Docstoc

WIPO Domain Name DisputeCase No. D2007-0210

Document Sample
WIPO Domain Name DisputeCase No. D2007-0210 Powered By Docstoc
					                WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

                       ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

              Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Rebecca Foster

                                  Case No. D2007-0210




1.   The Parties

     The Complainant is Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio,
     United States of America.

     The Respondent is Rebecca Foster, Houston, Texas, United States of America.


2.   The Domain Name and Registrar

     The disputed domain name <nationwide-auto-insurance-free-car-insurance-quote.com>
     is registered with OnlineNic, Inc. d/b/a China-Channel.com.


3.   Procedural History

     The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
     (the “Center”) in hard copy on February 13, 2007. On February 16, 2007, the Center
     transmitted by email to OnlineNic, Inc. d/b/a China-Channel.com a request for registrar
     verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On February 25, 2007,
     OnlineNic, Inc. d/b/a China-Channel.com transmitted by email to the Center its
     verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and
     providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact.
     On February 26, 2007, the Center received the electronic version of the Complaint.
     The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform
     Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”), 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
     Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 27, 2007.
     In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was


                                          page 1
     March 19, 2007. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center
     notified Respondent’s default on March 20, 2007.

     The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on
     April 2, 2007. 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, a mutual insurance company, has engaged in the business of providing
     insurance services in the United States of America for 80 years. During the
     last 50 years it has provided services under the service mark, NATIONWIDE.
     Complainant first registered the service mark, NATIONWIDE, with the United States
     Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on August 13, 1968, in connection with the
     underwriting and sale of all lines of insurance. Complaint, Annex C.

     Complainant currently has more than 8,000 exclusive authorized insurance agents and
     more than 160,000 non-exclusive registered representatives who sell Nationwide’s
     insurance services throughout the United States of America. Since 1955, Complainant
     has advertised extensively in publications, radio and television featuring its registered
     mark. Since 1998, alone, Complainant has spent more than $240 million in advertising
     and promoting its NATIONWIDE mark in connection with insurance products and
     services.

     Complainant is the largest administrator of qualified retirement plans for the public and
     private sectors, the fifth largest provider of variable life insurance, the fourth largest
     insurer of homes in the United States, and the sixth largest American insurer of
     automobiles. Complainant has registered and uses various “Nationwide” domain
     names, including <nationwideinsurance.com> and <nationwide.com>.

     Respondent registered the domain name at issue on July 29, 2002, and uses the domain
     name at issue to resolve to a website which offers low cost insurance quotes on
     automobile and related insurance. Complaint, Annexes A and F. The name
     “Nationwide Insurance” is displayed prominently on the website, and the use of the
     mark NATIONWIDE is repeatedly used on the website. Complainant has never
     licensed or sanctioned Respondent to use its mark. While the website contains
     numerous links to various insurers who are direct competitors of Complainant, it
     contains no link to Complainant.

     Complainant and Complainant’s counsel attempted to contact the Respondent by email
     and by mail at the addresses given in the Whois but the attempts were returned as
     undeliverable. The street address listed in Whois is actually occupied by a different
     business. Complaint, Annex E.




                                            page 2
5.   Parties’ Contentions

     A.   Complainant

     Complainant contends that the domain name at issue is confusingly similar to the
     NATIONWIDE mark in which Complainant has rights, that Respondent has no rights
     or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name at issue, and that Respondent has
     registered and is using the domain name at issue in bad faith.

     B.   Respondent

     Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.


6.   Discussion and Findings

     Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use
     in determining the dispute: “A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the
     statements and documents submitted 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:

          (1)   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
          (2)   that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the
                domain name; and
          (3)   that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

     A.   Identical or Confusingly Similar

     Where a domain name incorporates Complainant’s mark in its entirety, the domain
     name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark, despite the addition of other words
     in the domain name. This is the so-called “objective test” adopted by the majority of
     panelists. See Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case
     No. D2000-0662. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the domain name at issue
     <nationwide-auto-insurance-free-car-insurance-quote.com> is confusingly similar to
     Complainant’s registered NATIONWIDE service mark.

     B.   Rights or Legitimate Interests

     The consensus view of WIPO panelists concerning the burden of establishing no rights
     or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name is as follows:

          While the overall burden of proof rests with the complainant, panels have
          recognized that this could result in the often impossible task of proving a
          negative, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge of the
          respondent. Therefore a complainant is required to make out an initial prima
          facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such
          prima facie case is made, respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or

                                           page 3
          legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to do so, a
          complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP.

     WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Section 2.1.

     In the present case Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate
     interests in respect of the 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 domain name at issue.

     C.   Registered and Used in Bad Faith

     Complainant attempted to contact Respondent at the street address and email address
     given in the Whois. Complainant’s attempts were returned to its representatives. This
     suggests that Respondent may have provided false contact information when registering
     the domain name at issue. If that were indeed the case, panels have held that this fact
     constitutes bad faith. See Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case
     No. D2002-0775.

     However, the facts suggest several elements of bad faith. Respondent is using the
     domain name at issue to resolve to a website on which Complainant’s name and service
     mark are displayed prominently and which contains links to Complainant’s direct
     competitors. Respondent is apparently profiting from these links to commercial
     insurance providers. This brings Respondent within Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy
     which lists such conduct as conclusive evidence of bad faith registration and use. See
     Adobe Systems Incorporated v. Domain OZ, WIPO Case No. D2000-0057. The Panel
     finds that Respondent has registered and is using the domain name at issue in bad faith.


7.   Decision

     For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of
     the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name
     <nationwide-auto-insurance-free-car-insurance-quote.com> be transferred to the
     Complainant.




                                     M. Scott Donahey
                                       Sole Panelist

                                   Dated: April 5, 2007




                                           page 4

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:2
posted:4/11/2013
language:Latin
pages:4