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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Travelscape, LLC v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Mossab Basir

Case No. D2019-1690

1. The Parties

Complainant is Travelscape, LLC, United States of America, represented by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, United States of America.

Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc., Panama / Mossab Basir, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <travelocity.vegas> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 17, 2019. On July 18, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 18, 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 that the Complaint was administratively deficient, Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on July 30, 2019 (hereinafter, the “Complaint”).

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 August 2, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 22, 2019. On August 2, 2019, August 8, 2019, and September 4, 2019, the Center received communications from Respondent. On August 23, 2019, the Center informed the parties that it would proceed to panel appointment.

The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on September 4, 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 is the owner of the TRAVELOCITY marks and its predecessors-in-interest and its corporate affiliates who use the marks under authority from Complainant. Complaint, Annex C. Complainant was founded in 1996 and is a leading provider of travel services, using its TRAVELOCITY mark since that date. Complainant markets and distributes travel-related products and services utilizing its TRAVELOCITY mark, offering such products and services to more than 20 million prospective travelers per month.

Complainant is owned by Expedia, Inc., a worldwide provider of travel services through its employees worldwide. Complaint, Annex D. Complainant offers its services through its main website to which its domain name <travelocity.com> resolves. Annexes C and F. Its main website has received on average more than 2.7 million visits per month since October 2018. Complaint, Annex N.

Complainant has marketed its travel-related services under its TRAVELOCITY mark for over 20 years. Complaint, Annex H. Complainant has registered trademarks in the United States, dating to at least as early as June 22, 1999 (Complaint, Annex K) and in Canada, where Respondent claims to reside, dating to at least as early as January 11, 2000 (Complaint, Annex L).

Respondent registered the disputed domain name on July 11, 2019. Complaint, Annex A. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website, but rather to a “parked” page. Complaint, Annex O. On the same date that Respondent registered the disputed domain name, Respondent contacted a representative of Complainant’s parent company by email and offered to sell the domain name to either it or its competitors “for a reasonable price”. Complaint, Annex P.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s TRAVELOCITY mark, that Respondent is not commonly known by the domain name, has no relationship with Complainant, and has neither sought nor been given the right or authority to utilize Complainant’s trademark in any way, that Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or any other commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, and that Respondent has offered the domain name for sale and thus has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not respond to any of the allegations.

6. Discussion and Findings

“A Panel shall 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.”

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the complainant must prove each of the following:

(i) that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The domain name consists of Complainant’s TRAVELOCITY trademark and the gTLD suffix .com. It has long been held that a domain name consisting entirely of the trademark of another and gTLD suffix is identical to the trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, UDRP panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of “proving a negative”, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.1.

In the present case Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Respondent has used the disputed domain name solely to resolve to a web site at which the disputed domain name is parked. By email Respondent has offered to sell the domain name to Complainant and/or to Complainant’s competitors. The Panel finds that this constitutes bad faith registration and use.

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, <travelocity.vegas>, be transferred to Complainant.

M. Scott Donahey
Sole Panelist
Date: September 5, 2019