WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
CC Media Network Limited and CC Network Inc. v. Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org / Zhichao Yang
Case No. D2019-0856
1. The Parties
The Complainants are CC Media Network Limited and CC Network Inc. (the “Complainant”), British Virgin Islands, represented by Collyer-Bristow, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org, United States of America (the “United States”) / Zhichao Yang of Anhui, China.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <camcontcats.com> and <cancontacts.com> (the “Domain Names”) are registered with NameSilo, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 16, 2019. On April 16, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On April 16, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on April 17, 2019 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on May 1, 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, and the proceedings commenced on May 2, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 22, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 24, 2019.
The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on May 28, 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 media company incorporated and having its principal place of business in the British Virgin Islands. The Complainant offers (and has offered since 1999) video chat services under the word mark “camcontacts” (the “CAMCONTACTS Mark”) with various live models which may involve adult or sexual content. These services are offered from the Complainant’s website at “www.camcontacts.com”.
The Complainant is the owner of a trade mark registration for the CAMCONTACTS Mark in the European Union registered on June 13, 2006 (registration number EU003222742) for services in classes 38, 41, and 42.
The Domain Name <cancontacts.com> was registered on February 2, 2018. The Domain Name <camcontcats.com> was registered on March 4, 2018. Each of the Domain Names resolves to an identical website (“the Respondent’s Website”) that offers links to other websites including video chat services in direct competition with the Complainant’s services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant makes the following contentions:
(i) that the Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CAMCONTACTS Mark;
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights nor any legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names; and
(iii) that the Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.
The Complainant is the owner of the CAMCONTACTS Mark, having registered the CAMCONTACTS Mark in the European Union. The Domain Names are confusingly similar to the CAMCONTACTS Mark and are being used in connection with services of an identical nature.
There are no rights or legitimate interests held by the Respondent in respect of the Domain Names. The Respondent is not commonly known as the Domain Names nor does the Respondent have any authorization from the Complainant to register the Domain Names. The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Names. Rather the Respondent is using the Domain Names to resolve to a website that provides competing services.
The Domain Names were registered and are being used in bad faith. By using the Domain Names to resolve to a website that offers competing services, the Respondent is using the Domain Names to divert Internet users searching for the Complainant to third party websites for commercial gain. Such conduct amounts to registration and use of the Domain Names in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
To prove this element the Complainant must have trade or service mark rights and each Domain Name must be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade or service mark.
The Complainant is the owner of the CAMCONTACTS Mark, having registrations for the CAMCONTACTS Mark as a trade mark in the European Union.
Each of the Domain Names consists of a minor misspelling of the CAMCONTACTS Mark, being the transposition of the neighbouring letters “c” and “a” in <camcontcats.com> or the replacement of the “m” with a “n” in <cancontacts.com>. A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element, see section 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
The Panel finds that each of the Domain Names is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CAMCONTACTS Mark. Consequently, the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
To succeed on this element, a complainant must make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If such a prima facie case is made out, then the burden of production shifts to the respondent to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy enumerates several ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:
“Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii):
(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 is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way. It has not been authorized by the Complainant to register or use the Domain Names or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the CAMCONTACTS Mark or a mark similar to the CAMCONTACTS Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by any of the Domain Names or any similar name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made demonstrable preparations to use any of the Domain Names in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use or a bona fide offering of goods and services. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Names for what appears to be a page with links (for which the Respondent is likely to receive revenue from) to websites offering services in direct competition with the services offered by the Complainant does not amount to use for a bona fide offering of goods and services. The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Names. The Respondent has had the opportunity to put on evidence of its rights or legitimate interests, including submissions as to why its conduct amounts to a right or legitimate interest in the Domain Names under the Policy. In the absence of such a Response, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or has 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 trade mark or service mark or to a competitor of the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trade mark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the respondent’s website or location (Policy, paragraph 4(b)).
The Panel finds that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its reputation in the CAMCONTACTS Mark at the time the Domain Names were registered. There is no obvious reason (and the Respondent has not chosen to provide such a reason), for an entity to register two domain names consisting of minor misspellings of the CAMCONTACTS Mark and redirect them to a site containing links to the Complainant’s competitors absent any awareness of the Complainant and its CAMCONTACTS Mark. The registration of the Domain Names in awareness of the CAMCONTACTS Mark and in the absence of rights or legitimate interests amounts under these circumstances to registration in bad faith.
The Respondent’s Website offers what appear to be pay-per-click links to various websites, some of which offer services in direct competition with the Complainant. Given that the Respondent has offered no plausible explanation for the registration of the Domain Names, the Panel finds that that the Respondent is using the Domain Names to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the CAMCONTACTS Mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s Website. As such, the Panel finds that the Domain Names are being used in bad faith.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the Domain Names in bad faith 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 Domain Names <camcontcats.com> and <cancontacts.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 30, 2019