WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC and Solvay S.A. v. Plastic Distributors
Case No. D2008-0516
1. The Parties
The Complainants are Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC of Alpharetta, Georgia, United States of America and Solvay S.A. of Bruxelles, Belgium, represented by Venable, LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Plastic Distributors, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name, <torlon.com> (the “Domain Name”), is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 3, 2008. On April 4, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On April 4, 2008 the Registrar 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 April 16, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 6, 2008. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on May 8, 2008.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on May 16, 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.
In late May, 2008, when the Panel was on the point of completing his decision, the parties sought a suspension of the proceeding to enable them to conduct settlement discussions. A 30 day suspension was duly granted and this was followed by two further extensions, culminating in an agreement. The Panel has not been informed of the terms of the agreement save that the Respondent has agreed that the Domain Name should be transferred to the First Complainant.
4. Factual Background
The First Complainant is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Second Complainant. For the purposes of this decision the Panel treats them as one. Together they are hereinafter referred to as the “Complainants”.
The Complainants are members of a large international Belgium-based chemical and pharmaceutical group.
The Second Complainant is the registered proprietor of European Community Trade Mark No. 003416211 TORLON (word) dated October 17, 2003 in classes 3, 7 and 17 for various resins and plastics and goods made thereof.
It is asserted in the Complaint that the First Complainant is also the registered proprietor of US Trade Marks Nos. 1200074 and 1475545 TORLON (word) in class 1 for synthetic resins and related products. These registrations date back to 1982 and 1988 respectively. However, the exhibited documentation shows the proprietors to be Amoco Group companies. The Panel conducted an online search at the USPTO website and found that in each case there had been an assignment to the First Complainant in May 2002.
The Respondent registered the Domain Name on April 17 1998. It is connected to the Respondent's trading website, which features Torlon along with the branded products of a number of other companies as well as generic unbranded product.
On November 26, 2007 the Complainants' Trade Mark Manager in Brussels wrote to the Respondent drawing to the Respondent's attention the Complainants' rights and seeking transfer of the Domain Name to the First Complainant. The Respondent did not reply to that letter.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainants contend that the Domain Name is identical to their registered trade marks.
The Complainants further contend that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. They point to the use being made of the Domain Name and, in particular, the fact that the Domain Name is being used by the Respondent to market a wide range of products, which have no connection with the Complainants. They contend that Internet users will be deceived into thinking that the Respondent's website is in some way associated with the Complainants.
On that basis, the Complainants contend that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainants' contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainants must prove that:
(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainants have rights; and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) The Domain Name has been registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
However, since the parties have now agreed that the Domain Name should be transferred to the First Complainant, it is unnecessary for the Panel to make any findings in relation to these issues. For the purposes of this administrative proceeding, in the particular circumstances of this case, it is sufficient that the above elements are deemed to have been proved.
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, <torlon.com>, be transferred to the First Complainant.
Dated: August 15, 2008