WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Skyscanner Limited v. Domain Administrator, China Capital
Case No. D2019-2852
1. The Parties
Complainant is Skyscanner Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Keltie LLP, United Kingdom.
Respondent is Domain Administrator, China Capital, Hong Kong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <skyskyscanner.com> is registered with TurnCommerce, Inc. DBA NameBright.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 20, 2019. On November 20, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same date, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
The Center verified that the 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 December 4, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 24, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on December 26, 2019.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on January 17, 2020. 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 an Internet provider of advertising and related services related to the travel industry. Complainant has registered trademark rights in the mark SKYSCANNER. Its International registration of the mark dates from as early as March 3, 2006 (International trademark No. 900393), and it has trademark registrations in many countries, including Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Switzerland, China, Japan, Norway, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Turkey, and the Ukraine. Complaint, Annex 2.
Complainant is the registrant of the domain name <skyscanner.net> and uses it to resolve to its website which has 100 million visits per month. Its SKYSCANNER smart device app has been downloaded over 70 million times. Its services are available in over thirty languages in seventy countries. Its website was ranked the one thousand six hundredth seventy-first web site in the world for Internet traffic and engagement. Complaint, Annex 3.
In November 2016, Complainant was acquired by Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency. The transaction was worth approximately GBP 1.4 billion. The acquisition resulted in many articles in the various business press around the world. Complaint, Annex 6.
The disputed domain name <skyskyscanner.com> was registered on March 14, 2018. Complaint, Annex 1. Until approximately June 15, 2016, the disputed domain name was owned by Domain Registries Foundation. By March 16, 2018, the disputed domain name was owned by Eastern Valley Limited. By June 21, 2018, the disputed domain name had been acquired by China Capital Domain Fund Limited. Thus, it appears that the disputed domain name was acquired by Respondent no earlier than March 16, 2018. Complaint, Annex 5.
The disputed domain name currently redirects to a parking page containing pay-per-click links. Complaint, Annex 4. The disputed domain name is listed for sale on the web site of Afternic.com, requiring a minimum offer of USD 250. Complaint, Annex 8.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s SKYSCANNER trademark, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and that Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
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 disputed domain name consists of Complainant’s famous SKYSCANNER trademark with a repetition of the English word “sky” at the beginning to the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Respondent’s 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
The disputed domain name is being used to resolve to a pay-per-click website with links related to flights and tickets. This in and of itself is evidence of bad faith registration and use. However, the disputed domain name is also being offered for sale on the domain broker website of afternic.com. This is additional evidence of bad faith registration and use. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and is using 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, <skyskyscanner.com>, be transferred to Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Date: January 30, 2020