WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


LEGO Juris A/S v. LC Internet Marketing

Case No. D2009-0953

1. The Parties

The Complainant is LEGO Juris A/S of Billund, Denmark, represented by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is LC Internet Marketing of Chula Vista, California, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <legoland-california.com> is registered with Network Solutions, LLC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 15, 2009. On July 15, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to Network Solutions, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 15, 2009, Network Solutions, 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” 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 22, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 11, 2009. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on August 12, 2009.

The Center appointed Alan L. Limbury as the sole panelist in this matter on August 17, 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.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a member of the Lego group of companies and the proprietor of United States registered trademark No. 1344008 LEGOLAND, registered on June 25, 1985. Since March 1999 the Lego group has operated in Carlsbad, California, just North of San Diego, a theme park known as Legoland California.

The disputed domain name was registered on May 16, 2003. It resolves to a website at “www.california-amusement-parks.com” which offers tickets to Legoland California, described as “the first and only theme park in the United States created by Danish toy maker, the LEGO® Company”. The website also offers tickets to other attractions such as the San Diego zoo.

The Respondent did not reply to a cease and desist letter dated April 6, 2009.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant says LEGOLAND is a famous trademark world wide and that there is no doubt that the Respondent was aware of the rights the Complainant has in the trademark LEGOLAND and the value of said trademark, at the point of registration. There is no connection between the Respondent and the Complainant. No licence or authorization of any kind has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent to use the trademark LEGOLAND. By using the disputed domain name the Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use without intent for commercial gain but is misleadingly diverting consumers for his own commercial gain. Consequently, the Respondent should be considered to have registered and to be using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

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”.

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:

(1) the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(2) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A respondent is not obliged to participate in a proceeding under the Policy but if it fails to do so, asserted facts may be taken as true and reasonable inferences may be drawn from the information provided by the complainant: Reuters Limited v. Global Net 2000, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0441. See also Microsoft Corporation v. Freak Films Oy, WIPO Case No. D2003-0109; SSL International plc v. Mark Freeman, WIPO Case No. D2000-1080 and AltaVista Company v. Grandtotal Finances Limited et al., WIPO Case No. D2000-0848.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The test of identity or confusing similarity under the Policy is confined to a comparison of the disputed domain name and the trademark alone: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Traffic Yoon, WIPO Case No. D2006-0812. The top level domains “.com”, “.net” and “org” are to be disregarded: Magnum Piering, Inc. v. The Mudjackers and Garwood S. Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525; Rollerblade, Inc. v. Chris McCrady, WIPO Case No. D2000-0429. Likewise the content of the Respondent's websites must be disregarded: A & F Trademark, Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. v. Justin Jorgensen, WIPO Case No. D2001-0900.

The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark LEGOLAND. The addition of the word “California” does nothing in this case to detract from the distinctiveness of that mark.

The Complainant has established this element of its case.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

UDRP panels have consistently found that the burden is on a respondent to provide evidence of its rights or legitimate interests under paragraph 4(c). (See for example Cassava Enterprises Limited, Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited v. Victor Chandler International Limited, WIPO Case No. D2004-0753). That burden arises once the Complainant establishes a prima facie case against the Respondent.

The Complainant's assertions are sufficient to establish that case and in the absence of any Response, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no right or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Complainant has established this element of its case.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The content of the Respondent's website, the location of the Respondent in California and the timing of the registration of the disputed domain name four years after the establishment of the Legoland California theme park indicate that the Respondent was well aware of the LEGOLAND mark when registering the disputed domain name.

The Respondent is clearly using the disputed domain name so as intentionally to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent's website. Under the Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv), this is evidence of both bad faith registration and bad faith use.

The Complainant has established this element of its case.

7. Decision

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 <legoland-california.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Alan L. Limbury
Sole Panelist

Dated: August 20, 2009.