WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. v. EZ-Port
Case No. D2000-0207
1. The Parties
Complainant is Williams-Sonoma, Inc., a California corporation located in San Francisco, California
Respondent is Joseph J. Zarb, doing business as EZ-Port, located in Babyon, New York.
2. The Domain Name(s) and Registrar(s)
The domain name is <pottery-barn.com>
The registrar is Network Solutions, Inc., Herndon, Virginia, USA
3. Procedural History
This action was brought in accordance with the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, dated October 24, 1999 ("the Policy") and the ICANN Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, dated October 24, 1999 ("the Rules").
The complaint was filed on March 24, 2000. Respondent failed to provide a timely response, and the matter was referred to Mark V.B. Partridge for decision on April 26, 2000. After the referral, Respondent advised the Panel by email that it consented to the relief requested by the Complainant.
4. Factual Background
Complainant operates retail stores and mail order services under the marks THE POTTERY BARN and POTTERY BARN, owns numerous worldwide registrations of those marks, and has registered the domain name <potterybarn.com>.
Respondent has registered the domain name <pottery-barn.com>.
Because Respondent has consented to the relief requested by Complainant, it is not necessary to review the facts supporting the claim. I am left to decide the appropriate procedure to conclude the case in a situation not directly addressed by the Rules. Several provisions provide guidance. Rule 10(a) gives the panel the discretion to conduct the proceeding in such manner as it deems appropriate under the Policy and the Rules. Rule 10(c) requires the Panel to "ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition." Rule 12 permits the Panel to require further statements from the parties. Rule 17 requires the Panel to terminate the proceeding when the parties have agreed to a settlement.
Here, although Respondent has consented to the requested relief, the parties have not agreed to a formal settlement and terminating the proceeding would not effect the parties intent. Under Rules 10 and 12, the Panel appears to have authority to delay the decision and permit the parties time to submit confirmation that they have agreed to a settlement. That procedure, however, would delay this proceeding and impose unnecessary cost on both the parties and WIPO. Under the circumstances, I believe the better course is to enter an order granting the relief requested by the Complainant so that the transfer may occur without further delay.
For the reasons stated above, in accordance with Paragraph 4(i) of the Policy, I order that the domain name registration for <pottery-barn.com> shall be transferred to the Complainant.
Mark V. B. Partridge
Date: May 5, 2000