WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Bidmania Co. v. Dale Cumming / Euro PC
Case No. D2012-0632
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Bidmania Co. of Louisville, Tennessee, United States of America, represented internally.
The Respondent is Dale Cumming / Euro PC of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by McClure Naismith LLP, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bidmania.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 26, 2012. On March 26, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 27, 2012, GoDaddy.com, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the disputed domain name. 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 March 30, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 19, 2012. The Response was filed with the Center on April 18, 2012.
The Center appointed Michael J. Spence as the sole panelist in this matter on April 30, 2012. 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 an online auction site under the trade mark BIDMANIA for which it has had a United States “U.S.” registration since June 3, 2011, and using the domain names <bidmania.co> and <bidmania.co.uk>, which it registered on April 13, 2011. The Respondent states that it purchased the disputed domain name on August 31, 2009, in order to operate a site on which excess stock from its computer equipment supply business could be sold at a discount.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its trade mark; that the Respondent has no 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.
The Respondent contends that domain names containing the term “bidmania” are very common; that the Complainant registered the trade mark BIDMANIA at a time when it was aware of the Respondent's interest in the disputed domain name, as evinced by an attempt to purchase the disputed domain name from the Respondent on January 21, 2011; that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and that it has at no point acted in bad faith.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
While the Complainant has done little to establish its rights in the trade mark BIDMANIA – a term in common usage online – it has been able to point to a valid United States Paten and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) trade mark registration. It must therefore be accepted that the Complainant has rights in the trade mark. The disputed domain name contains the registered trade mark in its entirety with no additional material and therefore the Panel finds the disputed domain name to be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of Paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP.
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 and Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110).
The Respondent's registration of the disputed domain name predates both registration of the Complainant’s USPTO trade mark, which is taken to be the source of the Complainant's rights, and the related domain names under which it is operating. The Panel finds that the Respondent has been using, or making preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to notice of the present dispute. The Complainant has not been able to establish that this pre-existing registration and use does not give rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has failed to establish the second element of Paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the Panel's findings in relation to the second element of Paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP Policy, consideration of the third element is not necessary as the elements are conjunctive. However, the Panel notes that there does not appear to be any evidence of bad faith in this case on the part of the Respondent.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has failed to establish the third element of Paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP Policy.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Complaint is denied.
Michael J. Spence
Dated: May 12, 2012