WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Jacuzzi Inc. v. Whois Privacy Corp.
Case No. D2017-0623
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Jacuzzi Inc. of Chino Hills, California, United States of America (“United States”), represented internally.
The Respondent is Whois Privacy Corp. of Nassau, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <jacuzzisauna.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Internet Domain Service BS Corp (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 27, 2017. On March 28, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On March 28, 2017, 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 April 19, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 9, 2017. The Notification of Response Default was sent on May 10 2017.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on May 19, 2017. 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 based in California and has for over 50 years sold and distributed spa, sauna and pool products under the JACUZZI trademark (the “Mark”). It has distributed millions of its products around the world and spent millions of dollars advertising and promoting its products in connection with the Mark. The Complainant is the registered proprietor of numerous trademark registrations for JACUZZI around the world including United States registration number 1101174 registered on September 5, 1978.
The Domain Name was registered on April 23, 2015 and has since at least March 24, 2016 been registered in the name of the Respondent which appears to be a domain name privacy service. There is no evidence as to the identity of any underlying registrant. The term “Respondent” is used in this decision to refer collectively to the domain privacy service and the underlying registrant. At the time of preparation of the Complaint, the Domain Name resolved to a website incorporating links to third party websites including those of competitors of the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Mark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name, and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has uncontested rights in the Mark, both by virtue of its numerous trademark registrations around the world and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its use of the Mark over more than 65 years. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”, the Domain Name comprises the entirety of the Mark together with the generic term “sauna”. In the Panel’s view the addition of this descriptive term does not detract from the distinctiveness of the Mark but rather adds to the confusing similarity, describing as it does one of the principal products of the Complainant. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent could have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent has not used the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, but for a website comprising click through links to third party websites, including the websites of competitors of the Complainant. There is no suggestion that it has ever been known by the Domain Name. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complainant or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. In these circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In view of the notoriety and long-established use of the Mark over more than 65 years, and the use to which the Domain Name has been put, the Panel is in no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its rights in the Mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. The Panel further considers that there is a legitimate presumption that the Respondent is deriving commercial gain from using the Domain Name for a website comprising pay-per-click links to third party websites. In the Panel’s view, this amounts to paradigm bad faith registration and use for the purposes of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy. The Panel accordingly finds that the Domain Name was 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 Domain name, <jacuzzisauna.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 30, 2017