WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Hallmark Licensing, LLC v. He Sheng Li
Case No. D2015-0378
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Hallmark Licensing, LLC of Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America, represented internally.
The Respondent is He Sheng Li of Hong Kong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <hallmarkjapan.com> is registered with Web Commerce Communications Limited dba WebNic.cc (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on March 4, 2015. On March 4, 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 the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amended Complaint on March 17, 2015.
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 proceeding commenced on March 24, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 13, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on April 14, 2015.
The Center appointed Douglas Clark as the 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
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of the trademark HALLMARK in various countries and territories, including Japan and Hong Kong, China in numerous classes, e.g. Hong Kong Registration No. 200201088AA registered on January 8, 2001.
The disputed domain name <hallmarkjapan.com> was registered on January 28, 2015. The website to which the disputed domain name resolves is used to sell products branded HALLMARK and features the Complainant's HALLMARK trademark. The site states in Japanese it sells "official products".
5. Parties' Contentions
Identical or confusingly similar
The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name <hallmarkjapan.com> includes the registered trademark HALLMARK. It is therefore confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark HALLMARK.
No rights or legitimate interests
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has not been known by the disputed domain name and the Respondent has no connection with the Complainant or any of its affiliates and has never sought or obtained any trademark registrations for HALLMARK.
Registered and used in bad faith
The Complainant submits the Respondent is operating a website using the Complainant's HALLMARK trademark to sell goods. As such, its registration and use is in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
This is a very simple case of clear cybersquatting for the purposes of commercial gain which the UDRP was designed to stop.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <hallmarkjapan.com> is made up of the registered trademark HALLMARK, the geographical term "japan" and the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com". The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the registered trademark HALLMARK. The first part of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not responded to the Complaint to assert any rights or legitimate interests. Paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0") provides:
"While the overall burden of proof rests with the complainant, panels have recognized that this could result in the often impossible task of proving a negative, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge of the respondent. Therefore a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such appropriate allegations or evidence, a complainant is generally deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP."
The Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. None of the circumstances in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, which sets out how a respondent can prove its rights or legitimate interests, are present in this case.
The second part of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For the same reasons as those above, the Panel has no hesitation in finding that the disputed domain name <hallmarkjapan.com> was registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
This case falls with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy which provides that a registrant has registered and is using a domain name in bad faith where:
"by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location."
The website under the disputed domain name is clearly being used to sell products under the HALLMARK trademark.
The third part of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
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 <hallmarkjapan.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 10, 2015