WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Star India Private Limited v. Andy Sawieljew
Case No. D2014-0818
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Star India Private Limited of Mumbai, India, represented by Saikrishna & Associates, India.
The Respondent is Andy Sawieljew of Little Falls, New Jersey, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <idlifeok.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 May 17, 2014. On May 19, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 20, 2014, 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. On May 22, 2014, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 4, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 24, 2014. The Respondent sent an email communication on June 4, 2014. No further Response was submitted. Accordingly, the Center notified the Commencement of Panel Appointment Process on June 25, 2014.
The Center appointed Andrew F. Christie as the sole panelist in this matter on July 2, 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.
On July 7, 2014, the Center received an email communication from Mr. Bennett, COO & General Counsel, IDLife, LLC, of Frisco, Texas, United States of America, in which it was stated: “I wanted to inform everyone that IDLife does not own, operate, or have any affiliation with the idlifeok.com website in question”.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a group company of Star Group Limited (the “Star Group”). The Star Group owns and operates various branded television channels that have reached more than 300 million viewers in 53 countries across Asia, including India, and that are watched by approximately 100 million viewers every day.
One of the television channels owned, managed and operated by the Complainant is “Life OK”. The Life OK channel first aired on December 18, 2011, and is currently one of the fastest growing and most widely viewed Hindi general entertainment television channels in India. It currently enjoys a market share of 13% and is viewed by close to 100 million viewers each week. Since its launch, the Life OK channel has earned in excess of USD 18.69 million, and the Complainant has spent in excess of USD 17.24 million promoting and advertising it.
The Complainant has various trademark registrations in India, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for a design mark that contains the text “Life OK” (hereafter the “LIFE OK trademark”), the earliest of which date from October 20, 2011. There are also various trademark applications pending in India and other countries for a design mark that consists of or includes the text “Life OK”, the earliest of which date from October 20, 2011, filed in the name of either the Complainant or the parent company of the Star Group of which the Complainant is a part.
The disputed domain name was registered on November 22, 2013. The Complainant provided a screenshot on either May 4, 2014, or 5 April, 2014, of the results of a Google search for “life ok”, from which it appears there was no website resolving from the disputed domain name. On June 4, 2014, and at the date of this decision, the disputed domain name resolved to a website at “www.darek.idlife.com”.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered LIFE OK trademark because it incorporates the words “life” and “ok” in their entirety, with the addition of the word “id”. The word “id” is a common word and cannot and does not distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s LIFE OK trademark. This minor addition in no way reduces or diminishes the likelihood of confusion and deception being caused to an Internet user. The addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” at the end of a disputed domain name is to be ignored in deciding the issue of confusing similarity.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name because: (i) the Respondent is in no way related to the Complainant or its business activities, and is not an agent of the Complainant; (ii) the Complainant has not entered into any agreement granting the Respondent any right, license or authorization to make use of its registered trademarks; (iii) the Respondent could have no possible justification for registering the disputed domain name (that incorporates the well-known LIFE OK trademark as well as the domain name <lifeok.com>) approximately two years after the registration of the Complainant’s domain name <lifeok.com> and the LIFE OK trademark; (iv) there is no evidence whatsoever of the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name, in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and/or services; (v) the Respondent is not hosting any website using the disputed domain name and, as such, is merely cybersquatting on the registration of the disputed domain name; (vi) the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and appears to have no connection whatsoever to the LIFE OK trademark; and (vii) the Respondent is not making any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name but, in fact, is making no use of it and, as such, has registered it with the sole intent to make illegitimate commercial gain and to tarnish the Complainant’s LIFE OK trademark.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith because: (i) the Respondent has an ill-motive to gain unfair commercial advantage at the expense of the Complainant, as he is merely passively holding the disputed domain name, without making any effort to use or to show intent to use it; and (ii) the Complainant is extremely well-known and popular amongst the Indian populace and there is virtually no possibility whatsoever that the Respondent was unaware of its existence or presence in the market.
The Respondent did not formally reply to the Complainant’s contentions. On June 4, 2014, the Respondent sent an email communication to the Center, the sole content of which was: “What’s going on with this dispute?”.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name incorporates the whole of the text component of the Complainant’s registered LIFE OK trademark, and prefaces it with the text string “id” and follows it with the gTLD “.com”. The dominant textual component of the Complainant’s registered LIFE OK trademark is the character string “Life OK”. The disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of this character string (without the space between the words). The Panel considers that a typical Internet user would most likely read the text string “id” in the disputed domain name as being the shortening of the English word “identification”. The Panel finds the addition of the text string “id” to the Complainant’s trademark does not lessen the inevitable confusion of the disputed domain name with the Complainant’s trademark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not a licensee of, or otherwise affiliated with, the Complainant, and has not been authorized by the Complainant to use its LIFE OK trademark. The Respondent has not provided any evidence that it has been commonly known by, or has made a bona fide use of, the disputed domain name, or that it has, for any other reason, rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The evidence provided by the Complainant shows that the disputed domain name is not being used to resolve to any website. According to the present record, therefore, the disputed domain name is not being used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, or for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use. Accordingly, 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 disputed domain name was registered two years after the Complainant first registered and began using the LIFE OK trademark. The evidence on the record provided by the Complainant with respect to the use of the LIFE OK trademark, combined with the absence of any evidence provided by the Respondent to the contrary, is sufficient to satisfy the Panel that, at the time the disputed domain name was registered, the Respondent most likely knew of the Complainant’s trademark and knew that it had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The evidence on the record provided by the Complainant establishes that the Respondent made no use of the disputed domain name from registration of it up to the filing of the Complaint. Subsequent to the filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name was directed to resolve to a website at “www.darek.idlife.com” – being a website that appears to have no connection with either the Respondent or the Complainant. The initial passive holding of the disputed domain name and the subsequent redirection of it to an unrelated website after initiation of the Complaint, when considered in light of all the circumstances of the case – including, in particular, the fact that the Complainant’s trademark has been the subject of substantial use prior to the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name, and the fact that the Respondent has not responded to any of the Complainant’s contentions – is sufficient to satisfy the Panel, on the record currently before it, that the Respondent is acting in bad faith. For all these reasons, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been 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 <idlifeok.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Andrew F. Christie
Date: July 16, 2014