World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Tiffany and Company, Tiffany (NJ) Inc. v. Haoyunlai jewelry factory, Peng Jiawei

Case No. DME2010-0011

1. The Parties

The Complainants are Tiffany and Company, Tiffany (NJ) Inc. of New York, New York, United States of America and of Parsippany, New Jersey, United States of America respectively, represented by Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, PC, United States of America.

The Respondent is Haoyunlai jewelry factory, Peng Jiawei of Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China.

2. The Domain Name And Registrar

The disputed domain name <tiffany.me> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 23, 2010. On December 28, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same date, GoDaddy.com, Inc. 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 January 6, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 26, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 28, 2011.

The Center appointed Ian Blackshaw as the sole panelist in this matter on February 4, 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.

4. Factual Background

The Complainants have used the TIFFANY marks globally on luxury goods since 1837, when Charles Lewis Tiffany first opened a shop in New York City, United States of America. The business was incorporated in New York City under the name “Tiffany and Company” in 1868. The Complainants have built a well-established business, renowned throughout the world in the production and marketing of high-quality luxury goods for both personal use (jewelry, silverware, perfumes and accessories for both men and women) and household use (cutlery, glass tableware, porcelain, and gift and fancy goods for the home). The Complainants have numerous retail store locations internationally in addition to successful websites. The Complainants also sell merchandise bearing the TIFFANY marks through independent distributors in over 200 retail locations in 59 countries.

In particular, jewelry bearing the TIFFANY marks, created through tradition and excellent craftsmanship, has become an icon of contemporary luxury and acquired worldwide fame for the refinement of its design and the use of precious raw materials and the purest gemstones in its production. In the celebrated film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, made in 1961 and starring the famous actress, Audrey Hepburn, the protagonists are items of TIFFANY jewelry and the store which sells them, personifying the feminine desire for luxury and prestige. In particular, it is TIFFANY refined diamond rings (such as its solitaires, engagement rings and wedding bands) that are among the symbolic products of its prestigious jewelry collections and are preferred and worn by famous members of the international jet set. A wide range of items in the Complainants’ collections are displayed and sold at the “www.tiffany.com” website, a copy of which has been provided to the Panel.

The TIFFANY marks have become a hallmark of quality. All items made by or for the Complainants, whether for exhibition and sale to the public or to fulfill private commissions, have been permanently marked with the brand Tiffany or Tiffany & Co. or T & Co. Pieces ordered from other manufacturers sometimes bear a legend such as, “Made exclusively for Tiffany & Co., New York.”

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant makes the following contentions:

A. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(Policy, para. 4(a)(i), Rules, paras. 3(b)(viii), (b)(ix)(1))

The TIFFANY marks are registered in over 100 countries in the world, including China and Montenegro. More specifically, the Complainants have applied for and obtained a number of different trademark registrations, that are valid in the United States, Montenegro and China, in order to protect the TIFFANY & TIFFANY & CO. marks used alone or in conjunction with words and logos, including the following United States., Montenegrin and Chinese registrations:

Mark

Country

Class(es)

Registration No.

Registration Date

TIFFANY

United States

14

1228409

February 22, 1983

TIFFANY & CO.

United States

34

1220260

December 14, 1982

TIFFANY & CO.

United States

8, 14

1228189

February 22, 1983

TIFFANY & CO.

United States

14, 34

1302508

October 30, 1984

TIFFANY & CO.

I.R./Montenegro

3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10,11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 28, 34

536554

October 13, 1988

TIFFANY & CO.

I.R./Montenegro

36, 37

581240

December 21, 1991

TIFFANY

China

8

824842

March 21, 2006

TIFFANY

China

14

815305

February 14, 2006

TIFFANY

China

25

1684949

December 21, 2001

TIFFANY & CO.

China

14

3966131

September 21, 2006

TIFFANY & CO.

China

39

3274233

March 21, 2004

True and correct copies of printouts from the publicly available website of the United States Patent &Trademark Office, evidencing the United States registrations, have been provided to the Panel.

The Complainants also own registrations for the Complainants’ TIFFANY and TIFFANY & CO. marks throughout the rest of the world.

A printout illustrating a representative sample of the Complainants’ other trademark registrations has also been provided to the Panel.

The Complainants also own and operate numerous e-commerce platforms and other domain names and

websites, including <tiffany.com>. Printouts from the official “www.tiffany.com” website have been provided to the Panel. This website is just one of many official websites for product information for consumers.

The Complainants also have country specific websites designed for use by customers in various countries around the world, including China, which has a dedicated website at the <tiffany.cn> domain name. Printouts from the official “www.tiffany.cn” website have been provided to the Panel.

