WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Harrods Limited v. Rob Toledo
Case No. D2007-1181
1. The Parties
Complainant is Harrods Limited, of Knightsbridge, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Burges Salmon LLP, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Respondent is Rob Toledo, of Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <harrodsvegas.com> (herein, Disputed Domain Name) is registered with Melbourne IT trading as Internet Names Worldwide.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 8, 2007. On August 13, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Melbourne IT a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On August 15, 2007, Melbourne IT transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 15, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 4, 2007. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on September 5, 2007.
The Center appointed Mark Ming-Jen Yang as the sole panelist in this matter on September 14, 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
Complainant’s portfolio of the trademark HARRODS (collectively herein, “HARRODS Trademarks”) includes the following registrations:
- UK Trademark No. 1305592 registered March 31, 1987 for the mark HARRODS for various services in Class 41.
- US Trademark No. 1812374 registered December 21, 1993 for the mark HARRODS for services in Class 36.
- UK Trademark No. 2245927 registered September 19, 2000 for the mark HARRODS for services in Class 35 including the bringing together for the benefit of others, of a variety of goods through online media enabling customers to conveniently view and purchase those goods which would normally be available in a departmental store through the said online media or by means of telecommunications.
- Community Trademark No. 62414 registered April 1, 1996 for the mark HARRODS for a wide variety of goods and services in Classes 1 to 42.
- Community Trademark No. 61697 registered April 1, 1996 for the mark HARRODS for a wide variety of goods and services in Classes 1 to 42, including class 41.
- Community Trademark No. 2227965 registered July 31, 2002 for the mark HARRODS CASINO for class 41 for gambling services.
- US Trademark No. 1354693 registered August 13, 1985 for the mark HARRODS for services in Class 42 including retail mail order services of consumer goods.
- US Trademark No. 1812374 registered December 21, 1993 for the mark HARRODS for services in Class 36 including banking, real estate management, insurance underwriting and providing facilities for exhibitions and restaurants.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on March 18, 2007.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar with the HARRODS Trademarks in which it has rights, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, and that Respondent registered and uses the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
One requirement of fundamental due process is that a respondent has notice of proceedings that may substantially affect its rights. The Policy, Rules and Supplemental Rules establish procedures intended to assure that a respondent is given adequate notice of proceedings commenced against it, and a reasonable opportunity to respond (see, e.g., Rules, paragraph 2(a)).
In this case, the Panel is satisfied that the Center took all steps reasonably necessary to notify Respondent of the filing of the Complaint and initiation of these proceedings, and that the failure of Respondent to furnish a Response to the Complaint is not due to any omission by the Center. There is sufficient evidence in the case file for the Panel to conclude that the Center discharged its obligations under Rules, paragraph 2(a) (see Procedural History, supra).
In case of default, under paragraph 14(a) of the Rules, “the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the complaint”, and under paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, “the Panel shall draw such inferences [from the default] as it considers appropriate”. Furthermore, paragraph 15(a) of the Rules provides that a “Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems appropriate”. Since Respondent has not submitted any evidence, the Panel must render its decision on the basis of the uncontroverted evidence supplied by Complainant.
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, to succeed in this UDRP proceeding, Complainant must meet three requirements that will be considered in turn below.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant contends (and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted and convincing) that it has rights in the HARRODS Trademarks and that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar thereto.
In particular, Complainant contends, and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted and convincing: “The only difference between the Respondent’s domain name and Complainant’s HARRODS trademarks is the addition of the word “vegas”, a common abbreviation for Las Vegas - which appears to denote geographical origin, and incorporates in full Complainant’s HARRODS trademarks. The HARRODS trademarks instantly evokes the famous Knightsbridge department store and its related products and services, which, up until the beginning of 2007 included Harrods Casino Online. Complainant owns a variety of casino, gambling and gaming related domain names including <harrodslasvegas.com> and <harrodsoflasvegas.com>”.
In conclusion, the Panel accepts Complainant’s supported contentions that it has rights in the HARRODS Trademarks and that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar thereto, and concludes that the first requirement of the Policy is met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant contends, and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted and convincing, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
In particular, Complainant contends (and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted) that:
(a) Respondent has no relationship with Complainant and is not using the Disputed Domain Name, in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, at “www.harrodsvegas.com”, which is a Yahoo holding page; and (b) Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name.
Respondent has provided no arguments or evidence of legitimate interests to counter Complainant’s contentions on this issue. By virtue of the legal status (and in particular, registrations for the European Community, the United States of America and the United Kingdom) of the HARRODS Trademarks, and Complainant’s contentions about the fame in the marketplace of the HARRODS Trademarks, Complainant convincingly argues that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. The Panel, especially in the absence of any response from Respondent, considers that the circumstances described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, of proof of rights or legitimate interests by Respondent in the Disputed Domain Name, likely do not exist.
The Panel concludes that the second requirement of the Policy is met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant contends that Respondent registered and uses the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
In particular, Complainant contends, and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted and convincing, the following: (i) the HARRODS Trademarks are widely known and famous throughout the world; (ii) Respondent had more likely than not actual notice of Complainant’s rights in the HARRODS Trademarks when it registered the Disputed Domain Name; (iii) Respondent uses the Disputed Domain Name to host a Yahoo holding page; (iv) Respondent uses the Disputed Domain Name to intentionally divert traffic to aforementioned website, away from Complainant’s websites, “www.harrodslasvegas.com” and “www.harrodsoflasvegas.com”; and (v) there is no contemplated use of the Disputed Domain Name by Respondent that would be legitimate or lawful.
In respect of evidence of Respondent’s intentions, Complainant contends, and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted and convincing, the following: “It has long been a popular rumour that the Complainant is in negotiations to develop a hotel complex in Las Vegas. In this case, the Respondent was clearly aware of the HARRODS name and mark. In an email dated July 25, 2007, the Respondent explicitly stated “My plans are to open a tourist store / convenience store / boutique store when the new Harrods Vegas Hotel opens. Products will be sold through the website (‘harrodsvegas.com’) and web traffic will push them to my store”.
The Panel concludes that the third requirement of the Policy is met.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Disputed Domain Name, <harrodsvegas.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Mark Ming-Jen Yang
Dated: September 26, 2007