WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Haemonetics Corporation v. Private Whois, Knock Knock WHOIS Not There, LLC / Marlene Bolander
Case No. D2017-2010
1. The Parties
Complainant is Haemonetics Corporation of Braintree, Massachusetts, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP, United States.
Respondent is Private Whois, Knock Knock WHOIS Not There, LLC of Beaverton, Oregon, United States / Marlene Bolander of Carmel, Indiana, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <haemoneticss.com> is registered with Automattic Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 16, 2017. On October 17, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 25, 2017, 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 Complainant on October 26, 2017, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amended Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 30, 2017.
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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 31, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 20, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on November 21, 2017.
The Center appointed Gary J. Nelson as the sole panelist in this matter on December 28, 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
Complainant is a company headquartered in Braintree, Massachusetts in the United States, and operates within the blood management industries.
Complainant is the registered owner of several trademarks for HAEMONETICS. Specifically, Complainant owns at least the following trademark registration in the indicated geographic territory:
February 1, 1977
The disputed domain name was registered on October 3, 2017. The disputed domain name redirects to “www.yhhaul.com”, which resolves to an undeveloped blog website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant is recognized worldwide as a leading provider of blood management solutions. Complainant is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and has used the HAEMONETICS mark in connection with blood-processing equipment and blood-management services since 1971, and intends to continue such use indefinitely.
Complainant is the owner of trademark registrations in 30 jurisdictions for the mark HAEMONETICS, including the United States.
By registering the disputed domain name, Respondent deliberately engaged in typosquatting, a practice by which a “registrant deliberately introduces slight deviations into famous marks” for the commercial gain.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on October 3, 2017, without the permission of Complainant.
The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent registered and has subsequently used and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to “decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
In view of Respondent’s failure to submit a formal Response, the Panel shall decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of Complainant’s undisputed representations pursuant to paragraphs 5(e), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules and shall draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that the disputed domain name should be cancelled or transferred:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in 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
Complainant has established that it owns prior rights in the HAEMONETICS trademark and that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s HAEMONETICS trademark.
Complainant owns at least one trademark registration in the United States for the word mark HAEMONETICS.
Accordingly, Complainant has established rights in its HAEMONETICS trademark pursuant to Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i). See, Janus International Holding Co. v. Scott Rademacher, WIPO Case No. D2002-0201 (finding that the registration of a mark is prima facie evidence of validity).
The disputed domain name <haemoneticss.com> is confusingly similar to Complainant’s HAEMONETICS trademark because the disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of Complainant’s HAEMONETICS trademark and merely adds an additional letter “s” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) suffix “.com”.
A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of another’s trademark is considered to be confusingly similar to the relevant trademark for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. See, Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case No. D2002-0775 (the domain name <wochovia.com> was found to be confusingly similar to Complainant’s WACHOVIA trademark).
In this case the addition of the letter “s” to Complainant’s HAEMONETICS trademark is insufficient to establish a domain name that is distinct from Complainant’s trademark and insufficient to avoid a finding of confusing similarity.
Complainant has proven the requirements of Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent has failed to file a formal Response, which can suggest, in appropriate circumstances, that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See, Pavillion Agency, Inc., Cliff Greenhouse and Keith Greenhouse v. Greenhouse Agency Ltd., and Glenn Greenhouse., WIPO Case No. D2000-1221 (finding that respondent’s failure to respond in a UDRP proceeding can be construed, in appropriate circumstances, as an admission that it has no rights or legitimate interests in a domain name).
By not filing a Response, Respondent has not provided any evidence that it is commonly known by the disputed domain name, or that it is commonly known by any name consisting of, or incorporating the words “haemonetics”, or “haemoneticss” or any variation of these words. In Charles Jourdan Holding AG v. AAIM, WIPO Case No. D2000-0403, the panel held that a lack of rights or legitimate interests could be found where (1) respondent is not a licensee of the complainant; (2) complainant’s rights in its related trademarks precede respondent’s registration of the domain name; and (3) respondent is not commonly known by the domain name in question. The Panel notes that by not submitting a Response, Respondent also failed to provide any evidence that it is a licensee of Complainant or that its registration of the disputed domain name predates the establishment of Complainant’s rights in its HAEMONETICS trademark.
Complainant has provided unrebutted evidence showing that Respondent was maintaining an undeveloped website associated with the disputed domain name. Respondent’s failure to develop a website corresponding to the disputed domain name with any original content is evidence supporting the conclusion that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in this domain name. See, Virgin Enterprises Limited v. LINYANXIAO aka lin yanxiao, WIPO Case No. D2016-2302; see also, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company v. Wang De Bing, WIPO Case No. D2017-0363.
The Panel therefore finds that Complainant has proven the requirement of Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Panel finds that Respondent likely chose the disputed domain name with full knowledge of Complainant’s rights in the HAEMONETICS trademark.
Respondent’s awareness of the HAEMONETICS trademark can be inferred because Complainant’s trademark is well known throughout the United States and the rest of the world. See, Kraft Foods (Norway) v. Fredrik Wide and Japp Fredrik Wide, WIPO Case No. D2000-0911 (“the fact that Respondent [chose] to register a well-known mark to which he has no connections or rights indicates that he was in bad faith when registering the domain name at issue”). Also, Complainant has alleged, and Respondent has not rebutted, that Respondent was aware of the rights owned by Complainant in HAEMONETICS when Respondent registered the disputed domain name.
Respondent’s awareness of the HAEMONETICS trademark may also be inferred because the mark was registered in the United States prior to Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name. The relevant priority date for all of Complainant’s trademark registrations precede the date upon which the disputed domain name was registered (i.e., October 3, 2017). See, Kraft Foods (Norway) v. Fredrik Wide and Japp Fredrik Wide, WIPO Case No. D2000-0911 (“the fact that Respondent [chose] to register a well-known mark to which he has no connections or rights indicates that he was in bad faith when registering the domain name at issue”).
Also, the Panel holds that Respondent is currently warehousing the disputed domain name and does not associate the disputed domain name with an active website, but rather, at the time of filing of the Complaint, was using the disputed domain name to point to an undeveloped blog website. This, in the Panel’s view, is evidence of bad faith use for the purposes of the Policy.
The Panel therefore finds that Complainant has proven the requirement of Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <haemoneticss.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Gary J. Nelson
Date: January 10, 2018