WIPO

 

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Electronic Data Systems Corporation v. John Ackleman

Case No. D2007-0914

 

1. The Parties

Complainant is Electronic Data Systems Corporation, of Plano, Texas, United States of America, represented by Baker Botts, LLP, United States of America.

Respondent is John Ackleman, of San Jose, Costa Rica.

 

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <edshosting.com> and <edshosting.net> are both registered with Direct Internet Solutions d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.Com.

 

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 20, 2007. On June 22, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Direct Internet Solutions d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.Com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain names at issue. On June 23, 2007 and August 9, 2007, Direct Internet Solutions d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.Com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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, Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on August 10, 2007. The Center verified that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 13, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 2, 2007. Respondent did not file a formal Response according to the requirements of the Rules, paragraph 5(b) and the Supplemental Rules, paragraph 3, as advised in the Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding.

The Center appointed Ross Carson as the sole panelist in this matter on September 24, 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.

Respondent submitted a letter by email to the Center on July 14, 2007 after service of the Complaint but prior to the notification by the Center that the proceedings had commenced. The Center acknowledged receipt of the letter and forwarded a copy of the letter to Complainant who previously had not been copied to the letter. On August 3, 2007, before the administrative proceeding was commenced, Complainant filed a Supplemental Brief and supporting materials with the Center including a request that leave be granted to Complainant to file a Supplemental Brief following the appointment of the Panel.

On August 18, 2007, after the notification by the Center that the proceedings had commenced, Respondent filed a second letter by e-mail with the Center.

The Panel will consider the letters filed by Respondent on July 14, 2007 and August 18, 2007 and the Supplemental Brief filed by Complainant on August 3, 2007.

 

4. Factual Background

Complainant adopted and commenced use of the trade name, trademark and service mark EDS since at least as early as 1964. All or substantially all of Complainant’s goods and services are identified in some manner with Complainant’s house mark, EDS.

Complainant enjoys a substantial demand for and consumer sales of its computer products and services, its computer software products and goods and services in related fields. Complainant has expanded the scope and volume of its business in association with its trademarks for or including EDS until it is now a corporation having over sixteen billion dollars in annual revenues.

Complainant is the owner of over 15 trademark registrations on the principal register in the United States of America for or including EDS. Complainant is the owner of United States Trademark Registration No. 952895 for the trademark EDS registered for “computer programming service including the design, implementation and management of electronic data processing programs.” Complainant is also the owner of United States Trademark Registration No. 2534660 for the trademark EDS and Design registered in relation to goods in International Classes 9, 16, and in relation to services in International Classes 35, 38, 41 and 42. The description of services in the registration respect of the services in International Class 42 includes “developing, hosting and linking of web sites for others on a global information network.” The stated date of first use in commerce of the services in International Class 42 is January 30, 2000. Complainant is also the owner of United States Trademark Registration No. 2628835 for the trademark EDS SOLVED registered in relation to services in International Class 42 including “hosting and linking of web sites for others on a global information network. The stated date of first use in commerce is February 1, 2000.

Complainant adopted, registered and commenced use of the domain name <eds.com> on August 5, 1995. Complainant’s website at “www.eds.com” has been active and in operation since that date and has received many millions of visits over the years by members of the public.

The domain names in dispute were both listed in the WhoIs as registered by Edge Design Studios (“the previous registrant”) on March 21, 2002, and were at some date subsequent (according to Complainant, in 2006) listed in the WhoIs as registered in the name of the Respondent.

 

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

A.1 Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant submits that the domain names in dispute consist of Complainant’s EDS trademark followed by the generic word “hosting.” The addition of a generic term to a complainant’s famous mark does not alleviate confusion. Arthur Guinness Son & Co.(Dublin) Limited v. Tim Healy/BOSTH, WIPO Case No. D2001-0026; Caterpillar Inc. v. Thomas Huth, NAF Case No. FA0307000169056.

A.2 No Right or Legitimate Interests in respect of the Domain Name

Complainant submits that Respondent had no use of, nor any demonstrable preparations to use, the domain names in dispute (or a name corresponding to the domain names in dispute) in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services before any notice to Respondent of the dispute.

