WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Pfizer Inc. v. Domain Admin / This Domain is For Sale, Home of Domains
Case No. D2017-2460
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Pfizer Inc. of New York, New York, United States of America ("United States"), represented by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, United States..
The Respondent is Domain Admin / This Domain is For Sale, Home of Domains of Phoenix, Arizona, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <viagraconnect.com> is registered with NameSilo, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 13, 2017. On December 13, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 14, 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 December 19, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 8, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on January 10, 2018.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on January 26, 2018. 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 one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. It owns the well-known mark VIAGRA, which is registered in jurisdictions around the world. For example, the Complainant owns United States Trademark Reg. No. 2,162,548 for the mark VIAGRA, which was issued on June 2, 1998. More recently, the Complainant has developed an intent to use the mark VIAGRA CONNECT, for which it filed an application to register in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on August 15, 2017. On that same day (August 15, 2017), the Respondent registered the disputed domain name. It has since used the disputed domain name to display a web page advertising the domain name for sale for USD 4,500.00. Such a price greatly exceeds the actual cost to register the disputed domain name.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademarks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(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.
The Panel finds that all three of these elements have been met in this case.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The incorporation of a trademark in its entirety is sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered mark. See Britannia Building Society v. Britannia Fraud Prevention, WIPO Case No. D2001-0505. In this case, the disputed domain name contains the Complainant's trademark VIAGRA in its entirety. The additional word "connect" in this context does not distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant's mark. Moreover, evidence in the record shows the Complainant's intention to use the very mark comprising the disputed domain name, i.e., VIAGRA CONNECT.
Similarly, the addition of a generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") to a disputed domain name typically does not avoid confusing similarity. See F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. Macalve e-dominios S.A., WIPO Case No. D2006-0451 and Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. Here, the gTLD ".com" is without legal significance since use of the gTLD is technically required to operate the disputed domain name. The suffix ".com" does not sufficiently distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant's trademark. See F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. Anoymous anonymous, WIPO Case No. D2009-1599.
A registered trademark provides a clear indication that the rights in the mark shown on the trademark certificate belong to its respective owner. See Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., Les Publications Conde Nast S.A. v. Voguechen, WIPO Case No. D2014-0657. The Complainant has demonstrated its rights because it has shown that it is the owner of valid and subsisting trademark registrations for the mark VIAGRA as noted above.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel evaluates this element of the Policy by first looking to see whether the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. If the Complainant makes that showing, the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests shifts to the Respondent.
The Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. By failing to respond to the Complaint, the Respondent did not overcome its burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests, and no other facts in the record tip the balance in the Respondent's favor.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy instructs respondents on a number of ways they could demonstrate rights or legitimate interests ("you" and "your" in the following refers to the particular respondent):
"(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue. "
In this case, there are several indicators concerning the Respondent's lack of rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, nor is there any evidence in the record showing the Respondent's use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services before any notice of the dispute.
Accordingly, the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in regard to the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Policy requires a complainant to establish that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Policy describes several non-exhaustive circumstances demonstrating a respondent's bad faith use and registration. Under paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy, a panel may find bad faith under (i) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name. "
The Complainant has provided evidence that when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, the Complainant had already filed its United Kingdom trademark application for VIAGRA CONNECT – the very words comprising the disputed domain name. In these circumstances, the Panel finds no basis on which the Respondent could have registered the disputed domain name except in bad faith. The use of the disputed domain name to advertise that it is for sale – for an amount well in excess of the actual costs of registration –has no imaginable good faith use.
Accordingly, the Panel finds the Complainant has satisfied this third element 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 <viagraconnect.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: February 8, 2018