WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Quincy Compressor LLC v. Quantec LLC and Novo Point LLC/Texas International Property Associates
Case No. D2010-1776
1. The Parties
Complainant is Quincy Compressor LLC of Alabama, United States of America, represented by external counsel.
Respondent is Quantec LLC and Novo Point LLC of Dallas, Texas, United States of America / Texas International Property Associates of Dallas, Texas, United States of America. Texas International Property Associates is a privacy service engaged by the other named entities.1
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <quincyaircompresser.com> was registered with Compana LLC, and it was to Compana LLC that the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) directed the communications referred to in Section 3 below. In its confirmation of contact details and related matters, Compana LLC “confirmed that [the] [d]omain <quincyaircompresser.com> is placed in Registrar LOCK status, and that the domain name will remain in such status after the lapse of the expiry date until the UDRP proceedings are concluded.” Publicly available InterNic information accessed by the Center on December 3, 2010, indicated that the disputed domain name is at present registered with Fabulous.com.2
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the Center on October 21, 2010. On October 21, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Compana LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 21 and 22, 2010, the Registrar 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 Complainant on October 25, 2010 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 25, 2010.
The Center verified that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 26, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 15, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on November 17, 2010.
The Center appointed Richard G. Lyon as the sole panelist in this matter on December 3, 2010. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted and has jurisdiction to decide this administrative proceeding.3 The Panel has submitted his 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 manufactures and sells air compressors, vacuum pumps, air dryers, and parts for the foregoing. All are sold under Complainant’s trademark QUINCY. Complainant holds trademarks, duly registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), for QUINCY (registered September 1991) and QUINCY COMPRESSORS (registered August 1953).
The disputed domain name was registered in November 2005. An Internet user who enters the disputed domain name into his browser lands on a page of hyperlinks, among them links to Complainant and several of Complainant’s competitors. When the Panel accessed the disputed domain name there was also a notation that “this domain name may be for sale.”
Complainant sent Respondent a cease and desist electronic mail on October 1, 2010, but received no reply.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its QUINCY and QUINCY COMPRESSOR trademarks, that Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, and that Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to the Complaint.
6. Discussion and Findings
Unlike civil litigation in the United States, failure to respond in a Policy proceeding does not constitute an admission of any pleaded matter or result in the Policy equivalent of a default judgment. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions (“WIPO Overview”), paragraph 4.6; The First Baptist Church of Glenarden v. Melvin Jones, WIPO Case No. D2009-0022; Stanworth Development Limited v. E Net Marketing Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2007-1228; Western Research 3000, Inc. v. NEP Products, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2004-0755. Complainant bears the burden of proof to demonstrate each of the required elements of paragraph 4 of the Policy.
This is a classic case of typosquatting, as the disputed domain name is a slight misspelling of Complainant’s trademark. Here, other than adding the gTLD “.com” the only difference between Complainant’s mark and the disputed domain name is Respondent’s replacing the final “o” with an “e.”4
Typosquatting is as close as one can come to per se cybersquatting, as selecting a domain name incorporating a slight misspelling reveals knowledge of Complainant and its mark and a tacit acknowledgment that the mark has value. Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Domain Administrator Limited, WIPO Case No. D2008-0278. To the typosquatter (such as Respondent here) that value lies in attracting a careless (or poor spelling) Internet user seeking the mark owner to a site from which Respondent earns click-through revenues. As such, typosquatting is virtually unassailable evidence that Respondent, which lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith, “by using the domain name, . . . [to] attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.” Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv). That evidence is bolstered in this proceeding by the use to which the disputed domain name has been put, a page of hyperlinks that includes express references to Complainant.
Complainant has shown with competent evidence that it holds registered trademarks for QUINCY and QUINCY COMPRESSOR, and in this Panel’s view, by typosquatting Respondent has perforce acknowledged confusing similarity (in any case the Panel so finds such confusing similarity here). Respondent has never been known by the work QUINCY or the words QUINCY COMPRESSOR, so far as the record reveals, and Complainant has never licensed Respondent to use its name or marks. Respondent’s only association with this word or phrase is its selection of them when registering the disputed domain name, an interest that has repeatedly been held not to be legitimate under the Policy. Thus Complainant has thus carried its burden of proof under each of the operative parts of paragraph 4(a) 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 <quincyaircompresser.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Richard G. Lyon
Dated: December 7, 2010
1 Texas International Property Associates is well-known as a regular cybersquatter; the Center’s search tool lists dozens of cases in which that entity has been a respondent in proceedings brought through the Center alone. The Panel expresses concern over its offering privacy services, as privacy services have occasionally been used by unscrupulous registrants to frustrate the Policy. No such conduct is apparent on the record before the Panel, and in any event the Panel lacks any authority to act on his concern.
2 During the course of its inquiry as to the change of registrars during the pendency of this proceeding, the Center was informed by ICANN that Compana LLC is no longer an ICANN accredited registrar. The Center has received independent verification from Fabulous.com and Compana LLC that Fabulous.com is acting as the concerned Registrar in this matter. Fabulous.com has confirmed that the registrant details for the disputed domain name <quincyaircompresser.com> have been restored to those previously confirmed by Compana LLC, and that the domain name will remain under registrar lock throughout the remainder of these proceedings.
3 The Center’s records indicate that the Complaint was successfully delivered to Respondent. “Achieving actual notice” discharged the Center’s obligations under paragraph 2 of the Rules, so the Panel has jurisdiction to proceed.
4 Another common version of typosquatting involves replacement of a letter in Complainant’s mark with a letter that is adjacent to it on a standard QWERTY keyboard. See, e.g., Amazon.com, Inc. v. Steven Newman a/k/a Jill Wasserstein a/k/a Pluto Newman, WIPO Case No. D2006-0517 (involving <amazoh.com>, <qmqzon.com>, and <smszon.com>). Close similarity, of course, does not always mean intentional copying or imitation. See eCrush.com, Inc. v. Cox, Davis & Simpsom, LLC, Mr. Ken Cox, Mr. Brian Simpson, Mr. Ron Davis, WIPO Case No. D2004-0552.