(b) failure of the Complainant’s agent to trace the Respondent in any business registration data; and

(c) use of the site to access the sale of mobile phones and ‘click-through’ services.

Moreover, the unusual circumstances of the Complainant not being advised of the pending expiry of its earlier registration of the disputed domain name suggests the possibility of opportunistic registration.


7. Decision

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 <princes-trust.org> be transferred to the Complainant.

Sir Ian Barker
Sole Panelist

Dated: August 28, 2007