Respondent has never been commonly known by the domain names in dispute. Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain names in dispute.

Complainant further submits that Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant and has not received any permission or consent to use Complainant’s EDS trademark or apply for the domain names in dispute.

Complainant further submits that as Complainant’s trademarks and name for or including EDS are so widely recognized and have been used in connection with computers, computer software, web hosting and related services for so many years, there can be no legitimate use by Respondent. For instance, in Nike, Inc. v. B.B. de Boer, WIPO Case No. D2000-1397, the panel concluded that the respondent had no legitimate rights noting that it was difficult to see how the respondent could not have known about the trademark NIKE.

A.3 Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Complainant states that the previous registrant Edge Design Studios registered the domain names in dispute on March 21, 2002.

Complainant further submits that the previous registrant Edge Design Studios obviously registered the domain names in dispute for the purpose of deriving income by attracting users to its websites, presumably looking for Complainant’s website, which has been offering web hosting services since at least as early as 2000. Complainant submits that the time differential is evidence of the previous registrant’s intention to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its websites by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s EDS trademark.

Moreover, as noted above, long before the previous registrant registered the domain names in dispute, Complainant had firmly established its rights in its EDS trademark. Respondent and the previous registrant cannot claim or show any rights to the domain names in dispute that are superior to Complainant’s rights in Complainant’s EDS trademark, as evidenced by Complainant’s prior and well-known use of the mark. Such facts further demonstrate Respondent’s and the previous registrant’s bad faith registration and use of the domain names in dispute.

Complainant further submits that even where there is no such misleading association by consumers, there is initial interest confusion. Initial interest confusion arises when the junior user adopts a senior user’s mark to gain attention in a crowded field in the hope of attracting “a first look.” Such confusion is actionable under U.S. trademark law.

Complainant submits that bad faith is found when “it appears more likely than not from the evidence offered by complainant, that respondent has registered the domain name in a deliberate attempt to attract users to its planned web site for commercial gain due to confusion with Complainant’s mark (InfoSpace.com, Inc v. Tenenbaum Ofer, WIPO Case No. D2000-0075”.

Complainant states that on June 17, 2003, Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to Edge Design Studios, the then owner of the <edshosting.com> and <edshosting.net> domain names demanding that Edge Design Studios cease its use of the EDS mark. After not receiving a response from Edge Design Studios, Complainant sent another letter on June 28, 2005. Complainant did not receive a response to this letter.

Complainant further states that on November 21, 2005, Complainant’s outside counsel sent a letter to Edge Design Studios, demanding that they cease use of Complainant’s EDS trademark and transfer <edshosting.com> and <edshosting.net> to Complainant. After not hearing from Edge Design Studios, Complainant’s outside counsel sent a follow up letter on December 1, 2005. On January 5, 2006, Complainant’s counsel received a letter from Eric Prusak, the owner of Edge Design Studios refusing to transfer the domains names in dispute to Complainant.

Complainant further submits that on May 30, 2006, Complainant filed a civil action in the United States District Court For the Western District of North Carolina against Edge Design Studios d/b/a EDS d/b/a EDS Hosting. Upon serving the complaint on Edge Design Studios and EDS Hosting, an employee of Edge Design Studios told the process server that Edge Design Studios is no longer in business and that the owner, Darryl Prusak resides in Costa Rica. This civil action was subsequently dismissed.

Complainant submits upon information and belief, after the institution of civil proceedings against Edge Design Studios d/b/a EDS d/b/a EDS Hosting, the domain names in dispute were transferred by Edge Design Studios to Respondent, with an address in Costa Rica. Complainant submits upon information and belief, Respondent, the new owner of the domain names in dispute, is either an alias or agent of Edge Design Studios and/or a party with full knowledge of Complainant’s rights in and to the EDS trademark.

As of the date of this Complaint, when users type in the URLs “www.edshosting.com” and “www.edshosting.net” in the browser, they are brought to blank web pages.

