WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Brandy Farris
Case No. D2003-0291
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Revlon Consumer Products Corporation, New York, of United States of America, represented by John N. O'Shea of United States of America.
The Respondent is Brandy Farris, Brandy Farris Real Estate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, of United States of America.
2. The Domain Names and Registrars
The disputed domain names <iloverevlon.com> and <loverevlon.com> are registered with Wild West Domains, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on April 14, 2003. On April 15, 2003, the Center transmitted by email to Wild West Domains, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain names at issue. On April 15, 2003, Wild West Domains, Inc., transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy"), 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 April 17, 2003. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 14, 2003. Initially, the Center believed that the Response was filed on May 15, 2003. After further correspondence with the Respondent, on May 19, 2003, the Center issued an Acknowledgement of Receipt of Response, which acknowledged receipt on May 14, 2003, and therefore the Response was deemed to have been filed in an timely manner.
The Center appointed Sandra A. Sellers as the sole panelist in this matter on May 21, 2003. 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
Complainant has manufactured, marketed and sold an extensive array of beauty products under the REVLON mark continuously since 1932. The mark is a fanciful combination of the names of the companyís founders: Charles and Joseph Revson and Charles Lachman, who contributed the "L" in the REVLON name.
Complainant, its subsidiaries, affiliates and related companies currently own 448 domain name registrations worldwide; 153 of these domain name registrations incorporate the REVLON trademark and variations thereof.
Complainant, its subsidiaries, affiliates, or related companies currently own 32 US trademark registrations and/or pending applications for trademarks incorporating the REVLON mark, and 2,690 trademark registrations and/or pending applications worldwide for trademarks incorporating the REVLON mark.
Complainant has maintained a corporate presence on the Internet since May 1997, when its own website, "www.revlon.com," was officially launched.
REVLON products are sold in approximately 175 countries and territories worldwide, with 2002 sales exceeding US$1.5 billion. The REVLON mark is well-known throughout the world.
According to the Registrarís Whois database, on March 12, 2000, Respondent, Brandy Farris, registered the domain name <loverevlon.com>; on March 8, 2001, she registered <iloverevlon.com>.
On or about February 21, 2001, Complainant became aware of the domain name <loverevlon.com>, and sent a cease and desist letter to Respondent on March 8, 2001. Subsequently, on or about March 20, 2001, Complainant became aware of the domain name <iloverevlon.com>, and sent a cease and desist letter to Respondent on March 21, 2001.
In response to Complainantís March 21, 2001, letter, Respondent faxed a reply which stated, "please call me. I will sell this name for a fee or call me at 225 293 9010."
On August 25, 2001, Complainant received an email from Respondent as follows:
Dear Mr. OíShea,
I would be happy to sell these two domain names to Revlon for $10,000.00. Please see if Revlon would allow me to fly up to New York to pick up my check.
I would love to see the Christmas Tree lighting.
I would also like to tell you how much I love Revlon Makeup and everything you do in the business. You all are very first class.
Please let me know what you think and if possible ask them if I can do a Revlon commercial. That would be so exciting.
Have a great day Mr. OíShea.
phone: 225 293 9010
On August 29, 2001, Revlonís counsel responded, and declined to pay $10,000, and put Ms. Farris on notice that Revlon would file a UDRP complaint to recover the domain names.
5. Partiesí Contentions
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to the REVLON mark because they wholly incorporate the REVLON mark, and that adding generic words such as "I" and "love" does not avoid likely confusion.
Complainant states that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain names, and has no relationship to Complainant. Complainant states that Respondent has admitted knowledge of the REVLON mark, and has acknowledged that the REVLON mark is famous.
Complainant alleges that Respondent has attempted to use the domain names to divert consumers to her own web site at "http://www.batonrouge.ihouse2000.com". Even if Respondent did not use the mark, Respondent has used the domain names in bad faith by requesting monetary compensation from Complainant far in excess of Respondentís reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.
Respondent states that the "Revlon" in her domain names stands for "REAL ESTATE VERY LOW OPTIONS NOW!", which is a slogan she uses for her real estate business. Respondent also states that she did not get these domain names to hurt Revlon Corporation or to sell cosmetics.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under Paragraph 4(a) of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("the Policy"), the Complainant has the burden of proving each of the following: (1) that the domain names are identical or confusingly similar to the Complainantís mark; (2) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain names; and (3) that the Respondent registered and is using the domain names in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The evidence shows that the Complainant , or one of its subsidiaries, affiliates, or related companies currently own 32 US trademark registrations and/or pending applications incorporating the REVLON mark. Clearly Complainant has rights in a family of registered marks incorporating the REVLON mark, all of which are valid, subsisting, unrevoked and used exclusively and extensively by Complainant, its affiliates and licensees. Indeed, the REVLON mark was first used in 1932, over 70 years ago, and reportedly is among the most widely recognized trademarks in the USA.
The disputed domain names, <loverevlon.com> and <iloverevlon.com>, incorporate the REVLON mark in its entirety. Prior panels have recognized that incorporation of a trademark in its entirety is sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainantís mark. Furthermore, addition of a generic word such as "love" or "I" does not distinguish the domain names sufficiently to avoid confusion. See, e.g., Nokia Corporation v. Nokiagirls.com aka IBCC, WIPO Case No. D2000-0102.
I find that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to Complainantís registered marks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant affirms that Respondent is not licensed to use the REVLON mark, nor is Respondent affiliated with Complainant in any way.
Respondent states in her Response that she uses "REVLON" as an acronym for "REAL ESTATE VERY LOW OPTIONS NOW!", which is a slogan she uses in her real estate business. She submits no evidence to support this bald assertion, and review of her website "http://www.batonrouge.ihouse2000.com" shows no use of "REAL ESTATE VERY LOW OPTIONS NOW!" or its acronym. Consequently, pursuant to Rule 14(b), I draw an adverse inference that Respondent does not have any evidence to support her claim.
Accordingly, I find that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under 15 USC ß1072, registration of the REVLON mark constitutes constructive notice of the mark. Respondent therefore had legal, if not actual, notice of Complainantís marks prior to registering the disputed domain names. Indeed, the REVLON mark has been used for over 70 years, and is one of the most famous trademarks in the USA; it is inconceivable that Respondent was not aware of the REVLON mark when she registered the disputed domain names. Furthermore, Respondentís email of August 25, 2001, states "I would also like to tell you how much I love Revlon Makeup and everything you do in the business. You all are very first class." This exhibits Respondentís clear knowledge of the REVLON marks. I therefore find that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith
Respondentís email of August 25, 2001, also states "I would be happy to sell these two domain names to Revlon for $10,000.00." Respondentís email also asks if Revlon would allow her to fly up to New York to pick up her check, and if it would be possible for her to do a Revlon commercial. Clearly, Respondent has asked for compensation far, far in excess of her reasonable out-of-pocket expenses in procuring the domain names. I therefore find that Respondent has used the domain names in bade faith.
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 names <loverevlon.com> and <iloverevlon.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sandra A. Sellers
Dated: June 4, 2003