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									                WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

                       ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

                             PwC Business Trust v. CulitoSa

                                  Case No. D2001-1109




1.   The Parties

     1.1   The Complainant is a trust formed in June 1998, in accordance with the
           provisions of the Delaware Business Trust Act, with its head office located in
           New York, U.S.A.

     1.2   The Respondent is CulitoSa, based on WHOIS information provided to the
           Registrar of the Domain Name at issue, located at O'Donnell 31, Madrid 28009,
           Spain. The administrative, technical and billing contact listed against the Domain
           Name is Maria Navarro.


2.   The Domain Name and Registrar

     2.1   The Domain Name, the subject of this dispute, is

                <price-waterhouse-coopers.com>

     2.2   The Domain Name is registered with Internet Domain Registrars, t/a
           Registrars.com, Suite 1900, One Bentall Centre, 505 Burrard Street, Vancouver,
           BC, Box 44, Canada V7X 1M6.


3.   Procedural History

     3.1   The Complaint was filed electronically on September 10, 2001, and in hard copy
           on September 11, 2001.

     3.2   The Complainant elected to have the dispute decided by a single-member
           Administrative Panel.

     3.3   No legal proceedings have been initiated, as yet. (Rules for Uniform Domain
           Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“Rules”), paragraph 3(b)(xi)).

                                           page 1
     3.4   As required by the Rules and the WIPO Supplemental Rules, payment in the
           amount of USD 1,500.00 has been made by bank transfer, payable to World
           Intellectual Property Organization.

     3.5   The Complainant agreed that its claim and remedies concerning the registration
           of the Domain Name, the dispute, or the dispute’s resolution shall be solely
           against the Domain Name holder and waives all such claims and remedies against
           (a) the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center and Panelists, except in the case
           of deliberate wrongdoing, (b) the concerned Registrar, (c) the Registry
           Administrator, (d) the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, as
           well as their directors, officers, employees and agents.

     3.6   On September 17, 2001, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (“the
           Center”) transmitted via e-mail to Internet Domain Registrars, t/a Registrars.com,
           Suite 1900, One Bentall Centre, 505 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Box 44,
           Canada V7X 1M6, a request for registrar verification in connection with this case
           and on September 28, 2001, the Center received a verification response
           confirming that the domain names are registered with Internet Domain Registrars
           and that the Registrant for the domain name is the Respondent.

     3.7   A copy of this Complaint, together with the cover sheet as prescribed by the
           Supplemental Rules, has been sent or transmitted to the Respondent on
           October 15, 2001, pursuant to Rules, paragraph 2(b).

     3.8   A copy of this Complaint has been sent or transmitted to the concerned Registrar,
           Internet Domain Registrars on October 15, 2001.

     3.9   On November 7, 2001, the Respondent was determined to be in default for failing
           to submit a Response.

     3.10 The single Panel member, Cecil O.D. Branson, Q.C., submitted a Statement of
          Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence and was duly
          appointed on December 11, 2001, in accordance with paragraph 15 of the Rules.
          The Panel was required to forward its decision to the Center by
          December 25, 2001.

     3.11 The Panel finds that it was properly constituted and appointed in accordance with
          the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.


4.   Factual Background

     4.1   The following facts were asserted by the Complainant, were uncontested, and this
           Panel finds them to be proven in this case.

     4.2   The Complainant was formed in June 1998, and owns all right, title and interest
           in and to the PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS name and mark and certain other
           intellectual property rights, for the benefit of the member firms of the worldwide
           PricewaterhouseCoopers organization. The PricewaterhouseCoopers
           organization arose from the merger of the two internationally well known
           predecessor organizations of firms, namely Price Waterhouse and Coopers &
           Lybrand.


                                           page 2
4.3   The worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization's member firms make up
      the world's largest professional services organization, providing a full range of
      business and advisory services to leading global, national and local companies
      and to public institutions. These services include audit, accounting and tax
      advice; management, information technology consulting; human resource
      consulting; financial advisory services including mergers & acquisitions,
      business recovery, project finance and litigation support; and business process
      outsourcing services. The member firms of the worldwide
      PricewaterhouseCoopers organization have offices in most countries, and in most
      cities of developed countries, throughout the world and have around 9000
      partners and over 150,000 employees. The Complainant provided evidence taken
      from the websites of member firms the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers
      organization illustrating the range and depth of their activities.

4.4   There are PricewaterhouseCoopers offices throughout Spain namely in Madrid,
      Barcelona, Bilbao, La Coruna, Las Palmas (Canary Islands), Logrono, Malaga,
      Murcia, Oviedo, Palma (Mallorca), Pamplona, San Sebastian, Santa Cruz
      (Tenerife), Santander, Seville, Valencia, Valladolid, Vigo, Vitoria, and Zaragoza.

4.5   Since July 1998, all activities of the Complainant and the member firms of the
      worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization have been carried out by
      reference to the name PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS. Total revenue for the
      member firms of the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization for the
      period July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2000, exceeded US $21 billion.

