WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Mayflower Transit, LLC v. Simo Elbaz
Case No. D2007-1720
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Mayflower Transit, LLC of Fenton, Missouri, United States of America, represented by Thompson Coburn LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Simo Elbaz of Miami, Florida, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <mayflowermover.com> is registered with Schlund + Partner AG.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 21, 2007 against “Oneandone Private Registration”. On November 23, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Schlund + Partner AG a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On November 28, 2007, Schlund + Partner AG transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that “Simo Elbaz” is the actual registrant and providing the relevant contact details. Upon the Center’s notice of change in registrant information, the Complainant submitted the amended Complaint on December 7, 2007. The Center verified that the Complaint as amended 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 December 11, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 31, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center subsequently notified the Respondent’s default.
The Center appointed Ik-Hyun Seo as the sole panelist in this matter on January 22, 2008. 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, founded in 1927, is one of the largest providers of interstate moving, shipping and storage services in the United States of America, with approximately five hundred agents throughout the United States of America and around the world. The Complainant owns several registrations for MAYFLOWER alone and in combination with other elements, the earliest registration dating back to July 27, 1948.
The Respondent appears to be an individual located in the United States of America based on the information provided via the WhoIs database of the concerned Registrar. Also based on the registration details, it appears that the disputed domain name was initially registered on September 10, 2002.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the mark MAYFLOWER, in which the Complainant has rights. More specifically, the Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name wholly incorporates the MAYFLOWER trademark and has simply added a descriptive and/or non-distinctive term, namely “mover”.
The Complainant also contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. More specifically, although content is displayed via the website at the disputed domain name, such cannot be considered a bona fide offering of goods or services. Further, there is nothing to suggest or support the proposition that the Respondent is commonly known by the domain name in question.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. More specifically, the manner in which the Respondent is using the domain name indicates that he knew of the Complainant and its trademark when the domain name was registered, and that he intended to capitalize on the goodwill of the Complainant’s trademark. Further, the Complainant notes that the Respondent has been involved in other domain name disputes, and other circumstances also show that the Respondent is a cybersquatter.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has submitted evidence demonstrating that it has trademark rights in MAYFLOWER in connection with transportation and moving services. In fact, such registrations were obtained as early as 1948. The disputed name entirely incorporates the Complainant’s trademark and simply adds the term “mover”, which is non-distinctive and could also be said to be descriptive under the circumstances of this case.
The addition of such a descriptive or generic term to an existing trademark does little, if anything, to dispel confusing similarity. See, e.g., Bridgestone Corporation v. Horoshiy, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2004-0795 in which the trademark BRIDGESTONE was asserted against <bridgestonegolf.com>.
For the reasons given above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established this element, and concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made the required prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the Respondent has declined his opportunity to present a rebuttal or explanation. Accordingly, the Panel finds it reasonable to accept the Complainant’s unchallenged assertions on this point.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established this element, and concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under the facts and circumstances of this case, this Panel finds that there is ample and convincing evidence of bad faith in the registration and use of the disputed domain name. As noted, the domain name wholly incorporates the Complainant’s trademark, and simply adds the term “mover”. The content displayed at the disputed domain name relates to moving and transportation services, exactly the same services that the Complainant has been providing for over 80 years. It is obvious that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademark and the related services, and used it in a way that capitalizes on it illegitimately.
Beyond what is mentioned above, the Complainant submitted evidence that demonstrates that the Respondent is a repeated bad-faith registrant. There are already four UDRP decisions against the Respondent. Bellsouth Intellectual Property Corporation v. Simo Elbaz, WIPO Case No. D2003-0530; National Association of Realtors v. Simo Elbaz, WIPO Case No. D2005-1019; Movado LLC v. Simo Elbaz, WIPO Case No. D2004-1029; and America Online, Inc. v. Simo Elbaz, NAF Case No. FA165950. Also in the record is the fact that the Respondent currently holds well over 100 domain name registrations, including some that also incorporate other easily recognized trademarks – <wwwcitibankvisa.com>, <wwwyahooauto.com>, <apartmentsyahoo.com>, <yahooloan.com>, <wwwyahoogreeting.com>, and <wwwyahoomap.com>.
For the reasons given above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established the third and final requirement under the Policy.
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 <mayflowermover.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: February 22, 2008