World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

John Lobb v. Meivita Rif'ana

Case No. D2012-2504

1. The Parties

The Complainant is John Lobb of Paris, France, represented by Fidal, France.

The Respondent is Meivita Rif'ana of Kelurahan Jatimulyo, Malang, Jawa Timur, Indonesia.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <johnlobb.info> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the ”Center”) on December 19, 2012. On December 20, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 21, 2012, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 28, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 17, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 18, 2013.

The Center appointed Michael J. Spence as the sole panelist in this matter on January 23, 2013. 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 has been involved in the manufacture and sake of footwear for over 150 years. It has an international reputation in the trade mark JOHN LOBB. The Respondent registers a large number of domain names, many of them involving allusions to well known trade marks. Under the disputed domain name, it operates a web site relating to long term care.

The disputed domain name was registered on September 12, 2012.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

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 in that it has “not been authorized “to use the trade mark as a basis for the domain name” and … has never been commonly known by the domain name”; and that the pattern of registrations involving allusions to well known trade marks in which the Respondent has engaged is evidence that in this case the disputed domain name has been registered or 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

The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trade mark in its entirety.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to the disputed domain name.

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, the Complainant argues that the lack of a connection between its products and those on offer at the Respondent’s website demonstrates the absence of rights or legitimate interests. The Panel cannot accept this argument as it may well be that such a difference indicates that a domain name holder has developed a reputation in a domain name, and therefore rights or legitimate interests, in a field of activity quite different to that in which a complainant is engaged.

Nevertheless, the fact that the Respondent has never been associated with the name “John Lobb”, and that even the website operating under the disputed domain name has, in the past, been operated under different domain names, establishes prima facie that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not offered any evidence to rebut this prima facie position.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Given the strength of the Complainant’s reputation in the trade mark, and therefore the strong likelihood of confusion, and given that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trade mark at the time of registration, it is probable that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in order to profit from the reputation of the Complainant’s trade mark. In the Panel’s view, this is a classic case of registration and use in bad faith. The fact that the Respondent has registered other domain names the similarity of which to other well known trade marks evinces a similar intention is not, of itself, sufficient to constitute bad faith in this particular case. It does, however, lend weight to a finding of bad faith.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to the disputed domain name.

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 <johnlobb.info> be transferred to the Complainant.

Michael J. Spence
Sole Panelist
Date: February 3, 2013

 

Explore WIPO