Complainant further submits that even without the actual notice described above, Respondent has had years of constructive notice of Complainant’s registered trademarks under U.S. law 15 U.S.C. 1072.

Complainant further submits that if Respondent’s conduct is not deemed to fall under any of the specific heads of Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, those specific provisions are expressed to be without limitation and Complainant alleges that the circumstances of this dispute warrant a finding of bad faith. Specifically, Complainant alleges that the previous registrant’s registration of the domain names in dispute without any legitimate right or interest thereto, followed by complete inaction with respect to the domain names in dispute and mere passive holding thereof, constitutes bad faith. See Aeroturbine, Inc. v. Domain Leasing Ltd, NAF Case No. NAF FA0093674 (bad faith registration followed by inaction or passive holding constitutes bad faith use of a domain name under UDRP).

B. Respondent

B.1 Identical or Confusingly Similar

Respondent did not submit that the domain names in dispute are not confusingly similar to Complainant’s EDS trademark.

B.2 No Right or Legitimate Interests in respect of the Domain Name

Respondent submits that the domain names in dispute were derived from the first letters of Edge Design Studios the parent home business of ‘EDSHosting.net’. Respondent states that prior to the cease and desist letters received by Edge Design Studios from Complainant in 2003, Edge Design Studios did not know that “EDS / Electronic Design Systems” even existed. Respondent further states that Complainant has failed to prove that Edge Design Studios knew that Complainant existed before Edge Design Studios used the obvious three letter abbreviation “eds” of their business name Edge Design Studios as part of the domain names in dispute.

Respondent further submitted Edge Design Studios added a large and obvious disclaimer on their websites <edshosting.com> and <edshosting.net> disclaiming any affiliation with Complainant after receipt of the cease and desist letter from counsel for Complainant of November 21, 2005.

Respondent states in his letter of August 18, 2007 that Edge Design Studios has gone under and that the domain names are no longer in use. Respondent submits that he is defending the registration of the domain names in dispute because the domain names in dispute were rightfully registered by Edge Design Studios.

B.3 Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Respondent submits that Edge Design Studios did not register or use the domain names in dispute in bad faith as Edge Design Studios had never heard of Complainant or its EDS trademark prior to the registration and use of the domain names in dispute. Respondent further submitted Edge Design Studios added a large and obvious disclaimer on their websites “www.edshosting.com” and ”www.edshosting.net” disclaiming any affiliation with Complainant after receipt of the cease and desist letter from counsel for Complainant of November 21, 2005.

C. Complainant’s Supplemental Reply

Complainant submits that previous panels have held that a complainant is entitled to present a supplemental submission if the respondent presented arguments that could not have reasonably been anticipated. Delikomat Betriebsverpflegung Gesellschaft m.b.H. v. Alexander Lehner, WIPO Case No. D2001-1447.

Complainant submits that it had no way of anticipating that Respondent would claim that the previous registrant registered the domain names in dispute without any knowledge of Complainant’s rights in its EDS trademark, or that Respondent would argue that Edge Design Studios selected the letters “eds” as past of the domain names in dispute as an abbreviation of its so-called “parent-home business called Edge Design Studios.” Complainant further submits that in light of Complainant’s U.S. federal trademark registrations, registered prior to the domain names in dispute, consisting of or incorporating EDS, several of which include the services of “hosting and linking of web sites” in their recitation of services, is prima facie evidence of the trademark owner’s exclusive rights to the mark for the registered services (See 15 U.S.C. 1072), Complainant could not anticipate that Respondent would challenge Complainant’s claim to rights and fame in the EDS trademark.

Complainant submits that it is absurd for Respondent to claim that he had not heard of EDS or Electronic Data Systems Corporation before registering <edshosting.com> and <edshosting.net>. Complainant registered and has been using the domain name <eds.com> since at least as early as 1995. Nine of the first ten references generated by a search on Google for “EDS” are links to Complainant’s website or related to Complainant. All of the top ten references generated by a search on Google for the term “EDS hosting,” are related to Complainant and its hosting services. Complainant submits that its name and EDS trademark are pervasive on the Internet.

