WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd. v. Paras / Yatra Holidays
Case No. DCO2015-0025
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd. of Gurgaon, India, represented by Anand & Anand, India.
The Respondent is Paras / Yatra Holidays of Delhi, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <yatraholidays.co> is registered with BigRock Solutions Pvt Ltd. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on July 27, 2015. On July 28, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 29, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the 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(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 3, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 23, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on August 24, 2015.
The Center appointed Harini Narayanswamy as the sole panelist in this matter on August 27, 2015. 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.
On September 15, 2015, the Complainant submitted an unsolicited supplemental filing.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant runs an online travel portal from its website "www.yatra.com" that provides travel information and booking facilities for various modes of travel, hotels and holiday packages. The present dispute is based on the Complainant's YATRA trademark. The Complainant has registered Indian trademark rights in YATRA (device mark) with the registration numbers 1521727, 5121728 and1521729 in class 39, registered January 3, 2007.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <yatraholidays.co> on September 5, 2014. As per the WhoIs record, the Respondent's location is in Delhi, India. However, the record also reveals that the contact address given by the Respondent is incomplete. No other information is available about the Respondent, as the Respondent did not file a Response in these proceedings.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant states that it has been providing online travel related services since 2006. The Complainant claims it has an extensive network for hotel reservations that covers more than 15,000 hotels in India and several hundred thousand hotels across the world. The Complainant claims that on a single day customers had booked over 20,000 domestic tickets, as well as 7,500 hotels and holiday packages, which the Complainant alleges, shows the excellence of its services.
The Complainant asserts it has exclusive rights in the YATRA mark due to long, continuous and extensive use. The Complainant states its mark is highly distinctive and trusted in the area of travel services. It has been the recipient of several awards and has provided a list of some notable awards received as evidence of the reputation associated with its mark. The Complainant states it has invested enormous amounts on building its mark and has given annual figures of its promotional and advertising expenses for ten years. The Complainant states it has invested in acquiring several domain names containing its YATRA mark and has a strong online presence with a portfolio of over sixty-two such domain names.
The Complainant states the disputed domain name is identical and confusingly similar to its mark. Use of its mark by the Respondent, the Complainant argues, would give rise to confusion and misrepresentation. The trademark has been used in its entirety and would lead to dilution of the Complainant's mark.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name as the Respondent has not been authorized by the Complainant to use the mark. The Complainant states it is a prior adopter and user of the well-known and distinctive YATRA trademark and the Respondent's intention in registering the disputed domain name is to trade on the fame and recognition of its mark.
The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, as the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the YATRA mark. The Respondent's opportunistic bad faith use is evident from the use of the disputed domain name that clearly has commercial value and significance in travel related services. The registration of a domain name containing a well-known trademark is itself evidence of bad faith argues the Complainant. Further, the address and contact details provided by the Respondent for registration of the disputed domain name are false or incomplete. On the basis of its submissions, the Complainant requests for the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To obtain the remedy of transfer of the disputed domain name, the Complainant has to establish three requirements set out under paragraph 4 (a) of the Policy. These are:
(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 lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and
(iii) The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith by the Respondent.
A. Procedural Matter: Supplemental Filing
On September 15, 2015, the Complainant submitted an unsolicited supplemental filing. Without an express provision made for supplemental filings by either party under the Rules, which allow for only the submission of a Complaint by the Complainant and a Response by the Respondent, the Panel has the sole discretion to decide whether or not to consider and/or admit further documents submitted by the Parties pursuant to paragraph 10(d) of the Rules. In light of the above, the Panel has decided not to consider the Complainant's supplemental filing when rendering its Decision.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The first requirement under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy stipulates the Complainant has to establish the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark or a service mark in which it has rights.
The Complainant has provided evidence that establishes its rights in the YATRA trademark. First, there is the unassailable evidence of the Complainant's registered trademark rights in the YATRA mark. Next, there is evidence of the Complainant's promotional expenditure and numerous awards that establishes the Complainant's prior adoption and use of the mark in commerce in relation to online travel services. The Complainant has thereby established that YATRA has acquired secondary meaning, and is an indicator of source of the Complainant's services.
