WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
F5 Networks, Inc. v. Telecom Tech Corp.
Case No. D2011-0950
1. The Parties
The Complainant is F5 Networks, Inc. of Seattle, Washington, United States of America, represented by Rosen Lewis, PLLC, United States of America.
The Respondent is Telecom Tech Corp. of Panama City, Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wwwf5.com> is registered with Bargin Register, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 3, 2011. On June 3, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar the first of several requests for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 23, 2011, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name. The Center sent an email to the Complainant on June 27, 2011 and sought an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on June 28, 2011.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 29, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 19, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 21, 2011.
The Center appointed Christiane Féral-Schuhl as the sole panelist in this matter on August 2, 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 dispute concerns the disputed domain name <wwwf5.com>, which was created on December 8, 2006. At the time of the Complaint, the disputed domain name resolved to a domain parking page comprising sponsored links.
The Complainant bases its Complaint on the following trademarks (Complaint, Annex 3):
- F5 and Design (trademark), United States Registration Number 2,094,918 registered September 9, 1997,
- F5 and Design (service mark), United States Registration Number 2,335,141 registered March 28, 2000,
- F5 NETWORKS (trademark/service mark), United States Registration Number 2,399,278 registered October 31, 2000,
- F5 (trademark/service mark) United States Registration Number 2,427,084 registered February 6, 2001.
The Complainant is using the domain name <f5.com> to provide information about its services. This domain name was created on May 31, 1996.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that each of the three elements specified in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are applicable to the disputed domain name.
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name <wwwf5.com> is facially identical to its numerous registered trademarks F5, and that the addition of the prefix “www” is intended to be confused with its registered domain name <fr.com>.
The Complainant adds that the Respondent is not known as nor does business as “wwwf5.com” and that the Respondent has never been authorized by the Complainant to use its trademarks.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has used the F5 mark to drive visitors to it site and, thus, has attempted to generate commercial gain by creating confusion as to the affiliation of it website with the F5 mark. The Complainant adds that the disputed domain name appears to have been registered primarily for the purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the domain name.
The Complainant requests the Panel appointed in the administrative proceeding that the disputed domain name <wwwf5.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
In relation to the disputed domain name, the relevant part of this domain name is “wwwf5”. Part of this domain name, “f5”, is identical to the Complainant’s trademarks F5. The other part of this domain name, “www”, is the well-known acronym for “world wide wide” and is an extremely common prefix to a domain name in a URL for a web page on the Internet. As stated in prior UDRP decisions, the letters “www” have no distinguishing capacity in the context of domain names (see CSC Holdings, Inc. v. Elbridge Gagne, WIPO Case No. D2003-0273 and Reuters Limited v. Global Net 2000, Inc, WIPO Case No. D2000-0441. In fact, in the context of domain names, adding only the prefix “www” have the effect of focusing particular attention on the word succeeding them, in this case the word “f5”. The practical effect of preceding a trademark with the letters “www” in a domain name is so-called “typo-piracy”, that is, attracting to a different website the Internet user who mistakenly fails to insert a period after the letter “www” when typing the URL of the intended website.
Because of both the visual similarity and the potential for typo-piracy, the Panel concludes that the disputed name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks F5, and that the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions and thus has not provided evidence of circumstances of the type specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy (“a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name”), or any other circumstances giving rise to a right to or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.
The Panel thus finds that based on the case record, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Policy in paragraph 4(b)(i) provides circumstances that are deemed to be evidence that a registrant has registered and used a domain name in bad faith, indicating that the registrant has registered or has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name.
In this case, the Complainant is an international corporation and the owner of number of F5 marks. The Complainant provides strategic points of control throughout the IT infrastructure, enabling organizations to scale, adapt, and align with changing business demands. The Complainant is using the domain name <f5.com> to provide information about its services.
The disputed domain name was created on December 8, 2006. At that time, the Complainant’s registered trademark and domain name were long established.
A review of the website at the disputed domain name reveals that the Respondent does not use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offer of goods or services. Such website is a ”parking page”, i.e. a domain name registered without using it for services such as email or a website. The disputed domain name only resolves to a web page containing advertising listings and links. This practice is known as “parked domain monetization” which is used primarily by domain name registrars and Internet advertising publishers to monetize type-in traffic visiting a parked or minimally developed domain name.
Moreover, the Complainant provides a screenshot demonstrating that the Respondent has put on sale the disputed domain name, revealing its intention to sell this domain name (Complaint, Annex 3). The Respondent provides no explanation for this.
Therefore, as the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions and thus has not provided any reason for having registered and using the disputed domain name, the Panel concludes that the registration of the domain name was an intentional effort to gain Internet traffic from the typing errors of Internet users seeking the Complainant’s website.
The foregoing considered, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith, and that the third element of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met..
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <wwwf5.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: August 11, 2011