WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
JetBlue Airways Corporation v. Domains By Proxy, LLC / Mr Kishor, IndiaForClick
Case No. D2018-0229
1. The Parties
The Complainant is JetBlue Airways Corporation of Long Island City, New York, United States of America, represented by Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC, United States of America.
The Respondent is Domains By Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona United States of America / Mr Kishor, IndiaForClick of Gurgaon, Haryana, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <jetblueflights.org> 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 February 2, 2018. On February 2, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 5, 2018, 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 the Complainant on March 5, 2018 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amended Complaint. The Complainant filed amended Complaint on March 6, 2018.
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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 8, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 28, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 3, 2018.
The Center appointed William A. Van Caenegem as the sole panelist in this matter on April 17, 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 in the business of providing air travel services. It currently serves more than seventy destinations in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. The disputed domain name links to a website that prominently displays the wording “JetblueAirlines” and has the appearance of providing a tool for making flight reservations.
The Complainant has a substantial number of trademark registrations for the mark JETBLUE, the mark JETBLUE in combination, and the JETBLUE logo. They include over forty registrations and pending applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, such as Registration Nos. 2,451,955 (registered on May 15, 2001); 2,449,988; 3,163,120; 3,163,121; and 4,289,126 for, inter alia, transportation of passengers and freight by air.
The Complainant is also the owner and operator of the <jetblue.com> domain name, which was registered on June 30, 1999.
The disputed domain name was registered on October 14, 2017.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant is a substantial airline in the United States, and is the owner of many trademark registrations in the United States for the mark JETBLUE and combinations thereof. The Complainant asserts that in the result, it has the exclusive right to use the JETBLUE marks on or in connection with services covered by the registrations in the United States. It also owns and operates the jetblue.com domain name and associated website. The Complainant has obtained awards and industry accolades for the JETBLUE brand and image, and it actively and prominently features the JETBLUE marks in ongoing advertising and promotional campaigns, on which it has expended very considerable sums; in 2015, the Complainant spent approximately USD 264,000,000 on sales and marketing, and had revenues of USD 6.4 billion. As a result, the Complainant says it has developed substantial rights and goodwill in the JETBLUE marks, and contends that the public has come to associate the JETBLUE marks exclusively with the Complainant.
According to the Complainant, the disputed domain name incorporates the JETBLUE trademark in its entirety, and the addition of the word “flights” does nothing to differentiate the disputed domain name. Rather, the added term strengthens the apparent connection to the Complainant, a provider of airline flights. The Complainant contends that it is clear from the Respondent’s web page and the incorporation of the word “flights” that the disputed domain name is intended to relate directly to the Complainant and its services. Additionally, the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name as a generic Top-Level Domain “.org” does nothing to distinguish it from the JETBLUE marks. In the result the disputed domain is if not identical then certainly confusingly similar to the Complainant’s JETBLUE trademark, or so the Complainant contends.
As owner of the JETBLUE registered trademarks, the Complainant says that it is entitled to the presumptions that those marks are inherently distinctive, that the Complainant owns the marks, and that it has the exclusive right to use them. The Complainant asserts that it has no affiliation with the Respondent and that the Respondent’s continued use of the JETBLUE marks will cause it irreparable damage through loss of goodwill. The Respondent has not become commonly known as JETBLUE, and has not made legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Rather, it has used it to mislead and funnel users and potential users of the Complainant’s services to the website to which the disputed domain name resolves. According to the Complainant, the Respondent has not offered bona fide goods or services, but rather made use of the goodwill inherent in the JETBLUE marks to lure consumers to its website, which features the colour blue and displays the wording “JetblueAirlines” and gives the appearance of providing a tool for making flight reservations. This content creates the false impression that the Respondent is somehow related, affiliated, connected, or endorsed by the Complainant. Because the supposed reservation tool at the contested website provides incomplete and inaccurate information concerning the Complainant’s services, the Respondent’s actions result in the tarnishment of the Complainant’s brand, or so the latter contends.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name after its inception and first registration of the <jetblue.com> domain and the JETBLUE marks, and after the JETBLUE marks became widely recognized among consumers. The <jetblue.com> domain name was registered on June 30, 1999, over 18 years before the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, and the Complainant’s JETBLUE marks were registered in 2001 (Registration Nos. 2,451,955 and 2,449,988). The complete incorporation of the Complainant’s JETBLUE mark in the disputed domain name amounts to an intentional misappropriate of those marks with a view to deceiving consumers and improperly suggesting an association with the Complainant. The Complainant’s customers and prospective customers are likely to be deceived into entering the Respondent’s relevant website believing that they are dealing with the Complainant or that the disputed domain name is affiliated with or somehow endorsed by it. Therefore, or so the Complainant contends, the Respondent’s registration and continued use of the disputed domain name was, and continues to be, in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name incorporates that mark in its entirety and without modification, and that as the first and most prominent part of the disputed domain name. The addition of the genetic term “flights”, which is descriptive of the kind of services that the Complainant offers, does nothing to disassociate the disputed domain name from the Complainant and its activities.
Therefore the Panel holds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Nothing before the Panel suggests that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not authorized to use the distinctive JETBLUE marks of the Complainant in any form, or to incorporate them in a registered domain name. The Respondent has established a hoax website where the Complainant’s JETBLUE mark and its blue livery feature, in an attempt to mislead and attract consumers in a wholly illegitimate manner. Nothing in the Respondent’s actions is of a kind to vest rights or prompt the recognition of any legitimate interest on its behalf.
Therefore the Panel holds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name at a time when the Complainant’s business under the JETBLUE marks was well established, and the relevant marks had been in use and heavily promoted for a considerable amount of time. Furthermore, the Respondent chose to combine the mark JETBLUE with the word “flights”, indicating full awareness of the nature of the Complainant’s business activities and services. It is uncontrovertibly the case that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in full cognizance of the Complainant’s marks and the goodwill vesting in those marks in the United States.
Further the Respondent has caused the disputed domain name to resolve to a website that features a number of characteristic and distinctive features associated with the Complainant’s business, including its JETBLUE mark. It has purported to offer booking and related services at that website related to the Complainant’s flights, whereas in fact it has no association with the Complainant whatsoever and no authority to use its marks or offer services related to the Complainant’s air travel business. The Respondent has sought to trade on the recognition and goodwill vested in the Complainant’s JETBLUE mark to attract unsuspecting Internet users to its false website and thus obtain some illegitimate benefit for itself.
Therefore the Panel holds that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name 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 disputed domain name <jetblueflights.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
William A. Van Caenegem
Date: May 1, 2018