WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Lorillard Technologies, Inc. v. Garreth Dickson, WOOT Marketing, LLC
Case No. D2013-2183
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Lorillard Technologies, Inc. of North Carolina, United States of America, represented by DLA Piper US LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Garreth Dickson, WOOT Marketing, LLC of Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <blucigcoupons.org> 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 December 17, 2013. On December 17, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 18, 2013, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing the actual registrant. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 23, 2014 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on December 26, 2013.
The Center verified that the amended 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 8, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 28, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 30, 2014.
The Center appointed William F. Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on February 24, 2014. 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 owns the trademarks BLU ECIGS and BLU CIGS (collectively, the “Blu Cigs Marks”), which are variously registered in the United States, Canada, Australia, Benelux, Japan, Republic of Korea, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Denmark for tobacco substitute products. The Complainant first began using the Blu Cigs Marks in 2009 and since then has continuously and actively promoted the sale of electronic cigarettes in connection with the Marks. The Complainant first obtained the registration of the mark BLU ECIGS with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2010. That registration was followed by other national trademark registrations.
The disputed domain name was created on September 9, 2013.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith to attract unsuspecting consumers to the Respondent’s website that features hyperlinks directing consumers to competitive products.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Blu Cig Marks. The disputed domain name modifies the Complainant’s Blu Cig Marks by merely dropping an “s” or an “e” and adding the generic term “coupons.” Trivial misspellings, adding or deleting letters, and adding generic terms as prefixes or suffixes to established trademarks owned by others when registering a domain name is insufficient to avoid findings of confusing similarity.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name for the following reasons and based on the Panel’s findings under the third element: The Complainant has not licensed the Blu Cigs Marks to the Respondent; there is no evidence of prior or good faith use by the Respondent of the Blu Cigs Marks or disputed domain name, the Respondent has failed to answer the amended Complaint, the Respondent has not attempted to register the disputed domain name or any of its components, as a trademark and the disputed domain name is being utilized for commercial purposes.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant’s Blu Cig Marks are registered with numerous national authorities and have been used continuously by the Complainant since 2010. An Internet or industry search by the Respondent would have disclosed the Complainant’s Blu Cig Marks. Moreover, the Respondent’s website features hyperlinks to coupons promoting the sale of electronic cigarettes by other manufacturers. The Respondent appears to have chosen the disputed domain name because of its confusing similarity to the Blu Cig Marks. The Panel finds, on this record, that the Respondent has “intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users […] by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark, as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement […]” in violation of the Policy, paragraph 4(b).
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 <blucigcoupons.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
William F. Hamilton
Date: March 9, 2014