World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Travellers Exchange Corporation Limited v. Travelex Forex Money Changer

Case No. D2011-1364

1. The Parties

Complainant is Travellers Exchange Corporation Limited, of London United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Dechert, United Kingdom.

Respondent is Travelex Forex Money Changer of Delhi, India.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <travelexforex.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 11, 2011. On August 12, 2011, the Center transmitted by e-mail to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On August 12, 2011, GoDaddy.com, Inc. transmitted to the Center by e-mail its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 26, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 15, 2011. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on September 19, 2011.

The Center appointed Robert A. Badgley as the sole panelist in this matter on September 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 following facts are asserted in the Complaint, are unrebutted by Respondent, are supported by annexes to the Complaint, and are found by the Panel to be plausible.

Complainant has operated a currency exchange business since the 1970s, and currently operates in numerous countries. Complainant claims to be the world’s largest retail foreign exchange firm, operating 780 branches worldwide. Complainant uses the mark TRAVELEX for its business, and has registered several TRAVELEX and TRAVELEX-formative marks in India, Respondent’s country. These Indian trademark registrations date back to 2004. Complainant’s main website is found at <travelex.com>.

Respondent registered the Domain Name on July 10, 2011. The Domain Name resolves to a website that is purportedly operated by “Travelex Forex - The Leading Foreign Exchange Company.” The site offers, among other things, foreign currency exchange services.

Complainant sent a cease-and-desist letter to Respondent on August 3, 2011, demanding transfer of the Domain Name and demanding that Respondent cease using the business name “Travelex Forex.” There is no evidence in the record that any response was received to this cease-and-desist letter.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant’s salient factual assertions are set forth above. Complainant asserts that it has satisfied the three elements of the Policy and is entitled to a transfer of the Domain Name.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements which Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Domain Name:

(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and

(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and

(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

There is no question that Complainant has rights in the registered mark TRAVELEX.

The Domain Name incorporates this distinctive mark and adds the term “forex.” According to Complainant, and as corroborated by one Internet dictionary, the term “forex” is an abbreviation of the term “foreign exchange.” The Panel accepts this as at least plausible. Against this backdrop, the addition of the term “forex” to the TRAVELEX mark does not dispel confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the mark.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that Policy paragraph 4(a)(i) is satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, Respondent may establish its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, among other circumstances, by showing any of the following elements:

(i) before any notice to you [Respondent] of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) you [Respondent] (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you [Respondent] are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

Complainant bears the burden of proof on the “rights or legitimate interests” issue (as it does for all three elements of the Policy). Louis de Bernieres v. Old Barn Studios Limited, WIPO Case No. D2001-0122 (March 26, 2001). Nevertheless, the panel in PepsiCo, Inc. v. Amilcar Perez Lista d/b/a Cybersor, WIPO Case No. D2003-0174 (April 22, 2003), correctly observed: “A respondent is not obliged to participate in a domain name dispute proceeding, but its failure to do so can lead to an administrative panel accepting as true the assertions of a complainant which are not unreasonable and leaves the respondent open to the legitimate inferences which flow from the information provided by a complainant.” As noted above, Respondent did not file a Response and therefore did not rebut any of Complainant’s allegations.

There is no evidence that Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name, or has made substantial preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Respondent had the opportunity, upon receipt of Complainant’s cease-and-desist letter (and upon receipt of the Complaint in this proceeding) to lay out its legitimacy, but Respondent has not done so. The Panel concludes from the record that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii) is satisfied.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, “in particular but without limitation,” are evidence of the registration and use the Domain Name in “bad faith” :

(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out of pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or

(ii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) that by using the Domain Name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other on line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.

The Panel finds that Respondent is in “bad faith” under paragraphs 4(b)(iii) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

Specifically, the Panel concludes that Respondent undoubtedly had Complainant’s TRAVELEX mark in mind when registering the Domain Name. This conclusion is reached because the Domain Name not only includes the distinctive mark TRAVELEX but also includes the descriptive word “FOREX” – a term that calls to mind Complainant’s core business. The Panel concludes that Respondent is seeking to disrupt the business of a competitor, Complainant, by offering at its website the very services Complainant has offered for nearly 40 years under the TRAVELEX mark. This permits the Panel to conclude that bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iii) has been proven here.

Further, the Domain Name, coupled with Respondent’s statement on its website that it is the “leading foreign exchange company,” is an obvious attempt to foster confusion among Internet users looking for Complainant’s website. This permits the Panel to conclude that bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) has been proven here.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii) is satisfied.

7. Decision

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 <travelexforex.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Robert A. Badgley
Sole Panelist
Dated: October 3, 2011

 

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