WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
University of Wyoming v. Asia Ventures
Case No. D2004-0098
1. The Parties
The Complainant is University of Wyoming, Office of General Counsel, University of Wyoming, of Laramie, Wyoming, United States of America, represented by Susan Weidel, United States of America.
The Respondent is Asia Ventures, of Fujian, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <universityofwyoming.com> ("the Domain Name") is registered with iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on February 5, 2004. On February 6, 2004, the Center transmitted by email to iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On February 9, 2004, iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing its contact details. 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 February 18, 2004. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 9, 2004. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondentís default on March 10, 2004.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on March 22, 2004. 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 Complainant is the University of Wyoming, an educational institution with a US Federal registration for UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING. The Respondent registered the Domain Name on April 18, 2002, and it is being used to a site which provides links to several third party websites including those offering clothing and sporting footwear.
5. Partiesí Contentions
The Complainants contentions can be summarized as follows:
1. The Complainant owns all the rights to the UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING name. The University has obtained federal registration for UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING and other marks through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It engages in a wide range of licensing activities and has built up substantial goodwill in the name
2. The Complainant wrote to the Respondent requesting it to cease use of the UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING name and transfer the Domain Name to the complainant. The Respondent did not reply and continues to use the Domain Name in relation to its business.
3. The Domain Name is identical to the mark UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING in which the Complainant has rights.
4. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name. The Respondent is not licensed or otherwise authorized by the Complainant to use the UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING name or to apply for it as a Domain Name. The Respondent is not making non commercial fair use of the Domain Name.
5. The Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent is using the Domain Name for commercial use for gain and is misleadingly diverting customers and tarnishing the trademark at issue. There is a high likelihood that an Internet user would be easily confused by the website attached to the Domain Name. It refers to Wyoming, athletics, weather and other things which might be associated with a university. The site is designed to sell items, including athletic apparel which is in no way affiliated with the Complainant. The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his website or other on line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainantís mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of his website or on line location or of a product or service on his website or on line location.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainantís contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, 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
Disregarding the ".com" generic part of the Domain Name, the Domain Name is identical to the Complainantís UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not filed a Response and does not appear to have any rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name. Based on the evidence in this case, the Complainant has satisfied the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Rules sets out four non exclusive criteria which shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith including
"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 Complainantís mark as to the source, affiliation or endorsement of [its] website or location or of a product or service on [its] website or location."
In the absence of a Response from the Respondent, and considering the material attached to the Domain Name the panelist is satisfied that the Complainant has shown on the balance of probabilities that the Respondent registered the Domain Name in bad faith with an intent to use the Domain Name to attract business to its competing site
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 <universityofwyoming.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 5, 2004