The disputed domain name contains the Complainant's trademark YATRA in its entirety along with the term "holiday". Addition of a generic term with a trademark is generally considered to render a domain name confusingly similar to the trademark for the purposes of analysis under the first element. Further, if the generic term used with the trademark is one that is connected to the Complainant's business in some way, such a combination is likely to confuse Internet users to a greater degree. The YATRA trademark is the main component of the disputed domain name. Unwary consumers and Internet users are likely to be confused to thinking the disputed domain name belongs to the Complainant. The use of the term "holiday" with the Complainant's trademark YATRA, in the Panel's view, is likely to increase confusion as the Complainant offers holiday services under its mark.
For the reasons discussed, the Panel finds the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's mark in which it has rights. The first requirement under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been satisfied.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The second element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy commonly is considered to require the Complainant to make a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once the Complainant has made a prima facie showing the Respondent lack rights, the Respondent has the opportunity to rebut the Complainant's contentions and demonstrate any rights in or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions ("WIPO Overview 2.0").
The Complainant has submitted that the Respondent has not been given any authorization to use the disputed domain name or any variant of its mark. The Respondent has registered the disputed domain name subsequent to the Complainant's trademark registrations and after the mark has become well known and associated with the Complainant's services. Therefore, it is the Complainant's contention, that the Respondent intends to exploit the reputation associated with the mark.
The Respondent has not responded or submitted any evidence in these proceedings to establish bona fide adoption of the name and registration of the disputed domain name. There is no evidence before this Panel that suggests the Respondent has been known by the disputed domain name. The Panel notes the Respondent operates a website that is offering travel related services that competes with the Complainant. The Respondent has not been granted any permission to use the Complainant's mark. The only plausible explanation for the Respondent's registration and use of the disputed domain name is to exploit the reputation associated with the Complainant's mark in an unauthorized manner. The Respondent's use of the domain name at the website is not bona fide as it is trading on the fame associated with the Complainant 's mark. Such use is not considered a basis for finding any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, which the Respondent has failed to answer. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the second requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The third element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires the Complainant to establish the disputed domain name has been registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant, as discussed in the previous sections, has proved that it is a prior adopter of the mark. The Complainant has also established that it has promoted and invested in the mark and extensively used it in commerce from 2006. The fact that the trademark has been popularized and used extensively by the Complainant for almost nine years and the Respondent uses this mark in the disputed domain name with no conceivable or reasonable explanation is an indication of bad faith. See Veuve Clicquot Ponsardi Maison Fondee en 1772 v. The Polygenix Group Co., WIPO Case No. D2000-0163.
The Respondent ought to have been and likely was aware of the Complainant's prior rights in the YATRA mark and its association with the term "holidays" and that unwary customers are likely to be confused with the similarity of the disputed domain name and the Complainant's trademark. These facts and circumstances are therefore indicative of the Respondent's knowledge of the mark at the time of registration of the disputed domain name, which suggests bad faith. See Caixa D'Estalvis I Pensions de Barcelona ("La Caixa") v. Eric Adam, WIPO Case No. D2006-0464. (Knowledge of a corresponding mark at the time of registration of the domain name suggests bad faith).
The circumstances in the present case suggest that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name to make unauthorized use of the Complainant's trademark and to derive unjust profits from persons looking for holiday travel services. In the Panel's view, the Respondent's use of the YATRA trademark in the disputed domain name is likely to deceive customers giving the impression that the Respondent is in some way affiliated with the Complainant.
Under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, where there are circumstances to suggest there is deliberate and misleading use of another's trademark for the purpose of diverting Internet users looking for sites associated with the owner of that trademark to the respondent's website, bad faith registration and use can be found. By using the trademark in the disputed domain name the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to his website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the disputed domain name and the Respondent's website.
The Panel finds the circumstances of this case show the disputed domain name was registered by the Respondent with an intention to attract Internet users to the Respondent's website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's well known mark as to its source, sponsorship, or endorsement, which is recognized as bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Respondent has provided false or incomplete contact details for registration of the disputed domain name, which is found to be further indication of the Respondent's bad faith.
On the basis of all that has been discussed, the Panel finds the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in bad faith and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Complainant has successfully established the third element under paragraph 4 (a) 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 <yatraholidays.co> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 10, 2015