Complainant further submits that registration of a famous and well-known mark is evidence of bad faith. Cho Yong Pil v. Sinwoo Yoon, WIPO Case No. D2000-0310 (bad faith registration found because the complainant’s name was famous at the time of registration). As set forth in the Complaint, as a result of Complainant’s prevalent and long-term use of the trademark EDS in numerous forms of media coupled with Complainant’s millions of website visits and the substantial money and effort expended in ensuring that the purchasing public associated the mark EDS solely with Complainant, the EDS mark enjoys tremendous goodwill and has become well-known. The Panel should draw the inference that Respondent and the previous registrant knew of Complainant’s mark EDS based on the domain names owned by Complainant, including, but not limited to, <eds.com>, Complainant’s U.S. federal trademark registrations and the fame of Complainant’s mark EDS.

Complainant states that the previous registrant’s initial bad faith is underscored by its subsequent actions. The previous registrant was put on notice of Complainant’s rights in the mark EDS at least as early as 2003, when Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to Edge Design Studios as set forth in the Complaint and evidenced in Exhibit 6 of the Complaint. Respondent and/or Edge Design Studios blatantly ignored Complainant’s claims until Complainant sent a total of four letters to Edge Design Studios. Two and a half years after receiving Complainant’s initial letter, Eric Prusak, the owner of Edge Design Studios responded to Complainant’s counsel refusing to transfer the domain names to Complainant.

Complainant was forced to file a lawsuit in federal court in May 2006, in order to prevent transfer of the domain names in dispute and obtain a default judgment. Edge Design Studios avoided service on or about July 2006 by having an employee tell the process server that Edge Design Studios was no longer in business and that the owner, Darryl Prusak, then resided in Costa Rica. Intentionally evading service to avoid transfer of the domain names in dispute further illustrates the bad faith of the previous registrant.

Complainant submits that on or about August 23, 2006, the previous registrant of the domain names, Edge Design Studios, transferred ownership to Respondent, John Ackleman, with an address in Costa Rica. While Complainant suspected that Respondent was either an alias or agent of Edge Design Studios, Respondent’s e-mail of July 14, 2007 confirms that Respondent was acting on behalf of Edge Design Studios and that transferring the domain names to him was yet another ploy to avoid transfer of the domain names in dispute to their rightful owner.

Complainant further states that upon serving the UDRP Complaint to Respondent’s address listed in the WhoIs database, the package was returned to Complainant because it was a false address, as evidenced by a copy of the returned package. Providing false contact information is further evidence of Respondent’s bad faith. See Visit America, Inc. v. Visit America, NAF Case No. FA95093 (evidence that a domain name owner provided incorrect information to a domain name registrar supports a finding of bad faith registration).

Complainant states that Edge Design Studios is no longer in business according to Respondent’s e-mail of July 14, 2007, and therefore Respondent had and still has no legitimate business with which the accused domain names are associated.

 

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 trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

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

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

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Pursuant to Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy Complainant must establish rights in a trademark and secondly prove that the domain names in dispute are confusingly similar to the trademarks in which Complainant has rights.

Complainant is the owner of over 15 trademark registrations on the principal register in the United States of America for or including EDS registered in association with computer products and services, computer software products and goods and services in related fields including the services of “developing, hosting and linking of websites for others on a global information network.” Complainant adopted and commenced use of the trade name, trademark and service mark EDS as early as 1964.

The domain names in dispute consist of Complainant’s EDS trademark followed by the generic word “hosting.” The addition of a generic term to a Complainant’s trade mark does not alleviate confusion. Arthur Guinness Son & Co. (Dublin) Limited v. Tim Healy/BOSTH, WIPO Case No. D2001-0026; Caterpillar Inc. v. Thomas Huth, NAF Case No. FA0307000169056.