4.6   The member firms of the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization are
      widely advertised and promoted and are some of the best known consulting
      businesses in the world. Their services are advertised worldwide, and are
      mentioned daily in articles in the national newspapers and other publications of
      developed countries. The Complainant provided a selection of articles
      mentioning member firms of the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers
      organization during the course of a number of recent days taken from the
      Financial Times web site on September 2, 2001.

4.7   The Complainant is the proprietor of applications and registrations for the
      trademark PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS in, inter alia, Spain, European
      Union and the United States of America. Complainant provided details of these
      applications and registrations, along with a summary table. These registrations
      are held in the name of the Complainant. The Complainant owns corresponding
      trademark applications and registrations for PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS
      in many other countries of the world.

4.8   Member firms of the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization have
      registered in many countries of the world domain names which contain the
      element PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS. In this regard, Complainant
      provided prints from the relevant "whois" databases confirming that the following
      Domain Names have been registered by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (which is a
      member firm of the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization:

           Domain Name                         Date Registered

           <pricewaterhousecoopers.com>        21st September 1997

                                      page 3
            <pricewaterhousecoopers.net>   20th July 1998
            <pricewaterhousecoopers.org>   20th July 1998
            <pricewaterhousecoopers.co.uk> 7th July 1998

4.9   The member firms of the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization rely
      on the PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS trade marks owned by the
      Complainant and on the domain names owned by the member firms of the
      worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization, to attract potential clients and
      customers to the business and to web sites of the said member firms. The
      PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS name and mark is the Complainant's primary
      trademark and one of the major business assets of the member firms of the
      worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization.

4.10 On or about July 24, 2001, Complainant's UK in-house trademark counsel
     became aware that the Respondent had obtained registration of the Domain Name
     when she conducted a "whois" search showing the Domain Name owner as
     "CulitoSa". In view of the Spanish address recorded for both the registrant and
     the administrative, technical and billing contact, Complainant felt it was
     reasonable to suppose that CulitoSa was intended to indicate a Spanish limited
     liability company, registered under the name Culito SA.

4.11 On July 25, 2001, Spanish counsel, Carlos Polo & Associados, was instructed on
     behalf of the Complainant to make contact with Culito SA and with the
     administrative, technical and billing contact listed against The Domain Name,
     Maria Navarro. The Spanish counsel duly wrote on July 30, 2001, to Culito SA
     by registered mail to the Madrid address given against The Domain Name. The
     Spanish Post Office provided a certificate confirming that the letter had been
     mailed, but it later returned the letter stating that it could not be delivered because
     the addressee was not known at the address provided. A copy of the letter and a
     copy of the Spanish Post Office's two communications, along with English
     translations of each of these documents were provided by the Complainant.

4.12 The Complainant’s Spanish counsel then tried calling the telephone number listed
     against the administrative, technical and billing contact for The Domain Name.
     This turned out to be a mobile telephone number which was answered by a
     person claiming not have any knowledge about Maria Navarro and indicating that
     the number was his private mobile telephone number. Complainant's Spanish
     counsel checked with the Madrid Telephone Information Service who responded
     that there is no number listed in Madrid for a company under the name
     Culito S.A. The Madrid Telephone Information Service was requested to provide
     the telephone number listed against the address given for Maria Navarro in the
     details of The Domain Name, namely 31 O'Donnell. The Service reported that
     there is no number for any Maria Navarro at that address.

4.13 The Complainant's Spanish counsel also obtained two commercial reports, one on
     Culito S.A. and another on Ms. Navarro, both of which were negative.
     Culito S.A. does not appear to be a Spanish company and no Maria Navarro is
     known at the 31 O'Donnell address. The Complainant provided copies of the
     commercial reports and English translations, along with a copy of the
     Complainant's Spanish counsel's final report dated August 16, 2001.

4.14 The e-mail address given against the Domain Name, namely elcid@rete-mail is
     incomplete and unusable. The Complainant provided a copy of the e-mail

                                       page 4
          delivery failure report dated 1st September. Neither <rete-mail.com> nor
          <rete-mail.es> resolve to an active web page suggesting that the Registrant's
          failure to provide a real e-mail address was not the result of a typographical error.

     4.15 The Complainant produced a print of the website page for
          <price-waterhouse-coopers.com> which indicates that the address resolves to a
          holding page provided by the registrar for the Domain Name and not to any web
          page of the Respondent. The Domain Name is therefore inactive, and there is no
          evidence of it every having been otherwise.


5.   Parties’ Contentions

     A.   Complainant

          5.1   The Complainant says that The sole distinguishing element of the Domain
                Name is the word "PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS", that the ".com"
                element and the two hyphens are non-distinctive and should be discounted
                when comparing the Domain Name with the Complaint's
                PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS name and trademark.

