WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Travelscape, LLC v. Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org / Eddie Clackson, Molyko
Case No. D2021-3631
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Travelscape, LLC, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, United States.
The Respondent is Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org, United States / Eddie Clackson, Molyko, Cameroon.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <travelocitydocs.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with NameSilo, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 1, 2021. On November 1, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On November 1, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on November 9, 2021 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 November 10, 2021.
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 November 23, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 13, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 12, 2022.
The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on January 18, 2022. 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 and its predecessors in title have offered travel services since 1996, most commonly at the website “www.travelocity.com” (“Complainant’s Website”). Complainant has promoted its services under the trade mark “travelocity” (the “TRAVELOCITY Mark”) continuously since 1996 and the Complainant’s Website has since October 2018 received an average of 2.7 million visits per month. It is presently the 7th most popular tourism and travel website in the United States.
The Complainant holds trade mark registrations in the United States for the TRAVELOCITY Mark, including Registration No. 2,466,132, registered on July 3, 2001 for services in classes 35, 38, 39 and 42.
The Domain Name was registered on April 5, 2021. The Domain Name is presently inactive but prior to the commencement of the proceeding resolved to a website that, under the TRAVELOCITY Mark, advertised the sale of fake government documents, including fake passports, driver’s licenses and visas (the “Respondent’s Website”).
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant makes the following contentions:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s TRAVELOCITY Mark;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights nor any legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant is the owner of the TRAVELOCITY Mark. It owns trade mark registrations for the TRAVELOCITY Mark in the United States. The Domain Name consists of the TRAVELOCITY Mark and the word “docs” which does nothing to detract from the identity of the central element of the Domain Name being the Complainant’s TRAVELOCITY Mark. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the TRAVELOCITY Mark.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way. The Complainant has not authorized the Respondent to use and register the TRAVELOCITY Mark or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the TRAVELOCITY Mark. The Respondent is using the Domain Name to operate a site through which the Respondent seeks to capitalise on the reputation of the TRAVELOCITY Mark for the purpose of selling fake government documents. The use of the Domain Name in order to perpetrate a fraud does not and never could confer a right or legitimate interest on the Respondent.
The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Domain Name was registered with full knowledge of the TRAVELOCITY Mark. The Domain Name is being used for a website offering the sale of fake government documents. Such use is prima facie evidence of registration and use in bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy or otherwise. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Name is calculated to create confusion with the TRAVELOCITY Mark and to take advantage of that confusion for financial gain.
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 the Domain Name must be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade or service mark.
The Complainant is the owner of the TRAVELOCITY Mark, having registered the TRAVELOCITY Mark as a trade mark in the United States.
The Domain Name incorporates the TRAVELOCITY Mark in its entirety with the addition of the term “docs”. The addition of words to a complainant’s mark does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity; see section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”). See also The Bank of Nova Scotia v. Whois Protection, WIPO Case No. D2007-0884; and Valero Energy Corporation, Valero Marketing and Supply Company v. Domain Name Proxy, LLC, Navigation Catalyst Systems, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2011-1227.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s TRAVELOCITY 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 trade mark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.” (Policy, paragraph 4(c))”.
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 Name or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the TRAVELOCITY Mark or a mark similar to the TRAVELOCITY Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or any similar name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or for a legitimate noncommercial use.
Rather the Respondent has used the Domain Name to operate a website that, without the permission of the Complainant predominantly displays the Complainant’s TRAVELOCITY Mark and appears to offer to provide visitors, for a fee, with fake travel documents such as passports and visas. Such conduct is fraudulent and is not a bona fide offering of goods or services. As stated in section 2.3.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 “[p]anels have categorically held that the use of a domain name for illegal activity (e.g., the sale of counterfeit goods or illegal pharmaceuticals, phishing, distributing malware, unauthorized account access/hacking, impersonation/passing off, or other types of fraud) can never confer rights or legitimate interests on a respondent”.
The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent has had an opportunity to rebut the presumption that it lacks rights or legitimate interests but has chosen not to do so. The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, 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 the 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.
The Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant at the time the Respondent registered of the Domain Name. The TRAVELOCITY Mark is a well-known mark having been used for over 25 years. The Respondent’s Website makes reference to the Complainant (via the use of TRAVELOCITY Mark) and offers illegal services relevant to the travel industry. The Respondent does not provide, nor is it apparent to the Panel, any reason why the Domain Name was registered other than by reference to the Complainant. The registration of the Domain Name in awareness of the TRAVELOCITY Mark and in the absence of rights or legitimate interests amounts to registration in bad faith.
The Respondent was using the Domain Name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the TRAVELOCITY Mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its website. The Respondent’s Website consists of a website that encourages visitors to commit criminal behaviour, by acquiring and using fake government documents. It appears both from the Domain Name itself and from the Respondent’s Website that it is highly likely that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s Website by means of confusion with the TRAVELOCITY Mark, and has received revenue from that activity. The Panel finds that such use amounts to use in bad faith.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name 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 disputed domain name <travelocitydocs.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: January 24, 2022