WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

The Financial Times Limited v. Zimbabwe Young Entrepreneurs

Case No. D2013-1114

1. The Parties

The Complainant is The Financial Times Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by Berwin Leighton Paisner, United Kingdom.

The Respondent is Zimbabwe Young Entrepreneurs of Virginia, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <financialtimesafrica.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 20, 2013. On June 20, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 20, 2013, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.

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 June 28, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 18, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 19, 2013.

The Center appointed Tuukka Airaksinen as the sole panelist in this matter on July 29, 2013. 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 owner of the trademark No. 160838 FINANCIAL TIMES, registered as a Community Trademark on December 10, 1999. The Complainant publishes business information and analyses under the trademark. The Complainant has used the trademark for 125 years.

The disputed domain name was registered on April 27, 2010.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant is the owner of the trademark FINANCIAL TIMES, registered in various jurisdiction all over the world. The Complainant also owns unregistered rights to the mark FINANCIAL TIMES. The Complainant is one of the world’s leading business news and information providers and has published a newspaper bearing the mark since the 1800s. In December 2007, the newspaper’s daily circulation was 440,000 copies.

The disputed domain name wholly incorporates the Complainant’s trade mark and differs from it by the insertion of the geographical qualifier “africa”. Such a geographic term does not render the disputed domain name dissimilar from the Complainant’s trade mark.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not affiliated to the Complainant in any way and the Complainant has not authorized the Respondent’s use of its mark. The Complainant also asserts that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is not bona fide use of the Complainant’s trademark. The use is an attempt to ride on the coat tails of the Complainant’s reputation.

Concerning use and registration in bad faith, the Complainant contends that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is an infringement of the Complainant’s rights as the Respondent operates a news reporting website, a competing service. The Respondent has chosen the disputed domain name to give the impression that the Respondent’s domain name and the website are authorized by the Complainant. Considering the Complainant’s long-standing use of the trade mark FINANCIAL TIMES, it is unlikely that the Respondent would not have been aware of the Complainant’s rights in the trade mark FINANCIAL TIMES.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion And Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s well-known trademark FINANCIAL TIMES as such, combined with the geographical indication “africa”. Such use of a descriptive or generic word in connection with the Complainant’s well-known trademark is bound to enhance the association of the disputed domain name with the Complainant’s well-known trademark.

The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s well-known trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The consensus view among UDRP panels is that paragraph 4(c) of the Policy shifts the burden to the Respondent to come forward with evidence of a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, once the Complainant has made a prima facie showing indicating the absence of such rights or interests. See, e.g., Document Technologies, Inc. v. International Electronic Communications Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0270, and paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”).

The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name by asserting that it has not authorized the use of the disputed domain name, that the Respondent is not commonly known by that name and that the Respondent is not making bona fide use of the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent has chosen not to reply to these contentions.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel accepts the Complainant’s contention that as a result of more than 100 years of use, the Complainant’s trademark FINANCIAL TIMES has become a well-known trademark in news distribution services. In all probability, the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name.

According to the Complainant’s evidence, the Respondent operates a new reporting website using the disputed domain name. Bearing in mind the reputation of the Complainant’s trademark, it is very likely that the Respondent is infringing the Complainant’s trademark. The Panel finds that the Respondent has attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark.

The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

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 <financialtimesafrica.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Tuukka Airaksinen
Sole Panelist
Date: August 7, 2013