WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
TUI AG v. Taylor Smith
Case No. D2015-0361
1. The Parties
Complainant is TUI AG of Hannover, Germany, represented internally.
Respondent is Taylor Smith of Khabarovsk, the Russian Federation.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <tuihellas.com> is registered with Todaynic.com, Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on March 3, 2015. On March 3, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 5, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on March 9, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 29, 2015.
On March 13, 2015, the Center received an email from Respondent apparently indicating that he agreed to transfer the disputed domain name. On the same day, the Center invited Complainant to comment whether it wished to suspend the proceeding for the purpose of settlement between the parties. Upon receipt of Complainant's request, the proceeding was suspended until April 1, 2015. Upon receipt of Complainant's later request, the proceeding was re-instituted on April 1, 2015, with a new Response due date of April 12, 2015. Respondent's further communications with the Center and Complainant are described below.
On April 13, 2015, the Center informed the parties that it would proceed with the panel appointment.
The Center appointed Nasser A. Khasawneh as sole panelist in this matter on April 27, 2015. 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
Complainant is the owner of many registrations worldwide for its family of marks that include the term TUI. For example Complainant is owner of International Trademark Registration No. 780562 for the mark TUI, registered on November 7, 2001, in many countries including the Russian Federation.
The disputed domain name was registered September 16, 2014 and presently does not route to an active webpage. As of the commencement of this proceeding on March 9, 2015, however, the disputed domain name routed to a website displaying graphic pornographic images and links to a large number of third party hardcore pornography websites.
5. Parties' Contentions
Summarizing its legal contentions, Complainant alleges that (1) the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's trademark; (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and (3) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, all in violation of the Policy. On the above grounds, Complainant requests transfer of the disputed domain name.
In light of the final disposition of this proceeding, as explained below, it is unnecessary to recount Complainant's further allegations.
As noted above, on March 13, 2015, Respondent emailed Complainant and the Center, expressing his willingness to transfer the disputed domain name.
In a more complete communication on March 20, 2015, Respondent emailed Complainant and the Center the following signed note, in the format which had been requested by Complainant: "I am the owner of the domain name 'tuihellas.com'. I hereby agree to transfer the domain 'tuihellas.com' to TUI AG, Hanover, Germany. This transfer shall proceed free costs. I hereby confirm that I will not make any claims or demands to TUI AG either now or in the future. I additionally confirm that the domain is transferred free of any rights of any third party."
The record also contains further communications from Respondent, confirming his desire that the disputed domain name be transferred to Complainant.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Substantive Rules of Decision
The Rules require the panel to decide the Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable. Rules, paragraph 15(a).
The Rules, paragraph 10(a) gives the panel the discretion to conduct proceeding in such manner as it deems appropriate under the Policy and the Rules. Under the Rules, paragraph 10(c), the panel must "ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition".
B. Respondent's Consent to Transfer
The Panel finds that Respondent has consented to transfer of the disputed domain name, as explained below.
C. Ordering Transfer without Consideration of all Elements Under Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy
The Panel concludes that Respondent's consent (on March 13, 2015 and March 20, 2015) provides a basis for an immediate order for transfer of the disputed domain name without consideration of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
Where a complainant has sought transfer of a disputed domain name, and a respondent consents to transfer, then pursuant to paragraph 10 of the Rules the panel can order transfer, and it is unnecessary for the panel to determine whether complainant has established its entitlement to transfer under paragraph 4(a) of the Rules. E.g., The Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. Mike Morgan, WIPO Case No. D2005-1132 (where complainant sought transfer of the disputed domain name, and respondent consented to transfer, paragraph 10 of the Rules permit a panel to proceed immediately to make order for transfer without determination of elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy), citing Williams-Sonoma, Inc. v. EZ-Port, WIPO Case No. D2000-0207. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0"), paragraph 4.13.
In this Panel's view, this is clearly the most expeditious course (seeWilliams-Sonoma, Inc. v. EZ-Port, supra).1
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 <tuihellas.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Nasser A. Khasawneh
Date: May 16, 2015
1 The Panel has reservations whether the Rule in the cited decisions should apply in the absence of a minimal showing that a complainant possesses relevant trademark rights. Since Complainant in this proceeding has the requisite trademark interests, the Panel need not reach such a determination.