WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Andrey Ternovskiy d/b/a Chatroulette v. Super Privacy Service c/o Dynadot
Case No. D2017-1238
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Andrey Ternovskiy d/b/a Chatroulette of Moscow, Russian Federation, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service c/o Dynadot of San Mateo, California, United States of America ("United States").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <chattroulette.net> (the "Domain Name") is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on June 27, 2017. On June 28, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On June 29, 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 July 5, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 25, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on July 26, 2017.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on July 31, 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 the creator and owner of an online chat website at "www.chatroulette.com" which was created in 2009. The essence of the website is arranging random video chatting with other Internet users around the world.
Shortly after its launch, the "Chatroulette" website began to receive 500 visitors per day. Its popularity was boosted by its appearance in the news and media, including The New York Times and television shows including Good Morning America. In the 13 month period between August 2015 and August 2016 the "Chatroulette" website averaged over 260,000 unique monthly visitors.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of a number of trademark registrations in respect of the word mark CHATROULETTE, including United States trademark number 4445843 registered on December 10, 2013, European Union Trademark number 8944076 registered on December 4, 2012 and Germany trademark number 302010003706 registered on February 21, 2013.
The Domain Name was registered on September 23, 2015. It presently resolves to a web portal comprising links to various third party websites relating to online dating. Prior to the filing of the Complaint, the Domain Name occasionally redirected Internet users to commercial third party websites displaying adult content.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its CHATROULETTE trademark, 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
For this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the 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 Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has uncontested rights in the CHATROULETTE trademark, both by virtue of its trademark registrations and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its use of the mark over a number of years. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".net", the Domain Name differs from the trademark only by the addition of an additional letter "t". In the view of the Panel, the addition of this additional letter is barely perceptible and does nothing to detract from the confusing similarity between the Complainant's mark and the Domain Name. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to trademarks in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent has used the Domain Name not in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, but to redirect users to third party websites including those featuring adult content or for a web portal with links to online dating websites. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. In the 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
The Domain Name comprises the Complainant's CHATROULETTE mark with an additional letter "t". In the Panel's view the obvious inference is that this amounts to classic "typosquatting", designed to take advantage of Internet users slightly misspelling the Complainant's website address, and that the Respondent is most likely to have had the Complainant and his rights in the CHATROULETTE mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. The Panel considers that the registration of such a domain name and the use of the Domain Name to redirect Internet users to third party websites with adult content or for a web page with links to third party dating websites, no doubt with a view to commercial gain, amounts to paradigm bad faith registration and use for the purposes of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the 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 Domain Name, <chattroulette.net>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 8, 2017