WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Trivago N.V. v. Barry Friedman
Case No. D2019-0528
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Trivago N.V. of Düsseldorf, Germany, internally represented.
The Respondent is Barry Friedman of Santa Monica, California, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <trivago.dev> 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 March 8, 2019. On the same day, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 8, 2019, 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. In response to a notification by the Center of March 14, 2019, that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amended Complaint on March 18, 2019.
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 together with the amended Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 19, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 8, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 9, 2019.
The Center appointed Andrea Mondini as the sole panelist in this matter on April 24, 2019. 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 a company which operates hotel comparison and travel-related websites worldwide.
The Complainant owns several trademark registrations for TRIVAGO in numerous jurisdictions around the world, inter alia for hotel price comparison and travel-related services, including International Trademark Registration no. 910828, registered on August 18, 2006 in classes 35, 38, 39, and 42, and United States Trademark Registration no. 5212392, filed on August 3, 2016, and registered on May 30, 2017.
The disputed domain name was registered on February 28, 2019, and resolves to a Registrar-provided parking page. The website features a section with links to third-party websites providing travel-related services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant in essence contends the following:
The Complainant uses the TRIVAGO trademark extensively for its hotel comparison and travel-related services, inter alia, on its website “www.trivago.com.”
The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark TRIVAGO in its entirety. The combination with the generic Top-Level Domain “.dev” does not dispel confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark.
The Respondent represents a rehabilitation and nursing center in California, United States. There is no connection between the trademark TRIVAGO and the Respondent’s business. The Complainant is not affiliated with the Respondent and has not licensed or permitted the Respondent to use its trademark in any way. The Respondent does not own any trademark registration for “trivago”. The use of the disputed domain name in connection a Registrar-provided parking page does not establish rights or legitimate interests.
The disputed domain name has been registered in bad faith because it is highly unlikely that the Respondent selected the disputed domain name without knowledge of the Complainant’s well-known trademark, particularly considering that “trivago” has not dictionary meaning. Rather, it is evident that the Respondent’s sole intent is to sell the disputed domain name to the Complainant.
The Complainants requests the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, a complainant must establish each of the following elements:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the 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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has shown that it holds several trademark registrations for TRIVAGO in numerous jurisdictions around the world, inter alia, for price comparison and travel-related services (see section 4, above).
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’ trademark, because it incorporates in its entirety the trademark TRIVAGO.
The practice of disregarding the gTLD in determining identity or confusing similarity is applied irrespective of the particular gTLD, including with regard to “new gTLDs”, such as “.dev” (see, WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, section 1.11). The combination with the gTLD “.dev”, therefore, does not dispel confusing similarity.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant contends, credibly, that there is no relationship whatsoever between the Parties and that there is no connection between the trademark TRIVAGO and the Respondent’s business either. Furthermore, the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Rather, the evidence provided by the Complainant suggests that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name in an attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the Complainant’s trademark.
In the absence of any Response, the Panel concludes that the Respondent was not authorized or licensed to use the Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name and that there is no indication of any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Considering the distinctiveness of the TRIVAGO trademark and the strong online presence of the Complainant’s hotel comparison services, the Panel concludes that the Complainant’s trademark is well known and, in the absence of any rebuttal on the part of the Respondent, the Panel infers on balance that that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark when it registered the disputed domain name, and that the disputed domain name was registered in opportunistic bad faith.
The disputed domain name is being used in connection with a Registrar-provided parking page with sponsored links to third-party websites.
As the sponsored links at the disputed domain name redirect Internet users to travel-related services, the Panel considers it likely that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the intention to trade on the goodwill and reputation of Complainant and of its trademark for commercial gain.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement 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 <trivago.dev> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 8, 2019