WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
QSoft Consulting Limited v. PrivacyProtect.org / remix dating services, vannessa montes
Case No. D2011-0114
1. The Parties
The Complainant is QSoft Consulting Limited of Twickenham, Middlesex, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Alexander Ramage Associates LLP, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Respondent is PrivacyProtect.org of Munsbach, Luxemburg and remix dating services, Vannessa Montes of Richmond Hill, New York, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <gaydarmatch.com> is registered with Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 20, 2011. On January 20, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 23, 2011, Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response, disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on January 27, 2011.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 28, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 17, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 22, 2011. After the notification of Respondent’s default two informal emails were received from the Respondent. The Center acknowledged receipt of these communications on February 23, 2011 and reminded the Respondent that all communications by a party be copied to the other party in accordance to Rule paragraph 2(h).
The Center appointed Christopher J. Pibus as the sole panelist in this matter on March 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 Complainant operates a business offering dating agency services and online introduction services under the names GAYDAR and GAYDARGIRLS and a social networking site under the name GAYDARNATION. The Complainant also operates a business offering internet radio services under the name GAYDARRADIO.
The Complainant owns eight European Community Trademark registrations for the trademark GAYDAR, namely Nos. 2127264; 2564458; 3804168; 3886256; 3886264; 3886298; 6441919; and 6441927. The Complainant’s trademark registration in Australia for the word GAYDAR was registered on May 6, 2002.
The Complainant owns several domain name registrations, namely <gaydar.eu>; <gaydar.co.uk>; <gaydar.us>; <gaydarguys.com>; <gaydar.net>; <gaydarnation.com> and <gaydarradio.com> and each of these domain names revert to active websites providing dating agency services, online introduction services and social networking services.
The Respondent registered the domain name <gaydarmatch.com> on September 16, 2010. At the time the Complaint was filed, the disputed domain name reverted to a website featuring internet dating services and internet social networking services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant owns the trademark GAYDAR. The Respondent has registered the domain name <gaydarmatch.com> which is identical to the Complainant’s registered trademark, except for the addition of the word “match”. The word “match” means “to be compatible with”; “resemble or harmonise with”; or “to coincide in characteristics”, and therefore is descriptive of the type of services provided by the Complainant in association with its trademark and domain names, and the disputed domain name. The descriptive word “match” does not distinguish the disputed domain name from the GAYDAR trademark, and therefore the <gaydarmatch.com> domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant submits that the Respondent is not commonly known by the word “gaydar”. The Complainant further submits that the Respondent is not making a bona fide use of the disputed domain name, and has used the domain name in connection with a website which appears to provide internet dating services and social networking services, which are in direct competition to the Complainant’s services. Further, the Complainant submits that it never licensed or authorized the Respondent to use its GAYDAR trademark.
Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith for the following reasons: (i) the Respondent is using the confusingly similar domain name in association with the operation of a website which provides services in direct competition of the Complainant; and (ii) the Respondent is using a confusingly similar domain name to trade on the goodwill and reputation of the Complainant’s trademark for purposes of monetary gain.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. On February 22, 2011, the Center received informal communications from the Respondent, stating that “the Domain Name has never been in use” and that the Respondent “attempted several times to reach a representative from your company to explain to me the nature of this matter and to resolve it. No one has responded to me about this matter. Please contact me either via email or via telephone […]” to resolve this situation. According to the Respondent “no one has responded to me about this matter.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, the Complainant must establish each of the following elements:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest 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
The Panel finds that the Complainant does have trademark rights in the mark GAYDAR by virtue inter alia, of the European Community trademark registrations filed in these proceedings.
The Panel further finds that the disputed domain name <gaydarmatch.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark GAYDAR, except for the addition of the word “match”. The addition of a generic, descriptive word, such as “match” does not serve to distinguish a domain name from a registered trademark. In fact, in these circumstances the descriptive word “match” actually increases the likelihood of confusion, given the connection to the Complainant’s services.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel notes that the Respondent did not file any response to the Complaint (a part from the informal communications, received on February 22, 2011) and accordingly did not contest any of the facts stated in the Complaint. The Panel is therefore prepared to accept the Complainant’s contention that its GAYDAR trademark and corresponding business is well-known and has developed a significant reputation.
Accordingly, the Panel is prepared to infer that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s business and was aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights in the mark GAYDAR when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in September 2010.
The Panel finds no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the name GAYDAR, and finds that Registrant was not licensed or authorized by the Complainant to use the trademark GAYDAR, or does not have any other form of legitimate interest in the GAYDAR name.
The Complainant has therefore satisfied the requirements under paragraphs 4(c) and 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel, upon review of the evidence filed in the Complaint, and taking into consideration that the Respondent did not file any response (a part from the informal communications received on February 22, 2011) contesting the facts contained therein, finds that the Respondent registered and has used the dispute domain name in bad faith.
The Panel is prepared to find that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights when it registered a confusingly similar domain name, and when it began operating a website in connection with that confusingly similar domain name which provides identical services to that of the Complainant.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements under paragraphs 4(b) and 4(a)(iii) under 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 <gaydarmatch.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Christopher J. Pibus
Dated: March 14, 2011