WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Tube and Solid Tire Ltd. v. Domains by Proxy, LLC / Ty Zimmerman, TD Power Sports
Case No. D2018-2486
1. The Parties
Complainant is Tube and Solid Tire Ltd. of San Antonio, Texas, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Clark Hill Strasburger, United States.
Respondent is Domains by Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States / Ty Zimmerman, TD Power Sports, of Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <k9tires.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 October 31, 2018. On November 1, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 2, 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 Complainant on November 2, 2018, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on November 5, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 6, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 26, 2018. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on November 27, 2018.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on December 7, 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
Complainant was formed in 1999 and is a wholesaler of inner tubes, solid and pneumatic industrial tires, lawn, garden and trailer tires, as well as agricultural tires. In 2016, Complainant released to the market a line of tires known as K9.
On or about April 8, 2016, Complainant, through its Vice President of Sales, Jason Rock, registered the domain name <k9tire.com>. Complainant advertises its goods and services using the “www.k9tire.com” website. Complainant is the owner of US trademark Registration No. 5106206 Registered December 20, 2016.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name <k9tires.com> on January 24, 2017.
Complainant became aware of the “www.k9tires.com” website on or around early August 2018. At that time the disputed domain name redirected to “www.gpsoffroadproducts.com”. Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to GPS Offroad Products, but did not receive any response. After the mailing of the cease and desist letter, the “www.k9tires.com” website redirected to a porn website. As of October 28, 2018, the disputed domain name has no associated website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name and that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated 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 Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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”.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has demonstrated that it has rights in the trademark registration referenced above. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark. The disputed domain name consists of a slight misspelling of Complainant’s mark by the addition of only one letter, “s”. This is a classic example of “typo-squatting,” designed to lure Internet users to the cyber-squatter’s website.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant contends that Respondent is not sponsored by or affiliated with Complainant. There is no evidence in the record suggesting that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.
Respondent is not making a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Initially, Respondent used the disputed domain name to redirect Internet traffic to a competing website that offered tire goods. Later, Respondent used the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to a website that features adult content.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
By registering the disputed domain name with a one letter typo, Respondent has demonstrated a knowledge of and familiarity with Complainant’s trademark and business. The evidence of record indicates that Respondent has registered the disputed domain name to take advantage of Internet traffic generated by typing errors committed by Complainant’s prospective customers. In addition, the website at the disputed domain name has featured sexually-explicit content, which provides further evidence of Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark for Respondent’s own pecuniary gain or to disrupt the business of Complainant.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that 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 <k9tires.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Date: December 20, 2018