The domain names in dispute incorporate the whole of Complainant’s registered trademarks for or including the trademark EDS. Numerous UDRP panels have held that a domain name may be confusingly similar to a trademark when the domain name incorporates the mark in its entirety. See, e.g., Am. Online, Inc., v. aolgirlsgonewild.com, NAF Case No. FA0207000117319 (noting that “aolgirlsgonewild” incorporated complainant’s “entire mark” and implied “an affiliation that simply does not exist”).

The addition of a generic top-level domain name such as “.org,” “.net,” or “.com” is irrelevant when determining whether a disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a protected mark. See, e.g., Aous Uweyda v. Abdallah Sheet, NAF Case No. FA165119.

The Panel finds that Complainant has proven that the domain names in dispute are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Pursuant to Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, Complainant must prove that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain names.

Respondent is not affiliated with Complainant and has never been authorized by Complainant to use Complainant’s trademark or any trademarks confusingly similar thereto.

On the material before the Panel, Respondent has not used the trademark EDS or any variation thereof in association with any bona fide goods or services offered by Respondent. Furthermore, the domain names in dispute were used by the previous registrant Edge Design Studios for websites which advertised its hosting and related services. The use of the domain name in dispute to divert Internet traffic to the previous registrant’s websites associated with the domain names in dispute was not a legitimate use of the domain names in dispute. Although the Panel does not base its finding solely on the conduct of the previous registrant, it nevertheless remains a consideration, at least to the extent that, as appears to be the case here, there may well be a connection between the previous registrant and Respondent.

Complainant has used its registered EDS trademark in association with computer products and services, computer software products, and goods and services in related fields including the services of “developing, hosting and linking of websites for others on a global information network.” Complainant adopted and commenced use of the trade name, trademark and service mark EDS as early as 1964 and such adoption and use substantially precedes the registration date of the domain names in dispute in 2002. Through long and substantial use of Complainant’s registered trademarks for or including EDS in the United States of America including services in web hosting it can reasonably be inferred that Respondent had notice of Complainant’s trademarks at the time when it registered/acquired the domain name in dispute. (See Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003.)

The Panel finds that Complainant has proven that Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain names in dispute

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Pursuant to Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy Complainant must prove that the domain names in dispute have been registered and being used in bad faith.

Complainant is the owner of over 15 trademark registrations on the principal register in the United States of America for or including EDS. Complainant adopted and commenced use of the trade name, trademark and service mark EDS as early as 1964. Complainant enjoys a substantial demand for and consumer sales of its computer products and services, its computer software products and goods and services in related fields. Complainant has expanded the scope and volume of its business in association with its trademarks for or including EDS until it is now a corporation having over sixteen billion dollars in annual revenues. All or substantially all of Complainant’s goods and services are identified in some manner with Complainant’s house mark, EDS. A number of Complainant’s registrations for or including EDS are registered in relation to the services of “developing, hosting and linking of websites for others on a global information network” based on first use in commerce since February 1, 2000, in relation to hosting and linking services.

The domain names in dispute, comprised of Complainant’s trademark EDS in combination with the descriptive word ‘hosting’ and a gTLD, were registered by Edge Design Studios on March 21, 2002.

While Respondent did not expressly state any ownership or administrative connection with the original registrant Edge Design Studios in his letters to the Center constituting the Response, nor did Respondent expressly deny such connection, and indeed appears to make a number of assertions regarding the conduct and intent of the previous registrant, Respondent did not file a formal Response with a certification as required by Paragraphs 5 and 5(b)(viii) of the Rules.

Respondent states in his letters to the Center that the previous registrant Edge Design Studios had no knowledge of Complainant or Complainant’s trademarks for or including EDS prior to Edge Design Studios receipt of a cease and desist letter from Complainant. Respondent states in his letters to the Center that “eds” was adopted as part of the domain names in dispute by Edge Design Studios because the letters comprise the first letters of Edge Design Studios.

