WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Khloe Kardashian, Whalerock Celebrity Subscription, LLC, Khlomoney, Inc. v. Private Registrations Aktien Gesellschaft / Privacy Protection Service Inc. d/b/a Privacyprotect.Org
Case No. D2015-1113
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Khloe Kardashian, Whalerock Celebrity Subscription, LLC and Khlomoney, Inc., of Santa Monica, California, United States of America ("United States"), represented internally.
The Respondent is Private Registrations Aktien Gesellschaft of Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines / Privacy Protection Service Inc. d/b/a Privacyprotect.Org of Nobby Beach, Queensland, Australia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <khloekardashian.com> (the "Domain Name") is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on June 30, 2015. On June 30, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On July 1, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on July 1, 2015, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amended Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on July 1, 2015.
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 July 3, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 23, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on July 24, 2015.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on July 31, 2015. 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 lead Complainant, Khloe Kardashian, is a television personality and author. She first appeared in a television reality show about her family, Keeping up with the Kardashians, on October 14, 2007. The show became an instant hit and continues to attract millions of viewers. Since 2007, Ms. Kardashian has made numerous other television appearances, as an actress, host and talk show guest. She is also widely known as an author of two books – Kardashian Konfidential and Doll House: A Novel, both of which she co-wrote with her sisters. Ms. Kardashian also serves as a commercial spokesperson for several beauty and health products, and designs clothing and jewelry collections. As a result of her popular appeal, she has amassed millions of fans who follow her photos on Instagram (25 million followers), her tweets on Twitter (over 14 million followers) and her posts on Facebook (over 13 million likes).
The Complainaint Khlomoney, Inc is Ms. Kardashian's company through which, in a business venture with the Complainant Whalerock Celebrity Subscription, LLC, she promotes her brand of lifestyle, goods and services. Khlomoney, Inc is the registered proprietor of United States service mark no. 4,516,080 KHLOE KARDASHIAN in class 35 registered on April 15, 2014 and of United States service mark no. 4,598,082 KHLOE KARDASHIAN in classes 41 and 45, registered on September 2, 2014.
The Panel, noting the relationship between the Complainants Ms. Kardashian, Khlomoney, Inc and Whalerock Celebrity Subscription, LLC, considers it appropriate for the Complaint to be brought by these three separate entities together, and unless indicated otherwise the Panel will refer to the three Complainants as "the Complainant".
The Domain Name was registered on October 29, 2007, two weeks after Ms Kardashian first appeared on Keeping up with the Kardashians. At the time of preparation of the Complaint, the Domain Name resolved to a web parking page with a link "Inquire about this domain" which took the user to another website where the user was able to make an offer to purchase the Domain Name.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to its KHLOE KARDASHIAN trademarks, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the 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
The Complainant has uncontested rights in the trademark KHLOE KARDASHIAN. It is the owner of United States trademark registrations in respect of the mark and the Panel is also satisfied that Ms. Kardashian has acquired widespread goodwill and reputation in respect of the mark, through use of the trademark over a number of years and arising from the notoriety she has attracted in the Khloe Kardashian name as a result. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com", the Domain Name comprises the entirety of the KHLOE KARDASHIAN trademark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical to a mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The use made of the Domain Name by the Respondent for a website parking page with a link to another website inviting offers to purchase the Domain Name does not indicate any such rights. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. The Panel cannot envisage under the facts of this case what rights or legitimate interests the Respondent could have in the Domain Name which simply comprises Ms. Kardashian's name. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Ms. Kardashian is very widely known in many countries of the world, particularly as a result of her television appearances on the very popular reality TV show, Keeping up with the Kardashians. The Domain Name was registered just two weeks after Ms. Kardashian first appeared on the show and the overwhelming inference based on the case record is that it was registered with a view to profiting from the prospective fame of the KHLOE KARDASHIAN mark. In the circumstances, the Panel is in little doubt that the Respondent must have had the Complainant and its rights in the KHLOE KARDASHIAN name in mind when it registered the Domain Name. Furthermore, the Panel struggles to conceive of any legitimate, bona fide reason for the registration of the Domain Name. The circumstances of registration and the use to which the Domain Name has been put (to indicate that it was available for sale, no doubt for a sum significantly in excess of out-of-pocket expenses for registering the Domain Name), represent paradigmatic bad faith registration and use with a view to financial gain.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <khloekardashian.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 14, 2015