WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
State of Florida, Department of Management Services, State of Florida, Department of the Lottery (The Florida Lottery) v. Rampe Purda / Privacy-Protect.org
Case No. D2010-0973
1. The Parties
The Complainant is State of Florida, Department of Management Services, State of Florida, Department of the Lottery (The Florida Lottery) of Florida, United States of America represented by Office of the Attorney General of United States of America.
The Respondent is Rampe Purda / Privacy-Protect.org of Finland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <myfloridalottery.com> is registered with Hebei Guoji Maoyi (Shanghai) LTD aka HEBEI INTERNATIONAL TRADING (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD dba HebeiDomains.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 14, 2010. On June 14, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Hebei Guoji Maoyi (Shanghai) LTD aka HEBEI INTERNATIONAL TRADING ( SHANGHAI) CO., LTD dba HebeiDomains.com. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 7, 2010, Hebei Guoji Maoyi (Shanghai) LTD aka HEBEI INTERNATIONAL TRADING ( SHANGHAI) CO., LTD dba HebeiDomains.com. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on July 8, 2010 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on July 8, 2010. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 14, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 3, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 4, 2010.
The Center appointed George R. F. Souter as the sole panelist in this matter on August 11, 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.
In accordance with paragraph 11 of the Rules, the Panel finds that the appropriate language of proceedings in this matter is English, noting both the Center’s communications to the Respondent to this effect in Finnish and English, as well as the Respondent’s prior involvement in similar UDRP cases as the one present here.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant has provided the Panel with details of a number of US Federal trademark registrations of the trademarks MYFLORIDA and MYFLORIDA.COM in connection with the offering of a wide range of services provided by the State of Florida. It is also the owner of the domain name <myflorida.com>, which, since 2000, has been the State of Florida’s official portal, serving as the gateway to the State of Florida’s electronic resources. Since that time, it has become the primary access point for visitors, businesses and citizens to 370 agencies of the State of Florida, including the Florida Department of the Lottery, with over 1,000,000 visits per month. Additionally, the State of Florida has incorporated MYFLORIDA.COM into circa 26,000,000 Florida vehicle licence plates to associate the domain name as the link to the State’s official portal.
The Florida Lottery was established in 1987 by the State of Florida, and continues to be owned and operated by the State of Florida. It is the official, and only, authorized State lottery. Since the Florida Lottery was established, it has sold and advertised its games and services under the trade name and service mark “Florida Lottery”. Last year, the Florida Lottery spent circa USD 30 million on advertising, targeted at Florida citizens as well as the circa 50,000,000 annual visitors to Florida from all over the United States, and beyond. In each of the past four years, the Florida Lottery has generated over USD 3.9 billion. The Complainant has provided the Panel with details of its US Federal trademark registration No. 1542860, filed December and registered on June 6, 1989, for the trademark “Florida Lottery” (and device), in respect of “lottery services”.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name, <myfloridalottery.com>, is identical or confusingly similar to its registered trademarks MYFLORIDA, MYFLORIDA.COM, and FLORIDA LOTTERY.
The Complainant further alleges, on information and belief, that the Respondent is not and has never been known by the disputed domain name nor any variant thereof, nor has the Respondent any connection to the State of Florida or any of its agencies or subdivisions, and that the Respondent does not use the disputed domain name for any legitimate non-commercial or fair use. The Complainant generally alleges that the Respondent‘s registration appears to be a mere ploy to trade on Complainant’s marks.
In connection with bad faith, the Complainant alleges that, at the date of registration of the disputed domain name, the Respondent’s knowledge of the Complainant’s trademarks can be inferred because of their well known nature as websites operated on behalf of the State of Florida. The Complainant further alleges that the Respondent’s contact details do not appear to be effective, and has drawn the Panel’s attention to the decisions in Jafra Cosmetics, S. A. de C. V. and Jafra Cosmetics International, S. A. de C. V. v. ActiveVector, WIPO Case No. D2005-0250, and Telstra Corporation Limited v Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003, in support of the proposition that the provision of false and misleading contact information is an indication of bad fath.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists three elements that a complainant must prove to merit a finding that the domain name of Respondent be transferred to the complainant or be cancelled:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark (“mark”) in which the Complainant has 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 and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is of the opinion that, in the context of the operation of the Florida Lottery, the mere “telescoping” of the Complainant’s two widely known marks MYFLORIDA and FLORIDALOTTERY into MYFLORIDALOTTERY, with the mere addition of the designation .com is insufficient to escape a finding that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to trademarks/service marks in which the Complainant has rights. The Panel, accordingly, decides that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent did not take advantage of the opportunity presented in these proceedings to advance any justification of a claim to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the Panel draws the appropriate conclusion. The Panel accepts the Complainant’s contentions under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, and finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent’s name in the present proceedings is well known to the Panel. In U.S. Natural Resources, Inc. v. Rampe Purda / Privacy--Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0720, the disputed domain name comprised the complainant’s established mark plus inconsequential admissions, and was used on a pay per click website which could have had the effect of luring potential customers of the complainant to its competitors. In Hertz System, Inc. v. Rampe Purda / Privacy--Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0636, the same methodology was employed, as was also the case in LEGO Juris A/S v. Rampe Purda, WIPO Case No. D2010-0840, and in L’Oréal v. Rampe Purda / Privacy--Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0870.
In the light of such a pattern of abusive behavior associated with the name Rampe Purda, the Panel has no hesitation in accepting the Complainant’s submissions in connection with registration and use in bad faith in the present case, and, accordingly, decides that the Complainant has also satisfied the test set out in paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <myfloridalottery.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
George R. F. Souter
Dated: August 26, 2010