WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Paramount Pictures Corporation v. Texas International Property Associates
Case No. D2007-1753
1. The Parties
Complainant is Paramount Pictures Corporation, c/o Paul Koenig, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
Respondent is Texas International Property Associates, Dallas, Texas, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name, <spiderwickmovie.com>, is registered with Compana LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 28, 2007. On November 29, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Compana LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On December 3, 2007, Compana 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 December 4, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 24, 2007. The Response was filed with the Center on December 25, 2007.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on January 7, 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. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the domain name at issue is confusingly similar to the mark SPIDERWICK in which Complainant has common law rights, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and that Respondent has registered and is using the domain name at issue in bad faith. Complainant seeks transfer of the domain name registration.
Respondent “agrees to the relief requested by Complainant [i.e., transfer] and will, upon order of the Panel, do so. This is not an admission to the three elements of 4(a) of the Policy but rather an offer of ‘unilateral consent to transfer’ as prior Panels have deemed it”.
5. Discussion and Findings
As analyzed by the Panel in The Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. Mike Morgan, WIPO Case No. D2005-1132, panels, when faced with a “unilateral consent to transfer”, have taken three different approaches. Some panels have granted the relief requested on the basis of Respondent’s consent without a review and analysis of the facts supporting the claim. Williams Sonoma, Inc. v. EZ Port, WIPO Case No. D2000-0207; Slumberland France v. Chadia Acohuri, WIPO Case No. D2000-0195. Others have held that the consent to transfer is effectively a concession that the three elements of the Policy have been satisfied, and ordered transfer on this basis. Qosina Corporation v. Qosmedix Group, WIPO Case No. D2003-0620; Desotec N.V. v. Jacobi Carbons AB, WIPO Case No. D2000-1398. Still other panels have proceeded to analyze whether the evidence submitted satisfies the three elements of the policy. Société Française du Radiotelephone-SFR v. Karen, WIPO Case No. D2004-0386; Eurobet UK Limited v. Grand Slam Co., WIPO Case No. D2003-0745.
The Panel is persuaded by the reasoning of the learned Panel in Williams-Sonoma, Inc. v. EZ Port, WIPO Case No. D2000-0207, as follows:
Because Respondent has consented to the relief requested by Complainant, it is not necessary to review the facts supporting the claim. I am left to decide the appropriate procedure to conclude the case in a situation not directly addressed by the Rules. Several provisions provide guidance. Rule 10(a) gives the panel the discretion to conduct the proceeding in such manner as it deems appropriate under the Policy and the Rules. Rule 10(c) requires the Panel to “ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition”. Rule 12 permits the Panel to require further statements from the parties. Rule 17 requires the Panel to terminate the proceeding when the parties have agreed to a settlement.
Here, although Respondent has consented to the requested relief, the parties have not agreed to a formal settlement and terminating the proceeding would not affect the parties’ intent. Under Rules 10 and 12, the Panel appears to have authority to delay the decision and permit the parties time to submit confirmation that they have agreed to a settlement. That procedure, however, would delay this proceeding and impose unnecessary cost on both the parties and WIPO. Under the circumstances, I believe the better course is to enter an order granting the relief requested by the Complainant so that the transfer may occur without further delay.
As Complainant pointed out in the Complaint, Respondent has been found to be a cybersquatter in numerous other proceedings under the UDRP. Another such finding would not serve Complainant’s interests in the rapid transfer of the domain name at issue.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Panel orders that the domain name, <spiderwickmovie.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Dated: January 21, 2008