WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Craigslist, Inc. v. Domains By Proxy, LLC / Pankaj Dhingra
Case No. D2016-1966
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Craigslist, Inc. of San Francisco, California, United States of America ("United States"), represented by Latham & Watkins LLP, United States.
The Respondent is Domains By Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States / Pankaj Dhingra of Noida, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <craigslistclassifieds.org> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on September 28, 2016. On September 29, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 30, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 4, 2016, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amended Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 6, 2016.
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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 7, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 27, 2016. The Center received an email communication from the Respondent on October 9, 2016. At the request of the Complainant, the proceedings were suspended from October 17, 2016 to December 5, 2016. At the request of the Complainant, the proceedings were reinstituted on December 6, 2016, and the new due date for Response was December 16, 2016. The Respondent did not submit a response.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on December 22, 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.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant offers a platform of local community classified advertisements and owns trademark registrations for the name CRAIGSLIST in a number of countries, including a United States of America trademark, registration No. 2395628, registered on October 17, 2000. Its primary domain name is <craigslist.org>, registered on September 11, 1997.
The disputed domain name was registered on January 9, 2016. It does not resolve to an active website.
5. Parties' Contentions
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant's trademark and the generic term "classifieds" which describes the core service that the Complainant provides. The addition of a common term that describes the goods offered using the trademark concerned does nothing to reduce confusing similarity. Confusing similarity is increased here by the Respondent's use of the ".org" generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") because the Complainant's primary and most famous website uses the same suffix.
The Complainant has never authorized the Respondent to register the disputed domain name or use the CRAIGSLIST trademark. The Respondent has no reason to register the disputed domain name and has not been commonly known by the Complainant's CRAIGSLIST trademark.
There is no reason for the Respondent to have registered the disputed domain name except to trade off the Complainant's trademark. The Respondent knew about or had constructive knowledge of the Complainant's trademark because of the Complainant's registration and extensive use of the trademark CRAIGSLIST. Knowing violation, particularly after a cease-and-desist letter, constitutes bad faith registration and use.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it 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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant's trademark, the generic term "classifieds" which reflects the area in which the Complainant has used its CRAIGSLIST trademark and the gTLD ".org" with which the Complainant's use of its trademark is most closely associated. The Complainant's trademark is a distinctive made-up name. The addition of the generic term that describes the Complainant's use of that mark reinforces the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant's trademark.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called "Craigslist" or anything similar. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use the trademark CRAIGSLIST. For these reasons, and in the absence of any response on this point, notably one contradicting the Complainant's claim that the Respondent has never been connected to it in any way, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name consists of a distinctive trademark which is a made-up name, the nature of the Complainant's use of that trademark and the gTLD ".org". Anyone registering this domain name would have known or strongly suspected that somebody owned the trademark for a business with the Complainant's trademark's name which was used in classified advertising.
Without a substantive response to the Complaint, it is impossible to know exactly why the Respondent registered the disputed domain name. In this Panel's view, one is left with three possible motives for the Respondent's decision to register and use the disputed domain name: to disrupt the Complainant's relationship with their customers or potential customers, attempt to attract Internet users for potential gain or persuade the Complainant to buy the disputed domain name from him for an amount in excess of the Respondent's out-of-pocket expenses. These all constitute evidence of registration and use in bad faith. The Respondent's motivation may have been more than one of these and perhaps all three.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith for the purposes of the Policy.
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 <craigslistclassifieds.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 23, 2016