WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Golden Door Licensor, L.L.C. v. Protected, WhoisGuard/Chen Bao Shui
Case No. D2008-0352
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Golden Door Licensor, New York, United States of America, represented by Lydecker, Lee, Behar, Berga & DeZayas, LLC, United States of America.
The Respondent is Protected, WhoisGuard/Chen Bao Shui, Shanghai, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <goldendoorspa.com> is registered with Network Solutions, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 6, 2008. On March 7, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to Network Solutions, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On March 10, 2008, Network Solutions, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information of the disputed domain name, which differed from the name Respondent in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on March 12, 2008, providing the registrant information disclosed by the Registrar and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on March 17, 2008. 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 March 25, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 14, 2008. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 16, 2008.
The Center appointed Arne Ringnes as the sole panelist in this matter on April 29, 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 has operated its spa and wellness services under the trademark GOLDEN DOOR since 1958.
The Complainant is the owner of several trademark registrations and applications for GOLDEN DOOR and related trademarks such as GOLDEN DOOR SPA in the United States of America and in over thirty countries worldwide.
Further, the Complainant has registered a number of domain names, such as <goldendoor.com>, <goldendoorspas.com>, <goldendoorspa.net> etc.
The Complainant was the registered owner of <goldendoorspa.com> from approximately January 1998 to August 2007. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name in August 2007, after the Complainant did not timely renew its domain name registration.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name <goldendoorspa.com> is identical and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s s registered trademarks and domain names. The domain name wholly incorporates and is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks GOLDEN DOOR and GOLDEN DOOR SPA.
The Complainant further submits that the Respondent has no legitimate interests in the domain name. The domain name is used as a parking space for the Respondent as evidenced by the several different links to other websites. Merely parking a domain name does not establish any right or legitimate interest. The Complainant alleges that the Respondent registered the domain name with clear intent for commercial gain by misleading and diverting consumers.
According to the Complainant, the disputed domain name has been registered and is used in bad faith for the following reasons:
- When registering the domain name, the Respondent had knowledge of the Complainant’s trademarks and business names. This is evident given the high profile presence and fame of the Golden Door spas and due to the Complainant’s series of trademark registrations world wide, and further evidenced by the fact that the disputed domain name contains links to products and services in direct competition with the Complainant.
- The Respondent passively holds the disputed domain name and receives referral fees for redirecting Internet users from its site to other websites.
- The Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such cyber squatting, as evidenced by the multiple domain name dispute cases successfully filed against the Respondent.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights to the trademarks GOLDEN DOOR and GOLDEN DOOR SPA which precede the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name.
The Panel further finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark GOLDEN DOOR SPA and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark GOLDEN DOOR. The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trademarks completely. The only difference to the latter trademark is that the descriptive term SPA is added to the trademark.
Based on the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has proved that the condition under the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i) is fulfilled with respect to the disputed domain name.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not contested the Complainant’s allegation that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
It is generally difficult for the Complainant to prove that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue. On the other hand, it would be fairly simple for the Respondent to demonstrate that it has such rights or legitimate interests pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. Previous decisions under the Policy have therefore found it sufficient for a complainant to make a prima facie showing of its assertion in the event of a respondent’s default.
The basis for the Panel’s decision is that the Complainant has not granted the Respondent any rights to use its mark, and that it is in no way affiliated with the Respondent. The Panel finds that the circumstances mentioned and evidenced by the Complainant, i.e. that the Respondent does not offer any goods or services – instead the disputed domain name contains several sponsored links, are sufficient to establish a prima facie showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue.
As the Panel cannot find any indications of the three circumstances that constitute rights to or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy or any other circumstances indicating such rights or legitimate interests in the case file, the Panel concludes that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name at issue.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel has considered the Complainant’s assertions and evidence with regard to the Respondent’s registration and use of the domain name in bad faith. By not submitting a Response, the Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstances that could demonstrate that the Respondent did not register and use the domain name at issue in bad faith.
According to paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, certain circumstances shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith. These include in sub paragraph (iv) the fact that the respondent, by using the domain name, has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of his website or location or of a product or service on his website or location.
The Respondent is using the Complainant’s marks GOLDEN DOOR and GOLDEN DOOR SPA to attract Internet users to its website. In particular, the Panel sees the sponsored links for businesses in the same field as that of the Complainant as an indication of bad faith. Even if the users who access the Respondent’s website may conclude that it is not what they were originally looking for, the Respondent has already succeeded in its purpose of using the Complainant’s mark to attract users for commercial gain, see for example the panel’s observations in Red Bull GmbH v. Unasi Management Inc., WIPO Case No. D2005-0304.
Further, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the Complainant from reflecting its trademarks in the disputed domain name, and has engaged in a pattern of such conduct, cf. paragraph 4(b)(ii) of the Policy. This is evidenced by the multiple domain name dispute cases successfully filed against the Respondent, e.g. Dillard’s, Inc., Dillard’s International, Inc. v. Chen Bao Shui, WIPO Case No. D2007-0520; The Ford Foundation v. Chen Bao Shui, WIPO Case No. D2007-0862 and Weyerhaeuser Company v. Chen Bao Shui, WIPO Case No. D2007-0969 etc.
For the various reasons discussed above, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the domain name in dispute in bad faith.
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, <goldendoorspa.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: May 13, 2008