WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Al Jazeera Media Network v. Aljazeera Eyes
Case No. D2017-1626
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Al Jazeera Media Network of Doha, Qatar, internally represented.
The Respondent is Aljazeera Eyes of Cairo, Egypt, internally represented.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <aljazeeraeyes.com> ("the Domain Name") is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 20, 2017. On August 21, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 22, 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 August 25, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 14, 2017. The Respondent sent emails to the Center on August 26 and September 12, 2017. The Response was filed with the Center on September 13, 2017.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on September 21, 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 a widely known global media corporation. The Complainant owns, inter alia, the trade mark AL JAZEERA in connection with its services, first registered in Qatar on October 17, 2006 (Registration Number 37020), and used as a trade name since 1996. It also has registrations for its official logo.
The Domain Name was registered on October 17, 2016. According to the evidence submitted with the Complaint, the Domain Name resolves to a web site offering news services. The Panel notes that the web site at the Domain Name is using the Complainant's official logo, which is also registered by the Complainant as a trade mark (for instance, United States of America Trade Mark Registration No. 2849088, registered on June 1, 2004).
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant's contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is a widely known respected global media corporation and owns, inter alia, the trade mark AL JAZEERA in connection with its services first registered in Qatar in 2006 and used as a trade name since 1996. It also has registrations for its official logo.
The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's AL JAZEERA trade mark as the Domain Name contains it in its entirety. Since the word 'eyes' is associated with news services the addition of it simply increases confusion.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. It has used the Domain Name for news services similar to that offered by the Complainant and has used the Complainant's official logo on the Respondent's web site.
The Domain Name registered in 2016 has been registered and used in bad faith. The Respondent is diverting consumers to its web site and offering similar services to the Complainant on a web site that looks confusingly similar to the Complainant's web site and used the Complainant's official logo on that site. The Respondent's site sells advertising services. It also copies news from the Complainant's competitors exposing the Complainant's to legal risk through confusion.
The Respondent's contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Domain Name is not the same as the Complainant's name as it contains the word 'eyes' which makes a difference.
The word "Al Jazeera" in Arabic means Arabian Peninsula. There is a disclaimer on the web site that the Respondent is not connected to the Complainant. The logo has been changed.
The Respondent makes it clear that the site publishes news from many sources. It mentions the source to avoid misleading the visitor.
The Respondent has never offered services or introduced itself as the Qatari Al Jazeera network. It does not receive money from anyone for services.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical and/or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant is a provider of news services and is the owner of the AL JAZEERA trademark, inter alia, in Qatar with first registration recorded as 2006. It also has a trade mark registration for its official logo.
The Domain Name consists of a name identical to the Complainant's registered mark AL JAZEERA plus the generic word "eyes". The addition of this generic word does not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant's AL JAZEERA mark especially bearing in mind that the word "eyes" may suggest watching the world and be associated with news services in that regard.
The generic Top-Level Domain ".com" when it does not form part of the Complainant's trade mark and is used as a purely functional part of a domain name does not distinguish a domain name from a trade mark under the Policy.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights for the purpose of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel considers from the evidence that the Respondent has used the web site attached to the Domain Name to promote news services in competition with those of the Complainant. It can be concluded from the content of the site that the Respondent was aware of the significance of the trade mark AL JAZEERA in the news world at the time of registration as the site attached to the Domain Name used a logo very similar to the official logo used by the Complainant and also registered by the Complainant as a trade mark. The usage was highly confusing in the opinion of the Panel and not fair. As such it cannot amount to the bona fide offering of goods and services. The Respondent explains that it has removed the logo and "Al Jazeera" means Arabian Peninsula in Arabic. Nevertheless the use of the Complainant's logo shows an intention to be mistaken for the Complainant and the name "Al Jazeera" has come to have secondary meaning in the news world and be exclusively associated with the Complainant such that its combination with an English word "eyes" in relation to a news site would undoubtedly be taken to mean the site was associated with the Complainant by the majority of the business world. As such the Panelist finds that the Respondent's use was not bona fide as this is understood under the Policy and it does not have rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.
C. Registration and Use in Bad Faith
The content of the Respondent's web site, in particular the fact that it has used the Complainant's official logo on the Respondent's site makes it clear that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant's rights at the time of registration. The use of a logo highly similar to the Complainant's logo would cause people to associate the website at the Domain Name with the Complainant and its services. Using the AL JAZEERA trade mark in combination with the English word "eyes" would in view of the Complainant's reputation for news services across the world cause many people to assume the web site was associated with the Complainant. The choice of this particular name and the use of the Complainant's logo shows an intention to be mistaken for the Complainant despite any disclaimers which have been found not to cure confusion caused by use of similar branding as they are often not carefully read by consumers. Further the site features advertising and, therefore, is clearly commercial in nature.
Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trade marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the web site sufficient to satisfy paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. This use is also disruptive use by a competitor and is, therefore, also bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iii) of the Policy.
As such, the Panelist believes that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb 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, <aljazeeraeyes.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 25, 2017