The Complainant is Pitman Training Group Plc of Wetherby, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Urquhart-Dykes & Lord, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Respondent is Pitmant Raining Co. Ltd, Host Master of Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.
The disputed domain name <pitmantraining.com> is registered with SicherRegister, Incorporated.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 28, 2010. On April 28, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to SicherRegister, Incorporated a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 28, 2010, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response, providing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an Amended Complaint on April 29, 2010. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the Amended 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 April 30, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 20, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on May 21, 2010.
The Center appointed Simon Minahan as the sole panelist in this matter on June 4, 2010. 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 operates an international training franchise business under the marks PITMAN and PITMAN TRAINING for which marks it holds numerous registrations in many jurisdictions such as Australia, European Union, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. It claims, and the claim is uncontested, that the business traces its roots back to 1836, that the business which it and its predecessors operate is the longest running independent training business in the world and that it currently has over 100 franchises in the world operating under the “Pitman” and “Pitman Training” marks which franchises service more than 50,000 clients annually.
The disputed domain name was registered on 23 April 2010. On 26 April 2010 one Dan Baron contacted the Complainant offering to sell the disputed domain name to the Complainant for 7500 Euro.
The Complainant has not authorized the use of its trade mark by the Respondent in any way.
Finally, the Panel has determined that the Respondent was fully aware of the Complainant's said marks when it registered the disputed domain name <pitmantraining.com> on April 23, 2010.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name, incorporating its PITMAN and PITMAN TRAINING marks, is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trade marks. It further contends that the conduct of the prompt offer of sale of the disputed domain name together with the lack of any evidence of the Respondent making any use of or having any reputation in the disputed domain name demonstrate both its lack of any right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name was registered and being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark or marks in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
For the reasons that follow, the Panel has found that the Complainant has established each of these elements.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is effectively identical to the Complainant's registered and unregistered PITMAN TRAINING mark and is also confusingly similar to its registered and unregistered mark PITMAN which confusion neither the introduction of the generic descriptor “training” nor the presence of the “.com” gtld dispels:
- Telstra Corporation Limited v. Peter Lombardo, Marino Sussich and Ray Landers, WIPO Case No. D2000-1511;
- PepsiCo, Inc. v. PEPSI, SRL (a/k/a P.E.P.S.I.) and EMS COMPUTER INDUSTRY (a/k/a EMS), WIPO Case No. D2003-0696;
- Pepsico, Inc. v. Diabetes Home Care, Inc. and DHC Services, WIPO Case No. D2001-0174;
- Sony Kabushiki Kaisha (also trading as Sony Corporation) v. Inja, Kil, WIPO Case No. D2000-1409;
- America Online, Inc. v. Chris Hoffman, WIPO Case No. D2001-1184;
- Pfizer Inc. v. United Pharmacy Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2001-0446;
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Lars Stork, WIPO Case No. D2000-0628;
- America Online, Inc. v. Dolphin@Heart, WIPO Case No. D2000-0713;
- Wal-mart Stores, Inc. v. Yongsoo Hwang, NO-WALMART and NO-WALMART.COM, WIPO Case No. D2000-0838;
- AltaVista Company v. S.M.A., Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0927.
- Telecom Personal, S.A. v. NAMEZERO.COM, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0015;
- Nokia Corporation v. Private, WIPO Case No. D2000-1271.
In the absence of any response or positive evidence of any rights of the Respondent in the disputed domain name, and in the face of evidence of the Complainant of its prior rights and the want of any licence or consent by it to the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in the Complainant's marks or the disputed domain name.
The Panel is of the view that under 4(a)(ii) this set of circumstances shifts the burden to establish those rights to the Respondent (See for example: Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-0624; Time Out Group Ltd. v. Marc Jacobson, WIPO Case No. D2001-0317).
In the absence of a Response the Respondent has not discharged the burden and accordingly the Panel finds paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy to be satisfied.
The Panel finds that the Respondent's conduct in offering the disputed domain name for sale to the Complainant within days of registration is a classic indicia of registration and use of the name in bad faith. Considering this in conjunction with the lack of any legitimate use of the disputed domain name by the Respondent, the Panel holds that the requirements in paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy have been established.
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 <pitmantraining.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: June 18, 2010