The Complainants “www.tiffany.com” website averages over 700,000 unique visitors per

month, or over 8.4 million unique visitors per year. As evidence of this, the Panel has been provided with printouts from the “www.compete.com” website.

Through the Complainants’ use and registration of the TIFFANY and TIFFANY & CO.

marks (hereafter the “TIFFANY marks”) around the world, the TIFFANY marks have come to be exclusively associated with the Complainants and their products.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name in July 2008, long after the Complainants’ trademarks were registered in the United States, Montenegro and China.

Furthermore, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainants’ well-known TIFFANY marks.

At no time did the Complainants ever authorize or permit the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name incorporating the Complainants’ TIFFANY marks, and there is no relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent that would give rise to any license, permission or authorization for the Respondent to use or register the disputed domain name.

The Respondent uses the Complainants’ TIFFANY marks not only in its URLs for a commercial website at “http://tiffany.me/” selling unauthorized and possibly counterfeit goods, but also uses the TIFFANY marks on each page of the website; displays the TIFFANY marks on the hundreds of products it is offering to sell; and uses the TIFFANY marks in the text on the websites. Evidence of this has been provided to the Panel.

Further, the Respondent has used the Complainants’ own images of their products on its website. The effect of this is to falsely suggest an affiliation with the Complainants; falsely suggest that the Respondent is an authorized seller of the Complainants’ products; or to falsely suggest that the Respondent has a relationship with the Complainants that allows the Respondent to offer TIFFANY branded products for sale. Again, evidence of this has been provided to the Panel. Indeed, the Respondent states at the website incorporating the disputed domain name that the “TIFFANY jewelry online store of direct promotion supplies you various kinds of discounted TIFFANY silver products, including TIFFANY bracelet, TIFFANY necklace, TIFFANY ring,TIFFANY earrings,TIFFANY pendant,to name just a few.” [sic] The Respondent further states that “affordable cheap prices offer you low cost luxury; in addition, assure you of secure purchase and comfortable use”.

Official TIFFANY merchandise, regardless of the authorized venue through which it is sold, never is sold at a discount, as the Complainants do not offer discount products and their goods never go “on sale”: a policy adopted by the Complainants to maintain their prestigious image and reputation.

The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainants’ TIFFANY marks, as the disputed domain name incorporates the Complainants’ distinctive TIFFANY mark in its entirety. That the disputed domain name is intended to relate to the Complainants is further evidenced by the fact that the website, which incorporates the disputed domain name, copies the Complainants’ own “www.tiffany.com” website. Again, evidence of this has been provided to the Panel.

As such, consumers are likely to be left with the false impression that the Respondent is authorized to sell the Complainants’ merchandise, and/or that the merchandise being sold by the Respondent is authentic and authorized. See ArcelorMittal Legal Affairs Corporate, Vanisha Mittal, Aditya Mittal v. All Illumination , Vanisha Mittal, info@setrillonario.com, WIPO Case No. DME2010-0006 (“the Domain Name is obviously identical to the trademark, so the Complainants have made out their case under paragraph 4(a)(i)”); AT&T Corp. v. William Gormally, WIPO Case No. D2005-0758 (“the incorporation of a trademark in its entirety may be sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s registered mark.”); Volvo Trademark Holding AB v. Nicklas Uvelov, WIPO Case No. D2002-0521 (including a generic term with a famous mark aggravates rather than diminishes the likelihood of confusion); Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. bmwcar.com, WIPO Case No. D2002-0615 (domain name that wholly incorporates registered trademark establishes confusing similarity); and Quixtar Investments, Inc. v. Dennis Hoffman, WIPO Case No. D2000-0253 (domain name with addition of generic term found legally identical to complainant’s mark).

This leaves nothing more than the “.me” suffix to distinguish the disputed domain name from the TIFFANY trademark. However, the generic country code top level domain (“ccTLD”) indicator “.me” cannot be taken into consideration when judging confusing similarity. “The addition of the ccTLD “.me” is without legal significance from the standpoint of comparing the disputed domain name to the [trademark] because use of a ccTLD (or gTLD) is required of domain name registrants; “.me” is one of only a few such ccTLD’s, and “.me” does not serve to identify a specific enterprise as a source of goods or services”. Project.me GmbH v. Alan Lin, WIPO Case No. DME2009-0008.

The Complainants have obtained trademark registrations for their TIFFANY marks in countries around the world, including Montenegro, China and the United States, as mentioned above. “Numerous panel decisions have now established that ownership of a trademark or service mark anywhere in the world is sufficient for a complainant to establish a relevant ‘right’ in that mark for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.” Facebook, Inc. v. Amjad Abbas, WIPO Case No. DME2010-0005.

B. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name;

(Policy, para. 4(a)(ii), Rules, para. 3(b)(ix)(2))

The Respondent cannot demonstrate or establish any legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name in July 2008, long after the Complainants had established their rights in the TIFFANY (first use in 1837) and TIFFANY & CO. trademarks through extensive use around the world.

No relationship exists between the Respondent and the Complainants or any of the Complainants’ licensees, agents or affiliated companies that would give rise to any license, permission, or authorization by which the Respondent could own or use the disputed domain name, which wholly incorporates and is confusingly similar to the Complainants’ marks.

The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, as shown by its registration information, which has been provided to the Panel as part of the case record. When a domain name is identical to the Complainants’ well-known mark and the Complainants have not authorized the Respondent to use the mark, there can be no right or legitimate interest under the Policy. See Facebook, Inc., supra. Indeed, such registrations are evidence of opportunistic bad faith (id) (citing Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Maison Fondee en 1772 v. The Polygenix Group Co., WIPO Case No. D2000-0163 and Parfums Christian Dior v. Javier Garcia Quintas and Christiandior.net, WIPO Case No. D2000-0226).

Since the Complainants’ TIFFANY marks are so well-known and the Respondent has no rights therein, the only reason that the Respondent could have had for registering and using the disputed domain name, consisting of nothing more than the TIFFANY mark plus the “.me” ccTLD, is that the Respondent knew of the Complainants’ marks and wanted to trade on the Complainants’ renown to lure consumers to its website to sell unauthorized and possibly counterfeit merchandise.

Even if the sponsored listings at the Respondent’s website link to websites selling legitimate TIFFANY and TIFFANY & CO. merchandise, the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is still not bona fide. See Oki Data Americas, Inc v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903; see also WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions § 2.3. Under the majority view, for a reseller to make a bona fide use of a trademarked term in a domain name, the Respondent must inter alia: (1) sell only the trademarked goods or services; and (2) accurately disclose the Respondent’s relationship with the trademark owner (id). In the present case, the Respondent cannot satisfy this second requirement as the website incorporating the disputed domain name fails to disclose the lack of any relationship with the Complainant.

When “there is no evidence that [the] Respondent has been generally known as [<tiffany.me>] or by a similar name (…) that the disputed domain name has been used in any noncommercial or fair manner as envisaged by [the] Policy (…) [or that] Respondent has acquired rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name” then previous UDRP panels have routinely ordered that the domain names at issue be transferred to the Complainant. See Chris Johnson v. Domain Privacy Protector Limited, Martin Quinn, Henry Stainton, WIPO Case No. DME2010-0004.

Given the facts discussed above, the Complainants have established a prima facie case of “no rights or legitimate interest”, so the evidentiary burden shifts to the Respondent to prove the existence of any such rights. See ArcelorMittal Legal Affairs Corporate, supra.

C. The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

(Policy, paras. 4(a)(iii), 4(b); Rules, para. 3(b)(ix)(3))

There clearly is bad faith where, as here, the Respondent uses a domain name incorporating the Complainants’ trademark to sell unauthorized or non-genuine products and to falsely suggest a connection with the Complainant. See Farouk Systems Inc. v. Originalchi.com, WIPO Case No. D2007-1201 (finding bad faith where suggestion of connection with Complainant and recognizing that “If the Respondent’s products are counterfeits, then the case against it is even stronger.”); see also generally Wellquest International, Inc. v. Nicholas Clark, WIPO Case No. D2005-0552 (“sale of counterfeit goods on a website accessible through the Domain Name is paradigmatic bad faith”). Even if the goods being sold are not counterfeit, but rather merely unauthorized, the Respondent’s sale of those goods through the disputed domain name would still be in bad faith. See Bumble & Bumble LLC v. Eduard Gladyshev, WIPO Case No. D2008-1956 (“The Respondent’s use of a domain name incorporating the Complainant’s distinctive BUMBLE AND BUMBLE mark in its entirety, and the further use of the Complainant’s mark on the website, improperly suggest that the site is affiliated with the Complainant and that the Respondent is authorised to sell the Complainant’s line of hair care and beauty products”).

Given that the Respondent has never been authorized by the Complainants to use the TIFFANY mark, the very fact that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name establishes bad faith use and registration. See Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin, supra (bad faith is found where a domain name “is so obviously connected with such a well-known product that its very use by someone with no connection with the product suggests opportunistic bad faith”).

