WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Avid Dating Life Inc. v. Yakov Rossman / WhoisGuard Protected
Case No. D2014-0485
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
The Respondent is Yakov Rossman of Ramat Hasharon, Israel / WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc., Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cougarlifedating.org> is registered with eNom (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on March 26, 2014. On March 27, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 31, 2014, 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 April 1, 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 April 8, 2014.
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 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 May 1, 2014.
The Center appointed Tuukka Airaksinen as the sole panelist in this matter on May 12, 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 October 28, 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 incorporates the trademark in its entirety and combines it with the generic term "dating".
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 and the disputed domain name resolved to a website where a competing dating service was offered.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has shown that it has rights in the trademark COUGAR LIFE. The disputed domain name incorporates the trademark in its entirety and combines it with the word "dating".
The word "dating" is a generic word for online dating service, in respect of which the COUGAR LIFE trademark is used. It is not sufficient to rendering the disputed domain name different from the trademark. If anything, it enhances the association of the disputed domain name with the trademark.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the COUGAR LIFE trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
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 legitimate 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 disputed domain name has resolved to another online dating site before the Respondent received notice from the Complainant.
The Panel finds that using a domain name that is confusingly similar to the COUGAR LIFE trademark for a competing website means that the Respondent is using the trademark to create confusion among Internet users to attract visitors to the Respondent's website for commercial gain.
On this basis, 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, <cougarlifedating.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 20, 2014