WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Telstra Corporation Limited v. Ngan Lau
Case No. D2015-2218
1. The Parties
Complainant is Telstra Corporation Limited of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, represented by Crowell & Moring, LLP, Belgium.
Respondent is Ngan Lau of Hong Kong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <telstra.online> is registered with Gandi SAS (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 7, 2015. On December 7, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 8, 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 and 4, the Center formally notified Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 10, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 30, 2015. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on January 4, 2016.
The Center appointed Timothy Casey as the sole panelist in this matter on January 12, 2016. 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.
Complainant submits that the language of the proceedings should be English. The Registrar has confirmed that the language of the registration agreement is English. Hence, the language of the proceeding shall be English.
4. Factual Background
The disputed domain name was registered on August 27, 2015. Complainant has a number of trademark registrations for TELSTRA that preceed the registration date of the dispute domain name, including Australia Registration No. 579922, dated June 5, 1992, International Registration No. 1176338, dated February 1, 2013, Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (“OHIM”) No. 00194845, dated April 23, 1999 and OHIM No. 001335934, dated January 25, 2002 (collectively the “Mark”).
At the time of the filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name resolved to a single web page containing only the greeting “HELLO WORLD.”
5. Parties’ Contentions
In addition to the above-noted trademark registrations, Complainant contends that the Mark is well-known all over the world and regarded as one of the ten most valuable telecom brands. Complainant contends that Respondent was aware of the Mark and that the disputed domain name is identical to the Mark as it incorporates the Mark in its entirety and the addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) does nothing to change this fact.
Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. In particular, Complaint notes that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, as evidenced by the fact that Respondent refers to itself as “Ngan Lau” and used a privacy service as the Registrar, which Complainant contends would not have been necessary if Respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain name.1 Complainant further notes that Respondent has not acquired any rights in the Mark and Complainant has not authorized Respondent to use or register the disputed domain name.
Complainant contends that Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith because the Mark is well-known all over the world and a simple trademark search by Respondent prior to seeking to register the disputed domain name would have revealed the same, hence Respondent could not reasonably have been unaware of the fame of Complainant’s Mark. Complainant further contends that the disputed domain name is being used in bad faith because the disputed domain name is used on a web page that is blank, but for the two words “hello world,” which makes it impossible to imagine any plausible legitimate use of the disputed domain name by Respondent and there is at least some possibility that Respondent could result to using the dispute domain name for fraudulent activity, such as profiting from phishing. Complainant also notes that Respondent has chosen to “hide behind” a privacy service, and that such actions to conceal ones identify have been found to indicate bad faith by other panels.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In view of Respondent’s failure to reply to Complainant’s contentions, the Panel will treat Complainant’s contentions as true and undisputed unless it is unreasonable or unnecessary to do otherwise.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name does incorporate the entirety of Mark without any further distinguishing wording or variance. The Panel finds the addition of the gTLD to not change the fact that the disputed domain name is otherwise identical to the Mark. Accordingly, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to be identical to the Mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the dispute domain name. Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by the disputed domain name. Complainant has not licensed the Mark to Respondent and has not otherwise authorized Respondent to use or register the disputed domain name. Further, the Panel cannot image any potentially legitimate interest that Respondent might have in the disputed domain name based on the manner in which the disputed domain name has been used on the one web page.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the well-known nature of the Mark, and the fact that Respondent could have easily determined that Complainant considered the disputed domain name as a trademark, indicates that registration of the disputed domain name was likely in bad faith. The very passive nature of Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name does not, per se, prevent a finding of bad faith use. See paragraph 3.2 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”). Respondent’s failure to reply and contend otherwise, and the lack of any evidence of possible good faith usage leaves the Panel with no choice but to find the disputed domain name was registered and is 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 <telstra.online> be transferred to Complainant.
Timothy D. Casey
Date: January 26, 2016
1 The WhoIs records at the time Complainant filed its Complaint reflected Respondent’s address as hidden. The Registrar later confirmed to the Center Respondent’s address and contact details.