As the Complainants’ TIFFANY and TIFFANY & CO. trademarks enjoy wide recognition, it is, therefore, inconceivable – particularly in the light of the Respondent’s very use of the disputed domain name – that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainants’ TIFFANY mark when he registered the disputed domain name. Indeed, the Respondent is banking on the established goodwill and consumer recognition of the TIFFANY mark to drive traffic to its site in order to sell unauthorized product. See Philip Morris Incorporated v. Alex Tsypkin, WIPO Case No. D2002-0946 (“It follows from what has been said about legitimacy that the Panel is satisfied that Respondent is using the disputed domain name intentionally to attempt to attract, for commercial gain, [Internet visitors] to his web site by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of his web site”). Because the ultimate effect of any use of the disputed domain name will be to cause confusion with the Complainants, the use and registration of the disputed domain name must be considered to be in bad faith (id).

In the present case, the Respondent has gone to lengths to fuel consumer confusion making prominent use of the Complainants’ mark and product images. The only reason for the Respondent’s use of the Complainants’ mark and products as the main source identifying and attention grabbing symbols on its website is to intentionally confuse consumers and to trade on the Complainants’ rights and reputation. See Houghton Mifflin Co. v. The Weathermen, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0211; see also Philip Morris Incorporated, supra.

B. Respondent

The Respondent, having been duly notified of the Complaint and of these proceedings, did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions or take any part in these proceedings.

6. Discussion And Findings

To qualify for cancellation or transfer of the disputed domain name, the Complainant must prove each of the following elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, namely:

(i) The disputed 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 disputed domain name; and

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

In accordance with paragraph 15(a) of the Rules, the Panel shall decide the Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules, and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.

In accordance with paragraph 14(a) of the Rules, in the event that a party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any of the time periods established by the Rules or the Panel, the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the Complaint; and (b) if a party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under, the Rules or any request from the Panel, the Panel shall draw such inferences as it considers appropriate.

In accordance with paragraph 10(d) of the Rules, the Panel shall determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of the evidence.

In previous UDRP cases in which the respondents failed to file a response, the panels’ decisions were based upon the complainants’ assertions and evidence, as well as inferences drawn from the respondents’ failure to reply. See The Vanguard Group, Inc. v. Lorna Kang, WIPO Case No. D2002-1064; and also Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei v. Macros-Telekom Corp., WIPO Case No. D2001-0936.

Nevertheless, a panel must not decide in the complainant’s favor solely based on the respondent’s default. See Cortefiel, S.A. v. Miguel García Quintas, WIPO Case No. D2000-0140. In this case, the Panel must decide whether the Complainant has introduced elements of proof, which allow the Panel to conclude that its allegations are true.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

It is well established in previous UDRP cases that, where a disputed domain name incorporates a complainant’s registered trademark, this may be sufficient to establish that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar for the purposes of the Policy. See Magnum Piering, Inc. v. The Mudjackers and Garwood S. Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525.

In the present case, the disputed domain name incorporates the Complainants’ well-known registered trademark TIFFANY in its entirety and without any modifications. This, in the view of the Panel, is bound to lead to confusion on the part of consumers and Internet users seeking information on the Complainants’ company and their products marketed under their well-known registered trademark TIFFANY.

Also, the addition of a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) “.me” to the disputed domain name does not constitute an element in the disputed domain name so as to avoid confusing similarity. See The Coca-Cola Company v. David Jurkiewicz, WIPO Case No. DME2010-0008, Telecom Personal, S.A., v. NAMEZERO.COM, Inc,, WIPO Case No. D2001-0015; F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. Macalve e-dominios S.A., WIPO Case No. D2006-0451; and Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. See also Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Jose Manuel, WIPO Case No. D2010-2031.

In view of the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainants’ well-known and widely-registered trademark TIFFANY, in which the Complainants have demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Panel, that they have rights in and commercial use of the same for many years. The first element of the Policy, therefore, has been met.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In order to determine whether the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name (paragraph 4(c) of the Policy), attention must be paid to any of the following circumstances in particular but without limitation:

- whether there is any evidence of the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services before any notice to the Respondent of the dispute;

- whether the Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the domain name, even if the Respondent has acquired no trademark or service mark rights;

- whether the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain misleadingly to divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

There is no evidence before the Panel to show that the Respondent was acting in pursuance of any rights or legitimate interests with respect to registering the disputed domain name. On the contrary, if the Respondent had any such rights or legitimate interests, the Respondent would have reasonably been expected to assert them, which the Respondent clearly has not done, by not replying to the Complaint. See Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110.

