WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Travelscape, LLC v. VistaPrint Technologies Ltd.
Case No. D2015-1588
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Travelscape, LLC of Bellevue, Washington, United States of America represented by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is VistaPrint Technologies Ltd. of Hamilton, Bermuda, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <travelocity.name> is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 4, 2015. On September 7, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 8, 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.
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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 17, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 7, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any Response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 12, 2015.
The Center appointed Stefan Abel as the sole panelist in this matter on October 20, 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.
The Decision due date was extended by the Panel due to exceptional circumstances.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a leading provider of consumer-directed travel services for the leisure and business traveler. Its main website, “www.travelocity.com”, was launched in 1996. The site provides secure online reservation capabilities for air, car, hotel and vacation reservations, plus access to a database of destination and other travel information. The website operates also several mobile applications. The Complainant advertises its “travelocity” services also on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
The website has received several awards over the years and considerable press and media coverage, including various articles about the Complainant’s website, including, in particular, articles about another company’s acquisition of the Complainant and its site published, e.g., in the New York Times on January 23, 2015.
The Complainant’s services are and have been provided under the trademark TRAVELOCITY, which is a registered trademark in various countries in four continents. In particular, the Complainant is the record owner of United States trademark TRAVELOCITY (word mark) No. 2254700 filed in January 1997 and registered for, inter alia, reservation services via global computer network on June 22, 1999.
The disputed domain name was created on May 14, 2015. The page displayed under the disputed domain name advertises website services under the headline “Vistaprint” with figurative elements and the slogan “Make an Impression” next to “Vistaprint” in smaller type. Further, this page contains a link to “www.vistaprint.com/websites” where website services are offered in a more detailed manner.
The Respondent has been involved in numerous UDRP proceedings, for example Koc Holding A.S. v. VistaPrint Technologies Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2015-0886; The Net-A-Porter Group Limited v. VistaPrint Technologies Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2015-0863; Barry Callebaut AG, Barry Callebaut Belgium NV v. VistaPrint Technologies Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2015-0819 and Statoil ASA v. VistaPrint Technologies Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2014-1949. All these proceedings resulted in the finding of identity or confusing similarity of the Respondent’s domain name with third party trademarks, lack of Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests and bad faith registration and use and the Respondent’s domain names being transferred to the respective complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
In summary, the Complainant’s contentions are as follows:
TRAVELOCITY is one of the most recognized online travel brand, offering thousands of travel destinations to more than 20 million travelers per month. The site provides reservation information for more than 700 airlines, more than 50,000 hotels and more than 50 car rental companies. The website “www.travelocity.com” also offers more than 6,500 vacation packages as well as tour and cruise departures. Due to the intensive use of the TRAVELOCITY mark for nearly 19 years, the Complainant has accordingly developed strong rights in the TRAVELOCITY marks.
The Respondent’s domain name is identical and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s well-known TRAVELOCITY marks, as it consists solely of the Complainant’s exact TRAVELOCITY mark along with a generic Top-Level Domain.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Respondent has no legitimate or official connection to the Complainant and is not licensed or otherwise authorized to use the Complainant’s TRAVELOCITY mark in connection with the Respondent’s business or other commercial activities. The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is nothing more than an attempt to exploit for commercial gain the Complainant’s valuable good will and reputation.
The Respondent is acting in bad faith by leveraging the notoriety of the TRAVELOCITY marks to attract users to the website at the disputed domain name <travelocity.name> that promotes and provides a link to the Respondent’s website for the Respondent’s unrelated business. The Respondent is a known cybersquatter and the Respondent’s bad faith is further confirmed by its pattern and history of registering domain names that incorporate the trademarks of other parties.
The Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be transferred from the Respondent to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy provides for a transfer or cancellation of the disputed domain name if the Complainant establishes each of the following elements set out in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out certain circumstances which, in particular, but without limitation, shall be evidence of registration and use of the domain name in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s registered trademarks TRAVELOCITY. Top-Level Domains are in general not considered as an identifier of the website as to its owner or its operator. Reasons for a possible exception to this rule, such as the inclusion of the Top-Level Domain by the disputed second level domain name to form a conceptual whole, are not apparent.
In view of the above, the Panel considers that the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no indication that the Respondent is licensed or otherwise authorized by the Complainant to use its registered trademark or to register the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name does not have any apparent generic or descriptive meaning and the term “Travelocity” is not used as a designation for a person or a company other than the Complainant or for services or products other than those provided by the Complainant. Rather, the services mentioned on the Respondent’s website are advertised and offered under a completely different name (“vistaprint”) only.
In addition, the Respondent has already been found to have no rights or legitimate interests in numerous other domain names resolving to the same or similar holding page and was found to have registered and used these domain names in bad faith in several other UDRP proceedings.
By producing evidence on these circumstances, the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The evidentiary burden therefore shifts to the Respondent. The Respondent must then by concrete evidence demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name in order to refute the prima facie case. The Respondent has made no such showing.
The Panel finds that the Respondent’s default in refuting the prima facie case made by the Complainant is sufficient to establish this element of the Policy as it is often an impossible task for the Complainant to prove a negative that is primarily within the knowledge of the Respondent, such as the lack of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Producing prima facie evidence that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name must therefore be regarded as sufficient under these circumstances to establish the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy if the Respondent fails to rebut the prima facie case. This finding is consistent with the consensus in previous UDRP decisions (see, e.g., Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o.., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110; Doserno Trading Limited and Red Diamond Holdings Sarl v. Bruce Chang, WIPO Case No. D2012-0263).
As a result, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is also met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established this element in accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy for the following reasons:
In addition, the Panel finds that, by using the disputed domain name – which is identical to the Complainant’s trademark – for a website advertising and offering the Respondent’s services, the Respondent has attempted to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s TRAVELOCITY trademarks as to affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of the website according to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. This finding is in line with previous UDRP decisions (see, e.g., AT&T Corp. v. Amjad Kausar, WIPOCase No. D2003-0327).
The Panel finds that theRespondent acted intentionally, as required by paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. It is not conceivable to the Panel that the Respondent could have registered the disputed domain name without having the Complainant and its TRAVELOCITY trademarks in mind. The Respondent’s intention to use the disputed domain name as a reference to the Complainant and its trademarks is obvious to the Panel considering that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s non-descriptive trademarks, that no rights or legitimate interests in using the disputed domain name are apparent, that the Complainant’s trademarks have been registered years before the registration of the disputed domain name and also intensively used in the Internet years before the registration of the disputed domain name, benefitted from a broad media coverage and that the Respondent in the recent past also registered and used in bad faith numerous other trademarks of third parties as domain names.
Consequently, the Panel is also satisfied that the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is met.
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 <travelocity.name> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 13, 2015