WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Moog Inc. v. Wong Toms, Barlin Times Technology Co., LTD
Case No. D2017-0385
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Moog Inc. of East Aurora, New York, United States of America ("US"), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Wong Toms, Barlin Times Technology Co., LTD of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <moogslipring.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on February 24, 2017. On February 27, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 27, 2017, 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 March 2, 2017, 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 March 8, 2017.
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 paragraphs 2 and 4 of the Rules, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 8, 2017. In accordance with paragraph 5 of the Rules, the due date for Response was March 28, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on March 29, 2017.
The Center appointed Brigitte Joppich as the sole panelist in this matter on April 7, 2017. 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 paragraph 7 of the Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a worldwide designer, manufacturer, and integrator of precision control components and systems, present in 27 countries worldwide and employs nearly 11,000 people. Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Complainant reported sales of USD 2.41 billion in 2016.
The Complainant is the registered owner of numerous trademarks for MOOG, including US trademark registration no. 0893181 MOOG, registered on October 5, 1967 in connection with goods in class 9, and International trademark registration no. 610136 MOOG, registered on November 15, 1993 in connection with goods in classes 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 35, 37, 39, and 40, inter alia for China (jointly the "MOOG Mark"). The Complainant has an Internet presence through its website located at the domain name <moog.com>.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on August 12, 2016 and was using it in connection with a website noting "This Web page is parked for FREE, courtesy of GoDaddy.com." and featuring multiple third-party links for various products and services including a link to the Complainant and its slip ring products.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that each of the three elements specified in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is given in the present case.
(1) The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the MOOG Mark as the Respondent simply added the generic, descriptive term "slip ring" to the name "Moog", thereby fully incorporating the MOOG Mark into the disputed domain name.
(2) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name as the Complainant enjoys exclusive rights in the MOOG Mark, as the Respondent is neither sponsored by nor affiliated with the Complainant, nor has been given permission to use the Complainant's MOOG Mark, and as the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name.
(3) The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant contends that its business and the MOOG Mark are well-known internationally, and that the Complainant marketed and sold its goods and services using the MOOG Mark well before the Respondent's registration of the disputed domain name. Therefore, the Respondent knew, or at least should have known, of the existence of the Complainant's trademarks. Furthermore, the Complainant considers the presence of third-party, pay-per-click links at the disputed domain name's website to be evidence of bad faith registration and use either through non-action or proactive participation in a domain monetization system, just as the facts that the Respondent had employed a privacy service to hide its identity and ignored the Complainant's attempts to resolve the dispute outside of this administrative proceeding.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that each of the following three elements is present:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name fully incorporates the Complainant's MOOG Mark, adding "slip ring" (a product manufactured by the Complainant) to this mark and is therefore confusingly similar to such mark.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Even though the Policy requires the complainant to prove that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, it is the consensus view among UDRP panelists that a complainant has to make only a prima facie case to fulfill the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. As a result, the burden of coming forward with evidence of the respondent's rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name will then shift to the respondent.
The Complainant has substantiated that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and so the burden of production has been shifted to the Respondent.
The Respondent did not deny these assertions in any way and therefore failed to come forward with any allegations or evidence demonstrating any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Based on the evidence before the Panel, the Panel cannot find any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent either. In particular, the fact that the Respondent has possibly only been passively holding the disputed domain name through the Registrar's free parking service (which displays a link to the Complainant and its slip ring products as well as links to third parties' products and services) does not constitute rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has proven that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name under paragraphs 4(a)(ii) and 4(c) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with full knowledge of the Complainant and its rights in the MOOG Mark as the Respondent referred to the Complainant's products by using the term "slip ring" within the disputed domain name.
As to bad faith use, the disputed domain name was used in connection with a website referencing the Complainant and its slip ring products as well as third parties' products and services. It is irrelevant that such parking website is a generic page created by the Registrar and that the Respondent may not have authorized it nor derived any commercial gain or incentives arising out of it. Panels have recognized that the commercial gain under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy does not need to be derived by the respondent himself (see Villeroy & Boch AG v. Mario Pingerna, WIPO Case No. D2007-1912).
As the Respondent did not file a Response and as there is nothing on the record of this case file to show otherwise, the Respondent was, in all likelihood, trying to divert traffic intended for the Complainant's website to its own for commercial gain as set out under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith and that the Complainant satisfied the requirements of 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 <moogslipring.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 11, 2017