WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Avid Dating Life Inc. v. Registration Private, Domains by Proxy, LLC / Online Management
Case No. D2014-0460
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Avid Dating Life Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("UK").
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains by Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America, Online Management of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Overseas Territories of UK.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cougarlofe.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 March 25, 2014. On March 25, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same day, the Registrar 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 Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on March 27, 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 March 28, 2014.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with 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 April 8, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 28, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on April 30, 2014.
The Center appointed Tuukka Airaksinen as the sole panelist in this matter on May 9, 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 belongs to a group of companies operating online dating brands such as Cougar Life Inc, owner of the COUGAR LIFE trademark registrations. The mark COUGAR LIFE has been registered inter alia as a Community Trade Mark No. 010860559, with priority from May 4, 2012. The disputed domain name was registered on November 10, 2013.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant launched the COUGAR LIFE website in 2008 and the site now has approximately 5 million members. It is one of the fastest growing dating sites in the world.
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark in which the Complainant has rights, because it simply changes the spelling from an "i" to an "o" which amounts to common typosquatting.
The Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use the trademark. The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and it is not used for legitimate noncommercial purposes.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith because the Respondent must have been aware of the COUGAR LIFE trademark when registering the disputed domain name, the Respondent is using a privacy service, offering the disputed domain name for sale and the disputed domain name resolves to a website containing links to competing online dating websites. Also the fact that the disputed domain name is merely a typo of the trademark is evidence of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The trademark in which the Complainant has rights is COUGAR LIFE whereas the disputed domain name is <cougarlofe.com>. The only difference is that the letter "I" in the mark is changed into the letter "o" in the disputed domain name. The letters "I" and "o" are moreover next to each other on a normal qwerty-keyboard.
The Panel finds that the difference between the trademark and the disputed domain name is merely a typo that easily goes unnoticed by the average Internet user. Hence the trademark in which the Complainant has rights and the disputed domain name are confusingly similar.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The consensus view among UDRP panels is that paragraph 4(c) of the Policy shifts the burden of production to the Respondent to come forward with evidence of rights or legitimate interests 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 inter alia that it has not authorized the use of the trademark in the disputed domain name, and that the Respondent is not commonly known by that name. 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 Complainant has submitted evidence in the form of printouts and articles featuring the COUGAR LIFE trademark in various Internet publications. The evidence shows that the trademark has attracted a considerable amount of publicity. It is therefore unlikely that the Respondent would have been unaware of the COUGAR LIFE trademark when registering the disputed domain name. This conclusion is enhanced by the fact that the Respondent has chosen to show links to competing service offerings on the website to which the disputed domain name resolves to.
The Panel finds that using the domain name for a pay-per-click website directing Internet users to competing service offerings means that the Respondent is using the COUGAR LIFE trademark to create confusion among Internet users to attract visitors to the Respondent's website for commercial gain.
Finally, this case appears to be a classic case of typosquatting. The Respondent has registered a domain name very closely resembling the trademark COUGAR LIFE and the typo is of a nature that is easily done by Internet users as the differing letters are next to each other on a qwerty-keyboard. The Panel finds that this is also evidence of the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <cougarlofe.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 20, 2014