WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
InfoSpace, Inc. v. Alessandro Zuch / Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0126265037
Case No. D2011-1254
1. The Parties
The Complainant is InfoSpace, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington, United States of America, represented by Stokes Lawrence, P.S., United States of America.
The Respondent is Alessandro Zuch of Remanzacco, Italy./ Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0126265037 of Toronto, Canada
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <mywebcrawler.net> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Tucows Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 22, 2011. On July 22, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Tucows Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On July 22, 2011, Tucows Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on July 25, 2011, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on July 29, 2011.
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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 29, 2011. On July 29, 2011, the Respondent sent an email to the Center in the following terms:
“Ok I've received all files. I'm not going to present any response, i'm sick and tired of these complains, I'm going to leave on holiday. If asked i'd transfer the domain name even without complain, I want only work a little bit not loose time in disputes, the domain names i register are free and are offered by a service not by a secret-service! ( and this is the same for the mywebcrawler.org.) They know my actual e-mail address.
Sorry about letting off steam. If you want you can communicate this to the complainant. Thanks Alessandro Zuch.”
As a result of the email, the proceedings were suspended on August 3, 2011, to allow the parties time to reach a settlement. No resolution was achieved and the proceedings were recommenced on August 31, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 15, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 19, 2011.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on September 23, 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 leading provider of search engine services, and a developer of popular Internet search tools and technologies. It is the owner of numerous trademark registrations for the mark WEBCRAWLER in the United States and around the world, including United States Registration No. 2,007,916 WEBCRAWLER registered on October 15, 1996, and European Community Trademark No. 000425116 registered as of November 20, 1996. The Complainant is the owner of the domain names <webcrawler.com> and <mywebcrawler.com>.
The Domain Name was registered on March 4, 2011. At the date of the Complaint, the Domain Name resolved to a parking page with links to a number of commercial websites offering services similar to those offered at the Complainant’s website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant is the owner of numerous trademark registrations for the mark WEBCRAWLER in the United States and around the world, including registrations in the European Community, Brazil and the Republic of Korea. It exhibits evidence of those registrations to the Complaint. It has used the WEBCRAWLER mark in United States and worldwide commerce since 1994 and as a result of its long and substantial use has acquired extensive goodwill and consumer recognition, built up by substantial time, effort and expense in advertising, promoting and protecting its mark. Accordingly, the Complainant claims extensive rights in the mark WEBCRAWLER.
The Complainant further submits that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its WEBCRAWLER mark, since the Domain Name comprises the entirety of the mark and, excluding the suffix “.net”, differs only by the addition of the possessive pronoun “my”. That is not sufficient to distinguish it from the Complainant’s mark.
The Complainant does not consider that it is reasonably possible for the Respondent to demonstrate any legitimate interest in the Domain Name. The Respondent has no relationship with the Complainant and is not authorized to use the WEBCRAWLER mark or any variation. The Respondent has never been known by or operated a business under the WEBCRAWLER name and has no trademark or service mark rights in the term. The Respondent has not made any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name. It is clear from the use of the Domain Name for a website with links to commercial websites operated by competitors of the Complainant that far from having any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, the Respondent is taking advantage of the Complainant’s well-known mark to divert Internet users to its own commercial website for financial gain.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith. The Respondent appears to be using the Domain Name to generate traffic to its pages for the purpose of generating revenues from advertising. The Respondent is routing unsuspecting Internet users who are seeking the Complainant to a website containing a series of links to commercial sites, presumably for referral fees. The Respondent has accordingly attempted intentionally to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion.
Save for the email dated July 29, 2011 referred to above, 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 that:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark 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 has been registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has long-standing, uncontroverted rights in the trademark WEBCRAWLER in a number of territories including the United States, Brazil and Europe. Ignoring the suffix “.net”, the Domain Name differs from the Complainant’s mark only by the addition of the common, possessive pronoun “my”. That is not sufficient to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s mark.
The Panel accordingly finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
As paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0") states, the consensus view is that once a complainant makes out a prima facie case on this element then the respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. The Respondent has chosen not to answer the Complainant’s case or to respond to the allegations made in the Complaint.
The Respondent has not therefore displaced the assertion on the part of the Complainant that the Respondent does not and cannot have any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent's email to the Center of July 29, 2011, makes no suggestion of any such rights or interests. The Domain Name was registered more than 16 years after the Complainant started using the mark WEBCRAWLER in commerce. No licence, permission, authorization or consent was granted by the Complainant to use WEBCRAWLER in the Domain Name. The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In the Panel's view it is highly likely that the Respondent had the Complainant's mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. The inescapable conclusion is that the Respondent registered and has used the Domain Name to operate a website with the intention that Internet users would be confused into believing that it was operated by or with the consent of the Complainant or was authorised by or associated with the Complainant. The Respondent's exploitation of the Complainant's mark with a view to commercial gain through sponsored links is paradigm bad faith use for the purposes of the Policy.
In the circumstances the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <mywebcrawler.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: October 7, 2011