Neither is there any evidence before the Panel that the Respondent has been authorized or licensed by the Complainants to use the Complainants’ widely-known and widely-registered and, indeed, well-known trademark TIFFANY. In fact, in the view of the Panel, the adoption by the Respondent of a domain name identical to the Complainants’ well-known trademark TIFFANY inevitably leads to confusion on the part of Internet users and consumers seeking information about the Complainant and its products (see further on this point below), and the consequential tarnishing of the Complainants’ well-known and, therefore, valuable trademark TIFFANY and also the valuable goodwill that the Complainants have established in this trademark through advertising and commercial use of the same over many years, sufficient evidence of which has been provided to the Panel, without any right or legal justification for doing so.

Also, the Panel finds no evidence that the Respondent has used, or undertaken any demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

Likewise, no evidence has been adduced that the Respondent has commonly been known by the disputed domain name; nor, for the reasons mentioned above, is the Respondent making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.

Therefore, for all the above reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has neither rights nor legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Regarding the bad faith requirement, paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four examples of acts, which prima facie constitute evidence of bad faith. However, this list is not exhaustive, but merely illustrative. See Nova Banka v. Iris, WIPO Case No. D2003-0366.

Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy is particularly relevant to the present case and provides that there is evidence of bad faith in the following circumstances:

“(iv) by using the domain name, [the respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [its] web site 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] web site or location or of a product or service on [its] web site or location.”

Based on the record in the case file, the Panel considers that the Respondent, by registering the disputed domain name, is trading unfairly on the Complainants’ valuable goodwill established in its widely-known and widely-registered and well-known trademark TIFFANY.

Again, by registering and using the disputed domain name incorporating, without any modification, the Complainants’ widely-known and widely-registered and well-known trademark TIFFANY, the effect is to mislead Internet users and consumers into thinking that the Respondent is, in some way or another, connected to, sponsored by or affiliated with the Complainants and their business; or that the Respondent’s activities are approved or endorsed by the Complainants. None of which, on the basis of the record in the case file, is, in fact, the situation. Such misleading consequences, in the view of the Panel, are indicative of bad faith on the part of the Respondent. See Columbia Insurance Company v. Pampered Gourmet, WIPO Case No. D2004-0649.

Furthermore, the fact that the disputed domain name includes the Complainants’ widely-known and widely-registered and well-known trademark TIFFANY, held and used in commerce by the Complainants in more than 100 countries of the world, including China, where the Respondent is located, for many years prior to the date that the Respondent became the registrant of the disputed domain name, it is reasonable for the Panel to take the view that the Respondent must have known and been aware of the Complainants’ rights in this trademark at the time the Respondent registered the disputed domain name; added to which the Complainants have also registered a country-specific domain name in China incorporating the Complainant’s well-known mark TIFFANY, namely, <tiffany.cn>. As such, all of this, in the view of the Panel, is a further factor supporting a conclusion of bad faith. See Segway LLC v. Chris Hoffman, WIPO Case No. D2005-0023; Telstra Corporation Limited, supra; and Cellular One Group v. Paul Brien, WIPO Case No. D2000-0028. In this Panel’s view, a domain name which contains a third-party’s registered trademark and to which no generic meaning is ascribed, would typically be used in good faith only by the owner of the respective right, by licensees, or a similar class of rights-holder, which does not appear to be the situation in the present case.

Further, see also Microsoft Corporation v. J. Holiday Co., WIPO Case No. D2000-1493, in which it was stated that “consumers expect to find a company on the Internet at a domain name address comprised of the company’s name or trademark”. As this is not, in fact, the situation in the present case, the use by the Respondent of the disputed domain name is confusing and misleading and, in the view of the Panel, is yet a further indication that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith by the Respondent.

Also, as the disputed domain name resolves to a website operated by the Respondent, which has nothing to do with the Complainants, despite the Complainants’ products that it offers and illustrates, and has not been authorized by the Complainants in any way whatsoever, the Panel agrees with the Complainants’ contention that this constitutes further evidence of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith on the part of the Respondent. See Philip Morris Inc. supra. See also The Procter & Gamble Company, Tambrands Inc. v. Reserved for Customers, MustNeed.com, WIPO Case No. D2009-0944. This situation clearly amounts to bad faith on the part of the Respondent.

Finally, the failure also of the Respondent to answer the Complaint or take any part in the present proceedings, again, in the view of the Panel, is another indication of bad faith on the part of the Respondent. See Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. (This Domain is For Sale) Joshuathan Investments, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2002-0787.

Therefore, taking all these particular facts and circumstances into account and for all the above-mentioned reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

7. Decision

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 <tiffany.me> be transferred to the Complainant.

Ian Blackshaw
Sole Panelist
Dated: February 17, 2011

 

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