Complainant’s evidence establishes that a number of Complainant’s registrations for or including EDS are registered in relation to services including “developing, hosting and linking of web sites for others on a global information network” based on first use in commerce since February 1, 2000. Complainant’s evidence is that it registered and has used the domain name <eds.com> since August 5, 1995. Complainant has shown that nine of the first ten references generated by a search on Google for “EDS” are links to Complainant’s website or related to Complainant. All of the top ten references generated by a search on Google for the term “EDS hosting” are related to Complainant and its hosting services. One of the references generated by the “EDShosting” search on Google shows that Complainant won Network Computing’s Well-Connected Award in September 2001 in recognition of a Web Hosting proposal submitted to the magazine’s Editor’s Choice Awards.

Complainant and Edge Design Studios the original registrant of the domain names in dispute were competitors in the web hosting field. Complainant has been in the web hosting field since February 1, 2000. Complainant’s trademark for or including EDS in use in the United states of America since 1964 was and is a widely known registered trademark in the United States of America and other countries in respect to computer services; computer systems and network management for others; etc.

The Panel finds that Complainant has proven on a balance of probabilities that the domain names in dispute were registered by the previous registrant Edge Design Studios with knowledge of Complainant’s business goods and services associated with trademarks for or including EDS since 1964 and associated with the web hosting field since February 1, 2000. The Panel finds on balance that the current registrant acquired the domain name with at the least some claimed knowledge of the previous registrant’s intent. Whatever the specific circumstances of acquisition of the disputed domain names, the Panel is not satisfied that this necessarily occurred on an arm’s length basis. (See CompuCredit Corporation, CompuCredit Intellectual Property Holdings Corporation III v. Domain Capital and Aspire Prints, WIPO Case No. D2007-0407)

The registration (or acquisition) of domain names identical or confusingly similar to well-known trademarks by a person with no connection to that trademark amounts to “opportunistic bad faith” (See Expedia, Inc. v. European Travel Network, WIPO Case No. D2000-0137.)

In registering and using the domain names in dispute, the previous registrant Edge Design Studios intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to its web site by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s trademark for or including EDS as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Edge Design Studio’s websites. The previous registrant’s use of the domain names in dispute constituted use of the domain names in dispute in bad faith as provided in Paragraph 4(b) (iv) of the Policy.

Respondent submitted in his letters to the Center that Edge Design Studios had gone under. A review of United States current telephone information at <411.com> discloses a telephone listing for the previous operator of Edge Design Studios describing his current position as Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Edge Design Studios whose address is given as “P.O. Box 5162 Asheville, N.C” A WhoIs search for <edgedesignstudios.com> shows the owner of the domain name as Edge Design Studios having an address at “Beaufort, N.C” The administrative, technical and registrant contact for <edgedesignstudios.com> is shown as Grey Ackleman of San Jose, Costa Rica. Respondent may or may not have a connection with the named administrative, technical and registrant contact for <edgedesignstudios.com>, however, Respondent’s personal knowledge or knowledge on information and belief of the facts in this case was not put forward in Respondent’s letters to the Center.

Upon serving the UDRP Complaint to Respondent’s address listed in the WhoIs database, the package was returned to Complainant because it was a false address. Providing false contact information is further evidence of Respondent’s bad faith. See Visit America, Inc. v. Visit America, NAF Case No. FA95093 (evidence that a domain name owner provided incorrect information to a domain name registrar supports a finding of bad faith registration).

The web pages currently associated with the domain names in dispute registered in Respondent’s name resolve to blank pages. Respondent states that the previous registrant is no longer carrying on its web hosting business. The Panel finds that Respondent is parking the domain names in dispute. There are no landing pages associated with the domain names in dispute. The domain names in dispute are intimately connected with Complainant’s house mark EDS and Complainant’s web hosting business operated in association with its EDS house mark. The Panel cannot conceive of a situation in which Respondent could use the domain names in dispute in good faith. See, for example, Jupiters Limited v.Aaron Hall, WIPO Case No. D2000-0574; Cobham Plc. v. Neog Inc, WIPO Case No. D2005-0503.

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Paragraph 4(a)(iii)of the Policy by proving that Respondent registered and is using the domain names in dispute in bad faith.

 

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 names <edshosting.com> and <edshosting.net> be transferred to Complainant.


Ross Carson
Sole Panelist

Date: October 8, 2007