WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
DISH Network L.L.C. v. Host Master, 1337 Services LLC
Case No. D2021-4004
1. The Parties
The Complainant is DISH Network L.L.C., United States of America (“United States”), represented by Adsero IP, United States.
The Respondent is Host Master, 1337 Services LLC, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <flextv.one> is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 1, 2021. On December 1, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 1, 2021, 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 the Complainant on December 13, 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 December 16, 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 December 20, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 9, 2022. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 12, 2022.
The Center appointed Miguel B. O’Farrell as the sole panelist in this matter on February 2, 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, DISH Network L.L.C., is a connectivity company and one of the largest Pay–TV providers in the United States. Through its authorized licensees, the Complainant began using its FLEXTV mark in July, 2011 and offers well-known pay-as-you-go television broadcasting services under its FLEXTV trademark.
The Complainant is the owner of United States Trademark Registration No. 4172891 FLEXTV, registered on July 10, 2012 for services in International class 38, with a first use date of July 11, 2011.
The disputed domain name <flextv.one> was registered on September 15, 2021 and relates to a website in which the Respondent offers streaming television services under its own brand DRAGONTV which compete with the streaming television services offered by the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar with the trademark FLEXTV in which the Complainant has rights and that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, which was registered and is being used in bad faith.
More specifically, the Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant nor is otherwise authorized to use the Complainant’s FLEXTV mark. Moreover, the Respondent is not commonly known as “FLEXTV”, rather it appears that the Respondent’s brand is DRAGONTV.
The Respondent intentionally trades on the goodwill of the Complainant’s trademark to attract Internet users looking for the Complainant’s pay-as-you-go television broadcasting services and then competes directly with the Complainant’s services.
The purported Respondent’s services are illegitimate and/or scam. In particular, consumer reviews of the Respondent’s services appear to indicate that the services do not work and when consumers reach out to the Respondent regarding issues, the consumer receives no response.
Finally, the Complainant requests the Panel to issue a decision ordering that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the disputed domain name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has proven that it has rights in the FLEXTV trademark.
As set forth in section 1.7 of WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) the standing test for confusing similarity involves a reasoned but relatively straightforward comparison between the trademark and the disputed domain name to determine whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark. The test involves a side-by-side comparison of the disputed domain name and the textual components of the relevant trademark to assess whether the mark is recognizable within the disputed domain name.
The Panel considers that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s FLEXTV trademark.
The disputed domain name comprises the FLEXTV trademark in its entirety and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.one”.
For the purposes of assessing identity or confusing similarity under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, it is permissible for the Panel to ignore the gTLD as it is viewed as a standard registration requirement (section 1.11.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0). Thus, for the test for confusing similarity the Panel shall disregard the “.one” gTLD included in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the FLEXTV trademark in which the Complainant has rights and that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy therefore are fulfilled.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, a respondent may establish rights to or legitimate interests in a domain name by demonstrating any of the following:
(i) before any notice to it of the dispute, the respondent’s 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) the respondent has been commonly known by the domain name, even if it has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain, to misleadingly divert consumers.
Although the Policy addresses ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name, it is well established, as it is put in section 2.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0, that a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production 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.
There is no evidence in the present case that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name, enabling it to establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The name of the Respondent is “Host Master” and its brand DRAGONTV, which do not resemble the disputed domain name in any manner.
Furthermore, there is no evidence in the file to prove any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, nor any other to prove that the Respondent has legitimate interests or that it has established rights in the disputed domain name.
Likewise, and as further discussed under section 6.C of this decision, it does not seem that the Respondent is making any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name – which is identical to the Complainant’s above-mentioned trademark – but rather that it intends to use the disputed domain name for the purpose of deriving unfair monetary advantage by confusing Internet users by leading them to believe that the site to which the disputed domain name resolves is linked to the Complainant.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case, a case calling for an answer from the Respondent. The Respondent has not responded and the Panel is unable to conceive of any basis upon which the Respondent could sensibly be said to have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name (Telstra Corporation Limited V. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003).
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy have been fulfilled.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark FLEXTV mentioned in section 4 above (Factual Background) when the disputed domain name was registered on September 15, 2021.
In accordance with section 3.1.4 of WIPO Overview 3.0, the Panel considers that the registration of the disputed domain name that is identical to the Complainant’s widely known FLEXTV trademark creates a presumption of bad faith.
The Respondent when registering the disputed domain name has targeted the Complainant’s trademark FLEXTV with the intention to confuse Internet users and capitalize on the fame of the Complainant’s trademark for its own monetary benefit.
The fact that there is a clear absence of rights or legitimate interests coupled with no credible explanation for the Respondent’s choice of the disputed domain name is also a significant factor to consider that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith (as stated in section 3.2.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0).
The Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and uses the disputed domain name intentionally to attempt to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s FLEXTV trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement for services similar to those offered by the Complainant. This amounts to bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) 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 <flextv.one> be transferred to the Complainant.
Miguel B. O’Farrell
Date: February 16, 2022