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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


EMI (IP) Limited v. Afonso Martins

Case No. D2011-1908

1. The Parties

The Complainant is EMI (IP) Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented internally.

The Respondent is Afonso Martins of Ovar, Portugal.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <positiva.org> is registered with eNom.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 3, 2011. On November 3, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 3, 2011, eNom. 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 Respondent.

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 November 9, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 29, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 30, 2011.

The Center appointed Adam Taylor as the sole panelist in this matter on December 14, 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 is part of the EMI music group.

In 1993, the Complainant’s group launched “Positiva” as a UK record label for electronic dance music and it quickly became a major dance label. One of its early releases “I Like To Move It” (1994) sold over 1.5 million units. Its recordings are sold throughout Europe.

The Complainant owns an international portfolio of trade marks for the word “Positiva” including community trade mark no. 5850821 dated April 23, 2007 in classes 9, 16 and 41.

The disputed domain name was registered on May 27, 2002.

On a date unknown, the disputed domain name was used for a website branded with the word “positiva” plus a cross-shaped logo. Underneath this there was an “under construction” notice and also a music video advertising a song called “Killer King”, released by a competitor of the Complainant. The POSITIVA branding plus logo mentioned above featured in the video.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trade mark.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has not authorized the Respondent to use its trade mark.

The Respondent could have used any domain name for its website but has instead used one which consists of the Complainant’s trade mark.

Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The disputed domain name was registered over ten years after the Complainant’s label was launched.

The Respondent’s use of the domain name for a website promoting a release by another label constitutes use in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has rights in the mark POSITIVA arising from its registered trade mark for that term.

The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trade mark.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”) explains the consensus view concerning the burden of proof regarding lack of rights or legitimate interests:

“While the overall burden of proof rests with the complainant, panels have recognized that this could result in the often impossible task of proving a negative, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge of the respondent. Therefore a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such appropriate allegations or evidence, a complainant is generally deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP […] If the respondent does come forward with some allegations or evidence of relevant rights or legitimate interest, the panel then weighs all the evidence, with the burden of proof always remaining on the complainant.”

Here, the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use its trade mark.

As to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, the Panel has concluded below that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, confuse and profit from Internet users seeking the Complainant’s products and services. Such use of the disputed domain name could not be said to be bona fide.

There is no evidence that paragraphs 4(c)(ii) or (iii) of the Policy apply.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case of lack of rights and legitimate interests and there is no rebuttal by the Respondent.

The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the Complainant has therefore established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The evidence produced by the Complainant clearly demonstrates that the Respondent has used the domain name in bad faith. The website was prominently headed with the name “positiva” together with a cross-shaped logo which is very similar to the logo of the Positiva record label, also cross-shaped. The website has been used to promote a track released by a competing label.

As well as being used in bad faith, the Complainant must also establish, on the balance of probabilities, that the disputed domain name has been registered in bad faith. The website screenshots are undated but the Panel assumes that they were taken relatively recently. Whereas the disputed domain name was registered in 2002 and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Panel treats the Respondent as the original registrant of the disputed domain name.

Nonetheless, despite the long period which has elapsed and the lack of archive evidence of website use, the Panel thinks it reasonable to infer that the Respondent did indeed register the disputed domain name with the Complainant in mind. The name is distinctive and, as the Complainant has pointed out, the record label had been well-established by the time that the disputed domain name was registered. Further, the Respondent has not come forward to deny any knowledge of the Complainant or to argue that it registered the disputed domain name for some genuine purpose unconnected with the Positiva record label and/or trade mark.

Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trade mark.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name <positiva.org> be transferred to the Complainant.

Adam Taylor
Sole Panelist
Dated: December 21, 2011