World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León v. Above.Com Domain Privacy / David Woo

Case No. D2010-1160

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León of Nuevo León, México, represented by Juan Angel Garza Vite, Mexico.

The Respondent is Above.Com Domain Privacy of Victoria, Australia / David Woo of Hong Kong, SAR of China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> is registered with Above.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 14, 2010. On July 15, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Above.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 16, 2010, Above.com, Inc. 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 16, 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 22, 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 23, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 12, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 13, 2010.

The Center appointed Miguel B. O'Farrell as the sole panelist in this matter on August 19, 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.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a well-known Mexican University.

The Complainant owns Mexican registrations for UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON and for other trademarks which incorporates the terms UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> on November 2, 2009.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends the following:

That the Complainant is the third largest University in Mexico and the most important public institution of superior education, as well as the greatest academic offer of the north-east area of Mexico.

In that connection, the Complainant contends that it has great prestige in the education area, and even in sports, and that its recognition became important in the university sector since 1933, when the UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON officially started to use that name.

Moreover, the Complainant contends that it owns Mexican registrations for UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON and for other trademarks which incorporates the terms UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON, as for example UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON ALERE FLAMMAM VERITATIS, U UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON and UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON U TIGRES.

The Complainant also contends that the disputed domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON and to other trademarks owned by the Complainant which incorporates the terms UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON.

Moreover, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the Complainant contends that the Respondent is not known by UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON, neither in the economic traffic nor in the Internet.

The Complainant also contends that the website to which the disputed domain name resolves contains pay-per-click links under the names "UNIVERSIDAD", "ESCUELA", "ENSENANZA A DISTANCIA", "EDUCATION ONLINE", among others, which evidences that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website and other on-line locations, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website.

Furthermore, the Complainant contends that it has no association with the Respondent and has never authorized or licensed the Respondent to use its trademarks.

Moreover, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has both registered and uses the disputed domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> in bad faith.

In that connection, the Complainant contends that the notoriety of UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON is demonstrated by the results that come up when searching for such term using Google, Yahoo!, AltaVista and Lycos browsers. These results show that most of the references obtained are related to the UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON.

On that basis, the Complainant contends that the Respondent knew or should have known the trademark UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON when registering the disputed domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> as he could not have reasonably ignored the Complainant’s importance in the educational field due to a widespread mass media like the press and Internet, which evidences bad faith registration.

Finally, and on the basis of the circumstances indicated above, the Complainant contends that it is impossible to believe that the domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> was randomly chosen.

Therefore, the Complainant requests that the disputed domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> be transferred to it.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

For the Complaint to succeed in a UDRP proceeding, under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:

(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark 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 has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In accordance with paragraph 15(a) of the Rules, the Panel shall decide the Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules, and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has filed relevant evidence showing that it owns a Mexican registration for UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON which is identical to the disputed domain name.

In view of the foregoing, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights, and therefore, the Complainant has succeeded on this first element under the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

According to paragraph 4(a)(ii), the second element that the Complainant must prove is that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Policy in its paragraph 4(c) sets out various ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name.

Although the Policy states that the complainant must prove each of the elements in paragraph 4(a), it is often observed that it is difficult for a complainant to prove a negative, i.e., that a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of a domain name. It has therefore become generally accepted under the Policy that, once a complainant has presented a clear prima facie showing of a respondent's lack of rights or legitimate interests in a domain name, the burden of submitting evidence therefore shifts to the respondent. The respondent must then by concrete evidence demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests in the domain name in order to refute the prima facie case.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests and so the burden of proof has effectively been shifted to the Respondent, who did not reply to the Complainant's contentions and, therefore, has not made such showing.

Furthermore, the Complainant has submitted relevant evidence showing that the Respondent has not made a bona fide offering of goods or services.

In that connection, the Complainant has presented evidence that the website to which the disputed domain name resolves contains pay-per-click links that redirect users to other online locations offering competing or strongly related services to those offered by the Complainant (some of which are named "UNIVERSIDAD", "ESCUELA", "ENSENANZA A DISTANCIA", "EDUCATION ONLINE").

In the terms of the Policy, such use in the present circumstances does not appear to be a fair use of the domain name and, therefore, the Panel finds that the Respondent is trying to misleadingly divert consumers to the website to which the disputed domain name resolves. Moreover, the Panel finds that the Respondent is attracting Internet users to its website and to the Complainant's competitors' websites, for commercial gain. Such use cannot be considered a bona fide use, or fair or noncommercial use.

Additionally, there is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known as or identified by UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON. Furthermore, there is no evidence showing that the Respondent operates a business or any other organization under the disputed domain name.

For these reasons, and in the absence of a plausible explanation from the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

According to paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, the third element that a complainant must prove is that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Policy in paragraph 4(b) sets out various circumstances, which may be treated by the Panel as evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.

The Complainant has identified itself as a prestigious Mexican University, which was further proved by the evidence submitted.

Moreover, the Complainant has proved to the Panel's satisfaction that it owns a Mexican registration for UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON.

Furthermore, the Complainant has proved to the Panel’s satisfaction that the website to which the disputed domain name resolved had pay-per-click links redirecting Internet users to other online websites offering competing or strongly related services to those offered by the Complainant (some of which are named "UNIVERSIDAD", "ESCUELA", "ENSENANZA A DISTANCIA", "EDUCATION ONLINE").

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> on November 2, 2009.

In view of the foregoing, and in the absence of a rebuttal from the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Respondent in all likelihood was aware or must have been aware of the trademark UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE NUEVO LEON before registering the disputed domain name, which evidences bad faith registration.

Moreover, as stated by the Complainant and on the basis of the printouts of the website to which the disputed domain name resolves, and in the absence of a rebuttal by the Respondent, the Panel finds that by using the disputed domain name the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line locations, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement.

For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent both registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith and that the Complainant has therefore made out the third 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, <universidadautonomadenuevoleon.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Miguel B. O'Farrell
Sole Panelist
Date: September 1, 2010.

 

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