World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Google Inc. v. Lede Tyh

Case No. D2011-1495

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Google Inc. of Mountain View, California, United States of America, represented by Ranjan Narula Associates, India.

The Respondent is Lede Tyh of Shan Dong, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <google-sina.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 6, 2011. On September 6, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 6, 2011, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on September 16, 2011.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with 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 September 19, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 9, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 12, 2011.

The Center appointed Michael J. Spence as the sole panelist in this matter on November 4, 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 operates the world's largest search engine under the trade mark GOOGLE and has done so since 1997. This trade mark stands amongst the most well-known in the world, and the Complainant's business is worth many billions of dollars. The Respondent operates a pornographic website under the disputed domain name.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its mark; that use by the Respondent in association with a pornographic website does not constitute rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Given the very strong reputation of the Complainant's trade mark, and the fact that it is contained in the disputed domain name in its entirety, there can be no doubt that the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trade mark are identical or confusingly similar. The addition of the term “sina”, with its vaguely geographic or descriptive connotations, does nothing to distinguish the mark and the disputed domain name.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

It is for the Complainant to establish, at least prima facie, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name (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).

In this case, given that the Respondent must have known of the Complainant's mark at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name, and that it is not, and has never been, known by any name resembling the disputed domain name, it is inconceivable that the Respondent could have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant has therefore mounted a strong prima facie argument that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The burden of production establishing that it does indeed have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, has therefore passed to the Respondent, which burden it has not discharged.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Given the strong likelihood of confusion in this case, it is reasonable to conclude that the purpose of the Respondent in registering the disputed domain name was to divert Internet users looking for products associated with the Complainant's well known trade mark. Moreover, the impact of that diversion of Internet traffic is potentially particularly damaging to the Complainant's trade mark because of the pornographic nature of the Respondent's site. There can be no doubt that the disputed domain name was registered, or is being used, in bad faith.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <google-sina.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Michael J. Spence
Sole Panelist
Dated: November 16, 2011

 

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