The Complainant is The Members of the General Committee of the Kennel Club of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by R.G.C. Jenkins & Co., United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Bryn Firkins of Lichfield, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.
The disputed domain name <crufts.tv> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with eNom and was first registered on February 18, 2008.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre (the “Center”) on February 19, 2009. On February 20, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On February 20, 2009, eNom 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 February 26, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 18, 2009. The Respondent did not submit any Response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent of his default on March 19, 2009.
The Center appointed Mr. Clive Duncan Thorne as the sole panelist in this matter on March 26, 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.
The Complainant is the long established organizer of the Crufts Dog Show in the United Kingdom.
The Crufts Show is the largest annual dog show in the world. It was launched in 1891 in London and has been held annually ever since. In 1991 it moved to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham to accommodate a record setting number of entrants. On average 28,000 dogs take part in the show each year. The Crufts Show is a four-day event that attracts participants and spectators, with an average of 160,000 visitors attending each year. It is internationally known as the premier dog show event in the world. At Annex 2 to the Complaint the Complainant exhibits details of the show and its history. The brand name Crufts is used not only for the show itself but also in respect of a wide range of dog related products and services provided at the show and year round by the Complainant and authorised users. These products and services include dog kennels and cages, dog beds, dog bowls, dog clothing, dog toys, books, DVDs and other dog related merchandise and insurance for dogs. Evidence of some of these is set out in Annex 3 to the Complaint.
At Annex 4 to the Complaint the Complainant sets out details of a number of registered trade marks and pending applications for the mark CRUFTS and the CRUFTS DOG SHOW logo. These include as follows:
UK registration No.1445200 CRUFTS DOG SHOW logo dated October 22, 1990;
UK registration No. 1582461 CRUFTS DOG SHOW logo dated August 22, 1994;
UK registration No. 1445203 CRUFTS dated October 22, 1990;
CTM registration No. 1102342 CRUFTS dated March 11, 1999;
CTM registration No. 4766598 CRUFTS dated November 25, 2005;
CTM registration No. 4766581 CRUFTS DOG SHOW logo dated November 25, 2005;
CTM registration No. 5416557 CRUFTS dated October 25, 2006;
CTM registration No. 5416681 CRUFTS (stylized) dated October 25, 2006.
The Complainant is also the proprietor of the domain names <crufts.com>, <crufts.co.uk> and <crufts.eu>.
In the absence of evidence from the Respondent little is known about the Respondent. The Respondent registered the domain name <crufts.tv> on February 18, 2008. The Domain Name links to a page displaying “Crufts dog videos” in large bold letters at the top with a subsidiary descriptive line stating “a video site dedicated to the world of Crufts” with supplementary websites which also provide advertising links to the providers of pet ware. The website also displays videos of various events filmed at the Complainant's own Crufts Dog Show. The website also offers a forum for discussion topics on the subject of dogs as well as invitation to watch, share or upload videos and photographs of “your favourite dogs”. Printouts from the Respondent's website appear in Annex 5 to the Complainant.
In the absence of evidence from the Respondent and having considered the evidence annexed to the Complaint, the Panel finds that the evidence referred to above and adduced by the Complainant is true.
(i) The Complainant submits that the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant's trade mark CRUFTS apart from the non distinctive domain name suffix “.tv”.
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name;
(a) The Respondent is not known or connected to, associated with or endorsed by the Complainant.
(b) The Domain Name does not correspond to a name by which the Respondent is or has been commonly known.
(c) The Respondent is not making a legitimate and non-commercial or fair use of the Domain Name.
(iii) The Respondent registered the Domain Name and is using it in bad faith;
(a) The Domain Name has been used intentionally to attract internet users for commercial gain to the Respondent's website.
(b) The Respondent has taken unfair advantage of the Complainant's international reputation.
(c) The Respondent registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of unfairly disrupting the business of the Complainant.
(d) The Respondent registered the Domain Name as a blocking registration.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
The Complainant submits that the Domain Name is identical to the trade mark CRUFTS, save for the non distinctive domain name suffix “.tv”. The Panel accepts this submission and therefore finds for the Complainant in respect of this element.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent is not known or connected to, associated with or endorsed by the Complainant. The Complainant has not authorised the Respondent to use the mark CRUFTS.
The Panel accepts this submission. There is no evidence that the Complainant has in any way authorised the Respondent to use the mark CRUFTS as part of the Domain Name. Moreover, there is no evidence that the Domain Name corresponds to a name by which the Respondent is or has been commonly known.
It follows that the Panel, in the absence of submissions from the Respondent, finds for the Complainant in this element.
The Complainant points out that the Respondent's use of the Domain Name does not amount to bona fide use in connection with the offering of any goods or services, rather the Respondent is not in fact using the Domain Name to offer any goods or services at all. The Respondent is providing links to third party websites with a view to gaining income from the number of visitors who click through to those sites. It points out that the Respondent is making a manifest commercial use by advertising the links by reference to the use of videos from the Complainant's own Crufts Dog Show.
The Complainant therefore submits that the Domain Name has intentionally been used to attract internet users for commercial gain to the Respondent's website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trade mark CRUFTS as to the source sponsorship affiliation or endorsement of the website and of the products and services advertised in the pasted links.
The Panel takes the view that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant's rights in the mark CRUFTS as a result of the pre-existing trade mark registrations and the fact that the trading name Crufts has been used by the Complainant and its predecessors for over 110 years to denote an internationally known dog show.
The fact that the Respondent has chosen to use the Domain Name to host links to dog related topics, some of which make use of video footage from the Crufts Dog Show, indicates that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and its use of the mark CRUFTS when it registered the domain name and set up the corresponding website.
Based on the foregoing, and in the absence of any submissions to the contrary from the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name <crufts.tv> in bad faith. The Complainant therefore succeeds in this element.
For all the foregoing reasons and in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <crufts.tv> be transferred to the Complainant.
Clive Duncan Thorne
Dated: April 8, 2009