Complainant is GoDaddy.com Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America, represented by its in-house counsel.
Respondent is Cheap-e.com of Harrison, New Jersey, United States of America.
The disputed domain name <gowilddaddy.com> is registered with Wild West Domains, Inc.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 2, 2009. On July 3, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to Wild West Domains, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 6, 2009, Wild West Domains, Inc. 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” or “UDRP”), 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 July 10, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 30, 2009. On various dates the Center received informal email communications from Respondent stating that Complainant's domain name <godaddy.com> “IS FOR SALE $210,00.00” … “it just like the one i own.so i own godaddy too!this is your thinking.not mine.i'm learning from the best.so i'm trying to sell it too!i think your cash flow is way down.i bought my first domain reseller in 2001 from wild west .which you ,or one worker from godaddy took.al together you took 4 domain resellers from me. just look under my name.you'll see.maybe this is why i'm going to win.to bad bob can't get a win race car.how stupit can he be…”
Respondent did not submit any formal response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on July 31, 2009.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on August 14, 2009. 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.
Complainant is the owner of the following United States Trademark Registrations:
GO DADDY Reg. No. 2558989 Registered April 9, 2002
GO DADDY Reg. No. 2593111 Registered July 9, 2002
GODADDY.COM Reg. No. 2904954 Registered November 23, 2004
GODADDY.COM Reg. No. 2945200 Registered April 26, 2005
GODADDY.COM Reg. No. 2945201 Registered April 26, 2005
GODADDY.COM Reg. No. 2969916 Registered July 19, 2005
DADDY Reg. No. 3156369 Registered October 17, 2006
Complainant's marks are used in connection with the registration, transfer and account management services of domain names for identification of users on a global computer network. The trademarks are also used in connection with web site hosting, design, email, SSL certificates, shopping carts, traffic building software and other products and services needed to build and maintain Internet websites.
Complainant, together with its affiliate companies, manages more than 35 million domain names, with more than 6.5 million customers worldwide.
The domain name was registered on February 2, 2008. Respondent operates a competing domain name registration site at the disputed domain name.
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant's GODADDY and DADDY trademarks, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to decide a Complaint “on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable”.
Complainant has demonstrated that it owns strong rights in the trademarks GODADDY and DADDY. The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant's GODADDY trademark in its entirety, with the addition of the word “wild” in between the words “go” and “daddy”. The addition of the word “wild” does not avoid a finding of confusing similarity. It does not sufficiently differentiate the disputed domain name from the Complainant's trademark to avoid confusion among Internet users regarding the mark.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's trademarks.
Respondent is not a franchisee, affiliated business or licensee of Complainant. Respondent is not an authorized agent and Complainant has not authorized Respondent to register the disputed domain name or to otherwise use Complainant's marks.
Respondent is not and has not been commonly known by the disputed domain name. Respondent is operating a website at the disputed domain name that is offering services similar to those of Complainant. In addition, Respondent's email communications indicate that it was well aware of Complainant's trademarks when registering and using the disputed domain name. Such use does not constitute a bona fide, legitimate use of the domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states circumstances which, if found, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the documented out of pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) Respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent's website or other on line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent's website or location of a product or service on Respondent's website or location.
Respondent's own email communications indicate that Respondent was well aware of Complainant's trademark rights at the time of registering the disputed domain name. Respondent has also offered the disputed domain name for sale to Complainant for an amount in excess of its out of pocket costs. In an email to Complainant dated March 16, 2009, responding to Complainant's cease and desist letter, Respondent wrote:
“Dear Bob Peterson, www.gowilddaddy.com has been for sale on ??? for $2,200,000.00. I hate to see someone out bid you. I know you have very deep pockets full of money. So just wright[sic] the check. Love Robert Meiter.”
In addition, the evidence of Respondent's competing website at the disputed domain demonstrates that Respondent is infringing Complainant's trademarks and is deliberately trading off the goodwill associated with Complainant's marks and Internet traffic intended for Complainant's website. Such use also evidences Respondent's bad faith.
The Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the domain name 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, <gowilddaddy.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Dated: August 26, 2009