WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Skyscanner Limited v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1244355710 / Mrs K Ananthan

Case No. D2019-1068

1. The Parties

Complainant is Skyscanner Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Keltie LLP, United Kingdom.

Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1244355710, Canada / Mrs K Ananthan, United Kingdom.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <skyscannerltd.net> is registered with Google LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 9, 2019. On May 9, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same day, 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 May 10, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on May 13, 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 Respondents of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 14, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 3, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response.1 Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 4, 2019.

The Center appointed Jeffrey D. Steinhardt as sole panelist in this matter on June 11, 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

Complainant operates international travel-related online services using the SKYSCANNER trademark, enjoying a very substantial Internet presence.

Complainant owns many trademark registrations worldwide for its SKYSCANNER marks, including for example (1) United Kingdom Trade Mark Registration No. 2313916 in classes 35, 38 and 39 registered April 30, 2004, and (2) International Trade Mark Registration No. 1030086, registered December 1, 2009, in Classes 35, 39 and 42 and designated for protection in Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Switzerland, China, Japan, Norway, Russian Federation, Singapore, Turkey and the Ukraine.

The disputed domain name was registered April 18, 2019 and does not resolve to an active website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Summarizing its legal contentions, Complainant alleges that (1) the disputed domain name is nearly identical to Complainant’s trademarks, (2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and (3) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, all in violation of the Policy.

On the basis of the above, Complainant requests transfer of the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Complainant must establish that (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; (ii) 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. Policy paragraph 4(a).

Complainant must establish these elements even if Respondent submits no response. See, e.g., The Vanguard Group, Inc. v. Lorna Kang, WIPO Case No. D2002-1064. In the absence of a response, the Panel may also accept as true the reasonable factual allegations in the Complaint. See, e.g., ThyssenKrupp USA, Inc. v. Richard Giardini, WIPO Case No. D2001-1425.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel agrees that the disputed domain name <skyscannerltd.net> is nearly identical to Complainant’s trademarks in the sense of the Policy.

Panels usually disregard the domain name suffix (or Top-Level Domain (“TLD”)) in evaluating identity and confusing similarity. E.g., VAT Holding AG v. VAT.com, WIPO Case No. D2000-0607; Shangri‑La International Hotel Management Limited v. NetIncome Ventures Inc., WIPO Case No. D2006-1315. Omitting the “.net” TLD suffix, the disputed domain name adopts Complainant’s trademark in its entirety, adding only the term “ltd”.

The Panel finds that the addition of the abbreviation commonly used to denote “limited” companies does not prevent the confusing similarity created by Respondent’s reproduction of the trademark in the disputed domain name.

The Panel finds therefore that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the registered trademarks of Complainant and that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are fulfilled.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel also concludes that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Policy contains a non‑exhaustive list of circumstances that may demonstrate when a respondent has rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. The list includes: (1) using the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services; (2) being commonly known by the domain name; or (3) making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers. Policy, paragraphs 4(c)(i)-(iii).

A complainant must show a prima facie case that a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name, after which the burden of production passes to the respondent. See, e.g., Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455. The absence of rights or legitimate interests is established if a complainant makes out a prima facie case and the respondent enters no response. Id., (citing De Agostini S.p.A. v. Marco Cialone, WIPO Case No. DTV2002-0005).

The Panel accepts the Complaint’s undisputed allegations that Respondent has no authorization to use Complainant’s trademarks and that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Since the disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website, the Complaint alleges that there is no evidence of preparations to use the disputed domain name for legitimate purposes or for a bona fide offering of goods and/or services.

The Panel finds that in the absence of any response to the Complaint, and lacking any visible website making use of the disputed domain name, the Complaint demonstrates Respondent’s lack of a legitimate noncommercial interest in, or fair use of, the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers.

Respondent has not rebutted Complainant’s prima facie case or invoked any of the circumstances of paragraph 4(c) of the Policy to support the existence of rights or legitimate interests in use of the disputed domain name.

Accordingly, the Panel concludes that paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is satisfied.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, bad faith registration and bad faith use, is also established, as elaborated below.

UDRP panels may draw inferences about bad faith in light of the circumstances, including passive holding, failure to respond to a complaint and other circumstances. Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003.

Respondent was undoubtedly aware of Complainant’s SKYSCANNER mark, which had been registered and enjoyed widespread international use for many years before Respondent registered the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that Respondent deliberately included the mark in the disputed domain name to create confusion or unfairly to exploit the value of Complainant’s marks.

Respondent’s failure to reply to the Complaint is held by the Panel to be additional evidence of bad faith. Accordingly, the Panel concludes that paragraph 4(2)(iii) of the Policy is satisfied.

7. Decision

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 <skyscannerltd.net> be transferred to Complainant.

Jeffrey D. Steinhardt
Sole Panelist
Date: June 24, 2019


1 All further references to “Respondent” herein are intended to denote the individual Respondent Mrs K Ananthan.