World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Beckman Coulter, Inc. v. Suzan Wilson

Case No. D2010-1163

1. The Parties

Complainant is Beckman Coulter, Inc. of Brea, California, United States of America, represented by Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, United States of America.

Respondent is Suzan Wilson of Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain name <beckcoult.com> is registered with Melbourne IT Ltd.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 15, 2010. On July 15 and 19, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Melbourne IT Ltd. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 20, 2010, Melbourne IT Ltd. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response, confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 21, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 10, 2010. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on August 11, 2010.

The Center appointed Lorelei Ritchie as the sole panelist in this matter on August 16, 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

Complainant is a company involved with medical diagnostics and biomedical research. Complainant has obtained several trademark registrations for its BECKMAN COULTER mark in the United States, where Respondent is apparently based, including United States Registration No. 2,742,502 (issued 2003); No. 2,756,542 (issued 2003); No. 2,884,295 (issued 2004); and No. 2,970,877 (issued 2005).

Complainant owns the registration for the domain name <beckman.com>, which it first registered on July 6, 1990, and <beckmancoulter.com>, which it first registered on June 1, 2010. Complainant uses these domain names to connect to a website through which it informs potential customers about its BECKMAN COULTER mark and its related services and products.

The disputed domain name <beckcoult.com> was registered on May 12, 2010. Respondent has no affiliation with Complainant. Respondent has used the disputed domain name to set up an email address, jimigo@beckcoult.com, from which Respondent has fraudulently sent out equipment requests in the name of Beckman Coulter, posing as a Beckman Coulter employee, and using the BECKMAN COULTER mark in an unauthorized manner. At the same time, Respondent linked the disputed domain name to Complainant’s URL, such that Internet users typing “www.beckcoult.com” in their browsers would be redirected to Complainant’s website, and misled into believing that Respondent is affiliated with, or sponsored by, Complainant. In this way, Respondent has fraudulently purchased thousands of dollars of computer equipment from at least one vendor on credit, trading on Complainant’s good will, and the goodwill of the BECKMAN COULTER mark.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks; (ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and (iii) Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions in this proceeding.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

This Panel must first determine whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. The Panel finds that it is. The disputed domain name directly incorporates an abbreviation of Complainant’s well-known, registered trademark BECKMAN COULTER, with no additional wording or punctuation. Indeed, at least one vendor was actually confused into believing that Respondent was affiliated with Complainant, and provided thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment to Respondent on credit, under the belief that with an email address ending in “beckcoult.com,” Respondent was actually an employee of Beckman Coulter.

This Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Policy provides some guidance to respondents on how to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue in a UDRP dispute. For example, paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives examples that might show rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. These examples include: (i) use of the domain name “in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services”; (ii) demonstration that Respondent has been “commonly known by the domain name”; or (iii) “legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue”.

Respondent did not reply to the Complaint, however, and no evidence has been presented to this Panel that might support a claim of Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Rather, as mentioned in Section 4 of this Panel’s decision, Respondent has used the disputed domain name to confuse Internet users into believing it is affiliated with Complainant.

Therefore, this Panel finds that Complainant has provided sufficient evidence of Respondent’s lack of “rights or legitimate interests” in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy which Respondent has not rebutted.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

There are several ways that a complainant can demonstrate that a domain name was registered and used in bad faith. For example, paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that bad faith can be shown where “by using the domain name [respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [respondent’s] web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [respondent’s] web site or location or of a product or service on [the] web site or location”. As noted in Section 4 of this Panel’s decision, Respondent has used the disputed domain name to set up an email address, jimigo@beckcoult.com, from which Respondent has fraudulently sent out equipment requests in the name of Beckman Coulter, posing as a Beckman Coulter employee, and using the BECKMAN COULTER mark in an unauthorized manner. At the same time, Respondent linked the disputed domain name to Complainant’s URL, such that Internet users typing “www.beckcoult.com” in their browsers would be redirected to Complainant’s website, and misled into believing that Respondent is affiliated with, or sponsored by, Complainant. In this way, Respondent has fraudulently purchased thousands of dollars of computer equipment from at least one vendor on credit, trading on Complainant’s good will, and the goodwill of the BECKMAN COULTER mark. This clearly demonstrates bad faith by Respondent in the registration and use of the disputed domain name. Furthermore, it is clear that in the scheme, Respondent was aware of Complainant’s rights to the BECKMAN COULTER mark, since Respondent fraudulently posed as a Beckman Coulter employee, and at the same linked the disputed domain name to Complainant’s own URL.

Finally, the Center received an email from the listed registrant of the disputed domain name, Suzan Rood Wilson, on July 24, 2010, stating “I am named in Case No D2010-1163 as the owner of a domain name which I do not own nor have I ever owned. . . . I was informed at that time that my name had been used for an illegal purpose”. The email included an attached declaration to the same effect. The Panel finds that by falsifying its contact information with regard to the disputed domain name, Respondent acted in bad faith. See for example Chanel v. 1, WIPO Case No. D2003-0218 (transferring <chanelbiz.com>); Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case No. D2002-0775 (transferring <wachovai.com>, <wachvia.com>, and <wochovia.com>); The Knot, Inc. v. In Knot We Trust Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2006-0340 (transferring <knot.com>).

Therefore, this Panel finds that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

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 disputed domain name <beckcoult.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Lorelei Ritchie
Sole Panelist
Dated: August 24, 2010

 

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