WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
NETDO Establishment v. Mr. Edmunds Gaidis
Case No. D2010-1641
1. The Parties
The Complainant is NETDO Establishment of Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein, represented by Christine Knecht-Kleber, Austria.
The Respondent is Mr. Edmunds Gaidis of Rezekne, Latvia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name, <setlistfm.com> (the “Domain Name”), is registered with Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 29, 2010. On September 29, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 1, 2010, the Registrar 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 October 5, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 25, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 26, 2010.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on November 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.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is engaged in the music business specializing in the provision to Internet users of concert setlists (lists of songs played by bands at their gigs). The Complainant commenced business under the name Setlists.fm in 2008 and registered the domain name, <setlist.fm> for that purpose on September 3, 2008.
The Domain Name was registered on February 27, 2009 and is connected to a parking page featuring advertising links to sites offering concert tickets for sale.
On March 22, 2010 the Complainant applied to register SETLIST.FM as a Community Trade Mark (“CTM”). The registration came through on July 5, 2010 under number 008725152.
On June 23, 2010 the Complainant’s representative wrote to the Respondent drawing the Respondent’s attention to the Complainant’s trade mark rights and demanding transfer of the Domain Name. The Respondent did not reply.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is identical to its trade mark SETLIST.FM in which it claims both registered and unregistered rights. The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Finally, the Complainant contends that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service 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 was registered and is being used in bad faith.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
For the purpose of this head of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy it is sufficient for the Complainant to satisfy the Panel that it had relevant trade mark rights as at the date of filing of the Complaint. The Complainant is the registered proprietor of CTM no. 008725152 (application filed on March 22, 2010) registered on July 5, 2010, SETLIST.FM (word) in classes 9, 35, 38, 41 and 42 for computer software and a variety of telecommunications and computer related services.
The Domain Name comprises the Complainant’s registered trade mark (absent the dot separating “setlist” and “fm”) and the generic “.com” domain suffix, which may be ignored for the purpose of assessing identity and confusing similarity under this head.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is substantially identical and certainly confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant contends that the Respondent registered the Domain Name not because he had any rights or legitimate interests to the Domain Name, but simply because it is substantially identical to the Complainant’s trade mark and in order to derive commercial gain on the back of the goodwill associated with the Complainant’s trade mark.
For this purpose, the Complainant has to establish that as at the date of registration of the Domain Name on February 27, 2009, the Respondent was aware of the existence of the Complainant’s name or mark “SETLIST.FM”. To that end the Complainant has produced two webpages pre-dating registration of the Domain Name describing and commenting upon the Complainant’s business under the “setlist.fm” name. Those webpages are dated February 24 and February 26, 2009.
The Complainant states that it has never given any consent to the Respondent to use its trade mark and points to a notice on the Respondent’s parking page which in translation (from the German) is said by the Complainant to constitute a disclaimer to the effect that the Respondent is not responsible for the content of the Respondent’s parking page.
Under this head it is sufficient for the Complainant to make out a prima facie case against the Respondent. As stated in the paragraph 2.1 WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions which is to be found on the Center’s website: “While the overall burden of proof rests with the complainant, panels have recognized that this could result in the often impossible task of proving a negative, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge of the respondent. Therefore a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to do so, a complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP.”
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case, a case calling for an answer from the Respondent.
In the absence of an answer from the Respondent, the Panel finds on the evidence before him that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant contends that the Respondent registered the Domain Name, with knowledge of the Complainant’s business trading under the name ‘setlist.fm’ and selected the Domain Name with a view to attracting business to his website by deceiving Internet users intending to visit the Complainant’s website. In so doing the Respondent registered the Domain Name fully aware that it was a domain name in which he had no rights or legitimate interests.
On the evidence before him the Panel believes that the Complainant’s contentions in that regard are likely to be well made. However, the Policy was intended to protect the rights of trade mark owners and while it is certainly the case that the Complainant is the registered proprietor of a relevant trade mark (the CTM referred to above), is it the case that at date of registration of the Domain Name the Complainant held relevant trade mark rights?
The Complainant’s business under the name, ‘setlist.fm’, commenced in September 2008. The Domain Name was registered on February 27, 2009. Was it the case that by February 27, 2009 (a period of only 5 or 6 months) the Complainant’s business had generated a sufficient reputation and goodwill under and by reference to the ‘setlist.fm’ name for it to be safe to say that the Respondent had established unregistered trade mark rights in respect of the name?
All that the Panel has been shown has been a couple of webpages pre-dating registration of the Domain Name by a day or two. However, those webpages (apparently independent of the Complainant) do show that by the end of February the Complainant was developing a business under the name meriting analysis from third parties.
While the Panel would have preferred to have been shown more detail of the nature and extent of the Complainant’s use of the name, ‘setlist.fm’, the Panel is satisfied on balance that the Respondent would not have adopted the name, an unusual combination of dictionary words/expressions, if the name had not registered in the mind of the Respondent as a trade mark of the Complainant. The Panel also notes that the Respondent has not seen fit to answer the Complainant’s allegations, which have been very clearly set out in the Complaint.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) 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, <setlistfm.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: November 5, 2010