WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The League App, Inc. v. Wan Tu
Case No. D2018-0079
1. The Parties
The Complainant is The League App, Inc. of San Francisco, California, United States of America ("United States"), represented by IPLA, United States.
The Respondent is Wan Tu of Jian Xi, Guangdong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <theleaguedatingapp.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on January 13, 2018. On January 15, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 16, 2018, 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 January 19, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 8, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on February 9, 2018.
The Center appointed Clive N.A. Trotman as the sole panelist in this matter on February 16, 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 the proprietor of an Internet-based dating and matchmaking program or application ("app"), known as The League. The app is available for download from the Apple and Google app stores.
The Complainant holds the following trademarks:
- THE LEAGUE, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Principal Register, registered November 17, 2015, registration number 4854183, class 9;
- THE LEAGUE, International Trademark, registered June 22, 2015, registration number 1262561, class 9.
The Complainant also owns and uses the domain names <theleague.com>, registered on May 15, 1996, and <theleagueapp.co>, registered on March 14, 2014.
Nothing is known about the Respondent except for the information provided to the Registrar for the purpose of registration of the disputed domain name, which was registered on July 25, 2017. The disputed domain name resolves to a website promoting matchmaking software named "The League Dating App".
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complaint's succinct contentions may be summarised as follows.
The Complainant asserts ownership of the trademarks listed in section 4 above and has produced copies of the relevant online records of registration.
The Complainant says the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its trademark because it contains the trademark, which has been in continuous use since at least as early as November 2014.
The Complainant says that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, which was registered on July 25, 2017, being later than the Complainant's trademark. The Complainant says it is not aware of the Respondent having any trademark rights, domain name rights or other rights relating to "The League Dating App", "The League App", "The League" or "League".
The Complainant says the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent has registered the disputed domain name for the purpose of disrupting the Complainant's business through trading off the Complainant's goodwill by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that the Respondent is required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that the Complainant asserts to the applicable dispute-resolution provider, in compliance with the Rules, that:
"(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith".
The Complainant has made the relevant assertions as required by the Policy. The dispute is properly within the scope of the Policy and the Panel has jurisdiction to decide the dispute.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is satisfied by the evidence produced that the Complainant has rights in the trademark THE LEAGUE as required under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The disputed domain name is <theleaguedatingapp.com>, of which the generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) designation ".com" may be disregarded in the determination of confusing similarity. The remaining entity "theleaguedatingapp" may be read as "the league dating app", commencing with two words that comprise the Complainant's trademark THE LEAGUE in its entirety, followed by "dating app", the meaning of which is plain in the context. On an objective comparison of the disputed domain name with the Complainant's trademark, the Panel finds confusing similarity and finds for the Complainant under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has asserted a prima facie case to the effect that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, which was registered two years after the Complainant's international trademark.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides for the Respondent to contest the Complainant's prima facie case under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy and to establish rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name by demonstrating, without limitation:
"(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."
The Respondent has not responded and has not asserted rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel does not find that any use of the disputed domain name for an offering of goods or services by the Respondent has acquired any legitimacy since it trades on the basis of a confusing similarity with the Complainant's trademark. For the same reason the Respondent cannot claim to have been commonly known as a business by the disputed domain name. The use of the disputed domain name is not non-commercial. Accordingly the Panel finds for the Complainant under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant must prove under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four alternative circumstances that shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith by a respondent, namely:
"(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; or
(ii) you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location."
The provisions of paragraph 4(b) of the Policy are without limitation.
Examination of the screen capture of the Respondent's website to which the disputed domain name resolves, produced in evidence, shows on the first of four pages a picture of a woman and man, overprinted "The League Dating App", above "Meet & Date Intelligent, Independent, Career-oriented or Successful Singles". Links to the Apple or Google app stores are displayed prominently. The Respondent's website makes references to "The League Dating App", for instance "The League Dating APP is best for you. Our members have included CEOs, Athletes, Doctors, Lawyers..."
The Complainant's trademark is registered for, among other things, "... software for Internet-based dating, matchmaking, social networking..." and is in use for that purpose on the Complainant's own website. On the evidence and on the balance of probabilities the Panel finds the disputed domain name to have been used in bad faith by the Respondent with intent to create confusion with the Complainant's trademark for the purpose of attracting Internet users for commercial gain, within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Panel further finds, on the balance of probabilities, that the disputed domain name was registered for the bad faith purpose for which it has been used. Accordingly the Panel finds for the Complainant under paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 <theleaguedatingapp.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Clive N.A. Trotman
Date: March 2, 2018