WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Verizon Trademark Services LLC v. Wang Ya Bei
Case No. D2015-0514
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Verizon Trademark Services LLC of Arlington, Virginia, United States of America, represented by Beijing NTD Law Office, China.
The Respondent is Wang Ya Bei of Xingtai, Hebei, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <verizon.wang> is registered with Chengdu West Dimension Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint in English and the Complaint translated into Chinese were filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on March 25, 2015. On March 25, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 26, 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.
On April 9, 2015, the Center sent an email communication to the parties in both Chinese and English regarding the language of the proceeding. On April 9, 2015, the Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding by the specified due date.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the Complaint translated into Chinese 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 April 15, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 5, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on May 6, 2015.
The Center appointed Sebastian M.W. Hughes as the sole panelist in this matter on May 12, 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 a company incorporated in the State of Delaware in the United States of America, and the owner of numerous international and national registrations for the trade mark VERIZON (the "Trade Mark"), the earliest registration dating from 1999, including registrations in China, where the Respondent is based. The Trade Mark has been used continuously since 2000.
The Respondent is an individual resident in China.
C. The Disputed Domain Name
The disputed domain name was registered on July 31, 2014.
D. The Website at the Disputed Domain Name
The disputed domain name is resolved to a domain name parking website containing a "this domain name is for sale" banner link, with sponsored links to websites apparently providing goods and services of the Complainant, and also sponsored links to third party websites (the "Website").
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Trade Mark, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1 Language of the Proceeding
The language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is Chinese. Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, or unless specified otherwise in the registration agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the registration agreement.
Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules allows the Panel to determine the language of the proceeding having regard to all the circumstances. In particular, it is established practice to take paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules into consideration for the purpose of determining the language of the proceeding, in order to ensure fairness to the parties and the maintenance of an inexpensive and expeditious avenue for resolving domain name disputes. Language requirements should not lead to undue burdens being placed on the parties and undue delay to the proceeding.
The Complainant did not make any submissions in support of its request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Panel notes, however, that the Website is an English language site, which suggests that the Respondent is conversant in English.
The Respondent did not file a Response and did not file any submissions with respect to the language of the proceeding.
In exercising its discretion to use a language other than that of the registration agreement, the Panel has to exercise such discretion judicially in the spirit of fairness and justice to both parties, taking into account all relevant circumstances of the case, including matters such as the parties' ability to understand and use the proposed language, time and costs.
The Panel finds there is sufficient evidence to suggest the likely possibility that the Respondent is conversant in the English language. The Panel is also mindful of the need to ensure the proceeding is conducted in a timely and cost effective manner.
In all the circumstances, the Panel therefore finds it is not foreseeable that the Respondent would be prejudiced, should English be adopted as the language of the proceeding, particularly given the fact the Complaint was filed together with a Chinese translation of the Complaint.
Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that the language of the proceeding shall be English.
6.2 Substantive Elements of the Policy
The Complainant must prove each of the three elements in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to prevail.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the Trade Mark acquired through use and registration which predate the date of registration of the disputed domain name by over 15 years.
The disputed domain name is identical to the Trade Mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of non-exhaustive circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name:
i) before any notice to the Respondent of the dispute, the Respondent's use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the disputed domain name even if the Respondent has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.
There is no evidence that the Complainant has authorised, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the disputed domain name or to use the Trade Mark. The Complainant has prior rights in the Trade Mark which precede the Respondent's registration of the disputed domain name by over 15 years. The Panel finds on the record that there is therefore a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the burden is thus on the Respondent to produce evidence to rebut this presumption.
The Respondent has failed to show that it has acquired any trade mark rights in respect of the disputed domain name or that the disputed domain name has been used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. To the contrary, the disputed domain name has been used in respect of the Website, which offers the disputed domain name for sale, has not been authorised by the Complainant, and provides sponsored links in order to generate pay-per-click revenue for the Respondent.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has failed to produce any evidence to establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In pre-Complaint email correspondence with the Complainant's representatives, the Respondent offered to sell the domain name to the Complainant for US$1,500.00, an amount in excess of the likely out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the Respondent in registering the disputed domain name.
In light of this evidence, and the use of the Website in the manner described above, the Panel finds the requisite element of bad faith has been satisfied, under paragraphs 4(b)(i) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Panel concludes 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 <verizon.wang> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sebastian M.W. Hughes
Dated: May 26, 2015