World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. v. Focus Sevice, Inc

Case No. D2012-1848

1. The Parties

Complainant is Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. of Peoria, Illinois, United States of America (“United States”), represented by The GigaLaw Firm, Douglas M. Isenberg, Attorney at Law, LLC, United States.

Respondent is Focus Sevice, Inc of Los Angeles, California, United States.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <emdiesel.com> is registered with eNom (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 17, 2012. On the same date, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 17, 2012, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center 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 September 21, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 11, 2012. Respondent did not submit any Response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on October 12, 2012.

The Center appointed Sandra J. Franklin as the sole panelist in this matter on November 1, 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

Complainant Electro-Motive Diesel is the owner of the EMD mark, used in connection with the worldwide sale of diesel-electric locomotives in the commercial rail industry since 1942. Complainant holds 56 trademark registrations in 11 countries, with a registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) dating back to 1959. Complainant operates a website at “www.emdiesels.com”.

Respondent registered the disputed domain name <emdiesel.com> on December 30, 2003, and does not make an active use of the disputed domain name.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

1. Respondent’s disputed domain name <emdiesel.com> is confusingly similar to Complainant’s EMD mark.

2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name <emdiesel.com>.

3. Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name <emdiesel.com> in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the panel to "decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable."

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a disputed domain name should be cancelled or transferred:

(1) the disputed domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and

(2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and

(3) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In view of Respondent's failure to submit a Response, the Panel shall decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of Complainant's undisputed representations pursuant to paragraphs 5(e), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules and draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules. The Panel is entitled to accept all reasonable allegations and inferences set forth in the Complaint as true unless the evidence is clearly contradictory. See Vertical Solutions Management, Inc. v. webnet-marketing, inc., NAF Claim No. 95095 (holding that the respondent’s failure to respond allows all reasonable inferences of fact in the allegations of the complaint to be deemed true); see also Talk City, Inc. v. Michel Robertson, WIPO Case No. D2000-0009 (“In the absence of a response, it is appropriate to accept as true all allegations of the Complaint.”).

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that Complainant has established rights in its EMD mark through trademark registration with various trademark authorities around the world, including with the USPTO. See Expedia, Inc. v. Elia Tan, NAF Claim No. 991075 (“As the [complainant’s] mark is registered with the USPTO, Complainant has met the requirements of Policy 4(a)(i).”); see also The Direct Marketing Company S.p.A. v. Morelli, WIPO Case No. D2010-1335 (finding Complainant’s European Union Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market (“OHIM”) trademark registration sufficient to establish complainant’s rights in its GIORNO NOTTE mark under Policy 4(a)(i)).

Respondent’s disputed domain name <emdiesel.com> is confusingly similar to Complainant’s EMD mark, as it merely spells out the full word “diesel,” represented by the “D” in Complainant’s mark, and adds the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. The Panel finds that these changes do not distinguish the disputed domain name from Complainant’s mark, particularly since the word “diesel” is descriptive of Complainant’s commercial use of its EMD mark. See Innomed Technologies, Inc. v. DRP Services, NAF Claim No. 221171 (finding that generic top-level domains are irrelevant for purposes of the Policy); see also Billabong International Limited, GSM (Operations) Pty Ltd GSM (Trademarks) Pty Ltd, GSM (Europe) Pty Ltd, GSM (NZ Operations) Ltd v. Mookie Lei, WIPO Case No. D2008-0101 (domain name <billabongirls.com> contained the running together of a trademark and a descriptive word with an overlapping letter “g” – that is BILLABONG and “girls”); see also Caterpillar Inc. v. Pipetech, NAF Claim No. 1000030 (finding <catpipeline.com> confusingly similar to the CAT trademark where the domain name included complainant’s entire mark along with a common term directly related to complainant’s business).

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Once Complainant makes a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii), the burden shifts to Respondent to show it does have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See Hanna-Barbera Productions., Inc. v. Entertainment Commentaries, NAF Claim No. 741828 (holding that the complainant must first make a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the domain name under UDRP, paragraph 4(a)(ii), before the burden shifts to the respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests in a domain name); see also AOL LLC v. Jordan Gerberg, NAF Claim No. 780200 (“Complainant must first make a prima facie showing that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the subject domain names, which burden is light. If Complainant satisfies its burden, then the burden shifts to Respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the subject domain names.”).

Complainant states that it has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use its EMD mark. The information publicly available in the Registrar’s WhoIs database for the disputed domain name identifies the registrant as Focus Sevice, Inc, which is not similar to the disputed domain name <emdiesel.com>. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy, paragraph 4(c)(ii). See St. Lawrence University v. Nextnet Tech c/o Domain Dept, NAF Claim No. 881234 (concluding a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in a domain name where there was no evidence in the record indicating that the respondent was commonly known by the domain name).

Complainant provides evidence that Respondent fails to make an active use of the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that Respondent’s failure to make an active use of the disputed domain name is not a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy, paragraph 4(c)(i), or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy, paragraph 4(c)(iii). See Thermo Electron Corp. and Fisher Scientific Co. LLC and Fisher Scientific Int'l Inc. v. Charlie Xu, NAF Claim No. 713851 (finding that the respondent’s non-use of the domain names demonstrates that the respondent is not using the domain names for a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy, paragraph 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy paragraph 4(c)(iii)).

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel notes that the enumerated Policy, paragraph 4(b), factors are not exhaustive, and thus the totality of the circumstances may be considered when analyzing bad faith registration and use under Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii). See Digi International Inc. v. DDI System, NAF Claim No. 124506 (determining that Policy paragraph 4(b) sets forth certain circumstances, without limitation, that shall be evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith); see also Cellular One Group v. Paul Brien, WIPO Case No. D2000-0028 (finding that the criteria specified in paragraph 4(b) of the Policy is not an exhaustive list of bad faith evidence).

The Panel finds that Respondent’s non-use of the disputed domain name is evidence of bad faith registration and use under paragraph of the Policy 4(a)(iii). See Disney Enterprises Inc. v. Jared Meyers d/b/a Online Holdings, NAF Claim No. 697818 (holding that the non-use of a domain name for several years constitutes bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(a)(iii)of the Policy).

Complainant contends that Respondent also registered the disputed domain name in bad faith because Respondent had knowledge of Complainant’s long-standing rights in its EMD mark, based on Complainant’s trademark registrations of the mark, and the worldwide fame and use of the mark. The Panel agrees and finds that Respondent registered the disputed domain name <emdiesel.com> in bad faith according to Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii). See Pancil, LLC v. Domain Deluxe, WIPO Case No. D2003-1035 (finding it inconceivable that respondent chose the domain name without knowledge of complainant’s activities and the name and trademark under which complainant is doing business); see also Immigration Equality v. William Brent c/o ImmigrationEquality.us, NAF Claim No. 1103571 ("That Respondent proceeded to register a domain name identical to, and with prior knowledge of Complainant's mark is sufficient to prove bad faith registration and use under Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).").

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).

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 disputed domain name <emdiesel.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Sandra J. Franklin
Sole Panelist
Dated: November 5, 2012

 

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