WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Volt Information Sciences, Inc. v. Tushar Dayal
Case No. DCO2011-0012
1. The Parties
Complainant is Volt Information Sciences, Inc. of New York, New York, represented by Troutman Sanders LLP, United States of America.
Respondent is Tushar Dayal of Chantilly, Virginia, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <volt.co> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 9, 2011. On February 10, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 11, 2011, GoDaddy.com, Inc. 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 February 16, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 8, 2011. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on March 9, 2011.
The Center appointed Kevin H. Fortin as the sole panelist in this matter on March 21, 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.
The Panel has not received any requests from Complainant or Respondent regarding further submissions, waivers or extensions of deadlines, and the Panel has not found it necessary to request any further information from the parties (taking note of Respondent’s default in responding to the Complaint). The proceedings have been conducted in English.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is the owner of numerous trademark registrations for the VOLT mark in the United States of America. The first of such registrations was in May of 1983. The VOLT mark is the subject of the United States Trademark serial numbers 1260278, 1238778 and 1260179 owned by Complainant. Complainant uses these marks in promoting a wide range of technology and consulting services. Complainant owns the domain name <volt.com>, which resolves to Complainant’s official website where such technology and consulting services are advertised and where the VOLT mark is used in commerce.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name <volt.co> on July 20, 2010. As of July 28, 2010, Respondent was using the domain name to redirect Internet users to a directory site with links to products and services similar to, and in competition with, Complainant’s products and services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <volt.co> is confusingly similar to the registered mark VOLT; that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and that the domain name was registered in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on August 26, 1999 (with implementing documents approved on October 24, 1999), is addressed to resolving disputes concerning allegations of abusive domain name registration.
It is essential to dispute resolution proceedings that fundamental due process requirements be met. Such requirements include that a respondent has notice of proceedings that may substantially affect its rights. The Policy, and the Rules establish procedures intended to assure that respondents are given adequate notice of proceedings commenced against them, and a reasonable opportunity to respond (see, e.g., paragraph 2(a), Rules).
In this case, the Panel is satisfied that the Center took all steps reasonably necessary to notify Respondent of the filing of the Complaint and initiation of these proceedings, and that the failure of Respondent to furnish a reply is not due to any omission by the Center.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy sets forth three elements that must be established by a complainant to merit a finding that a respondent has engaged in abusive domain name registration, and to obtain relief. These elements are that:
(i) the respondent’s 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 respondent’s domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Each of the aforesaid three elements must be proved by a complainant to warrant relief.
Because Respondent has defaulted in providing a response to the allegations of Complainant, the Panel is directed to decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of the Complaint (Rules, paragraph 14(a)), and certain factual conclusions may be drawn by the Panel on the basis of Complainant’s undisputed representations in accordance with Rules, paragraph 15(a)).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant is the holder of several trademark registrations for VOLT in the United States and has been using the mark in commerce for over 20 years. Complainant’s registration of the VOLT mark on the principal register at the United States Patent and Trademark Office establishes a presumption of validity under the American law. Complainant has rights in the mark VOLT under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
The top level domain is irrelevant to the determination because all domain names include a top level domain. The mark VOLT and the disputed domain name <volt.co> are confusingly similar because the term “volt” is shared.
Complainant has met the burden of showing that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use the VOLT mark, or any variant thereof. Respondent registered the disputed domain name on July 20, 2010, which was more than sixteen years after Complainant first registered its VOLT mark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has established a prima facie showing that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Respondent has presented no evidence to overcome this showing. Further, the Panel notes that the website at the disputed domain name is not being used in relation to the meaning of the term “volt” if any.
The Panel thus concludes that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name <volt.co>.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four illustrative circumstances which are evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, i.e.:
(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on its website or location.
In the Panel’s opinion, Respondent’s registration of an identical or confusingly similar domain name to Complainant’s mark is likely to confuse a customer as to the source or origin of goods or services at its website to which the disputed domain name resolves. Further, the use of the disputed domain name to re-direct Internet users to a directory website establishes facts sufficient to find that Respondent intends to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website through the use of Complainant’s registered mark. Respondent offers no evidence to the contrary. Accordingly, this Panel finds that the disputed domain name <volt.co> was registered and used in bad faith under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <volt.co> be transferred to Complainant.
Kevin H. Fortin
Dated: April 1, 2011