WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.P.A. v. HostGator
Case No. D2010-2242
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.P.A. of Milano, Italy, represented by Dragotti & Associati, Italy.
The Respondent is HostGator of Houston, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <donna-moderna.com> is registered with eNom.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 22, 2010. On December 22, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 22, 2010, eNom 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 December 28, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 17, 2011. On January 3, 2011 an email communication sent from the email address “[…]@hostgator.com” was received by the Center regarding this matter. Subsequently, the Center provided more information to all interested parties regarding the proceedings. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 19, 2011.
The Center appointed Michael Spence is the sole panelist in this matter on January 29, 2011. 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 publishing company with a world-wide distribution network. Since 1988, it has published a magazine under the title Donna Moderna and has, more recently, established a corresponding Internet site under the domain name <donnamoderna.com>. The Complainant has provided evidence of registered trademark rights in DONNA MODERNA. The Respondent appears to have registered the disputed domain name on behalf of an undisclosed client. The site operated under the disputed domain name consists of content that the Complainant describes as “blog-like” material gleaned from other websites, either manually or automatically (by a so-called “automatic feed crawler”). The material on the site operated under the disputed domain name is aimed at a similar audience to that of the Complainant’s magazine.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical, or confusingly similar to its magazine title and corresponding registered marks; that the site operated under the disputed domain name shows no evidence of a bona fide business and that this, together with the fact that the disputed domain name was only registered at a time when the Respondent must have been aware of the potential for confusion with the Complainant’s marks, constitute evidence that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the site operated under the disputed domain name was apparently created with the intention of generating commercial gain from confusion with the Complainant’s marks and that the disputed domain name was therefore registered, and is being used, in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
There is no doubt that the disputed domain name is identical, or confusingly similar, to the Complainant’s mark. The disputed domain name contains of the Complainant’s mark in its entirety and the domain names under which the Complainant and Respondent operate their sites are identical, save for the small difference of a punctuation mark.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to the disputed domain name.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is for the Complainant to establish that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed names (Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455; Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o, WIPO Case No. D2004-0110). Nevertheless, given that in this case the likelihood of confusion is strong, and the only use of the disputed domain name is for a site containing material directed at the same target audience as the Complainant’s magazine and its corresponding Internet site, the Panel is of the view that it is implausible that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. This is particularly the case, given that the Respondent must have been aware of the likelihood of confusion at the time of registering the disputed domain name and that none of the circumstances enunciated in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy appear to be existent in this case.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent must have been aware of the likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s marks at the time of registering the disputed domain name. Nevertheless, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the apparent purpose of gaining commercial revenue from advertising links contained in the associated website. Knowingly to profit from confusion with the Complainant’s mark, in the absence of any right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, constitutes evidence of bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element 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 disputed domain name <donna-moderna.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Michael J. Spence
Dated: January 30, 2011