          5.2   PRICE-WATERHOUSE-COOPERS is identical or virtually identical to the
                following:

                a.    The partnership, legal name and/or trading name of the member firms
                      of the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization, use of which
                      name commenced in July 1998, and has continued uninterrupted since
                      that time.

                b.    The subject matter of the Complainant's trade mark applications and
                      registrations, the earliest of which date back to June 1998, before the
                      date of the registration of the Domain Name

                c.    The trademark, which since 1998, has been extensively used under
                      licence from the Complainant by the member firms of the worldwide
                      PricewaterhouseCoopers organization to identify their accounting and
                      consulting businesses and the trade origin of the products and services
                      they provide.

                d.    The combination of three out of the four primary elements in the
                      names of the two predecessor networks of the member firms of the
                      worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization, namely
                      "Price Waterhouse" and "Coopers & Lybrand".

          5.3   The Complainant submits that The Respondent should be considered as
                having no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name for,
                inter alia, the following reasons:

                a.    There is no evidence the Respondent does or ever did conduct any
                      legitimate business or activities under the name PRICE-
                      WATERHOUSE-COOOPERS or the Domain Name or any variant.



                                           page 5
      b.    There is no evidence the Respondent has or ever did have any bona
            fide interest in establishing any legitimate business or activities under
            the name PRICE-WATERHOUSE-COOPERS or the Domain Name
            or any variant. In this respect, the Complainant contends that to the
            extent the Respondent attempts to show an intention to conduct a
            business or non-profit making activity under the Domain Name, such
            business or activity will be a sham for the purpose of attempting to
            protect the Domain Name from transfer under these or similar
            proceedings and thereby to increase the value of the Domain Name to
            a purchaser. Any such intended use would not be bona fide for the
            purposes of these proceedings.

5.4   The Complainant further submits that the Domain Name should be found to
      have been registered and used in bad faith, inter alia, for the following
      reasons:

      a.    The Respondent is based in and resident in Spain, one of the larger of
            the EU member states. In view of the enormous promotion and
            public recognition of the name and trade mark
            PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS generated by the Complainant
            and its licensees both in Spain and worldwide the Respondent must
            have been aware, when it registered the Domain Name in
            December 1999, of the Complainant's and its licensees' business in,
            use of, and rights in and to the name and mark
            PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS. As stated earlier, to the best of
            the Complainant's belief, the Complainant and the member firms of
            the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization are the only
            users in the EU, USA and all other countries, of the name and mark
            PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS. It is submitted that in these
            circumstances, mere registration of the Domain Name constitutes bad
            faith use and registration for the purpose of the Policy and these
            proceedings.

      b.    The enquiries carried out by the Complainant's Spanish counsel
            suggest that the contact information provided by the Respondent
            when it applied to register the Domain Name was false. In particular
            it appears that the Respondent gave a false or at least a misleading
            Registrant name (CulitoSa), gave a false address both for the
            Registrant and the Registrant's Administrative/Technical/Billing
            contact, gave a false telephone number and a false or at least
            incomplete email address.

      c.    It appears that the Domain Name has not been used by the
            Respondent since it was established more than 18 months ago.

5.5   The Complainant submits further that, under the Policy, “inaction” along
      with other factors, can constitute bad faith.

5.6   The Complainant submits further that:

      (i)   The Respondent must have been aware when it registered the Domain
            Name that it consisted of the Complainant's name and trademark.


                                 page 6
           (ii)   Thus, the Respondent must have registered the Domain Name
                  primarily for the purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring
                  the Domain Name to the Complainant or one of the member firms of
                  the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization who are, and
                  must have been recognised by the Respondent to be, the exclusive
                  owner and users of an identical or confusingly similar trade mark and
                  trading name (Policy para. 4.b(i)).

           (iii) Further, the Respondent must have registered the Domain Name in
                 order to prevent the Complainant and the member firms of the
                 worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organization, from reflecting
                 their name and mark in a corresponding domain name (Policy
                 para 4.b(ii)).

           (iv) And the Respondent must have registered the Domain Name
                primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of the
                Complainant and/or the members of the worldwide
                PricewaterhouseCoopers organization (Policy para 4.b.(iii).

     5.7   As an alternative argument, the Complainant submits that it is found that
           the registration and use of the Domain Name by the Respondent does not
           fall within the indicia of bad faith listed in 4(b) of the Policy it is
           respectfully submitted that the Panel should in any event find that the
           Respondent's registration and use of the Domain Name was in bad faith for
           the following reasons:

           (1)    The Respondent conducts no legitimate business or any legitimate
                  offering of goods or services from any web pages established under
                  the Domain Name;

           (2)    The Respondent is not and has never been known by the Domain
                  Name;

           (3)    The Respondent is not making legitimate non-commercial or fair use
                  of the Domain Name.

B.   Respondent

     5.8   The Respondent has not filed a Response to the Complaint. Under
           para. 5(e) of the Rules, it is provided that if a Respondent does not submit a
           Response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall
           decide the dispute based upon the Complaint. As no exceptional
           circumstances have been brought to the Panel’s attention, it proceeds to
           make the findings below on the basis of the material contained in the
           Complaint.

C.   No Other Submissions

     5.9   The Panel has not received any other requests from Complainant or
           Respondent regarding further submissions, beyond the Complaint, waivers
           or extensions of deadlines, and the Panel has not found it necessary to
           request any further information from the Parties.


                                      page 7
6.   Discussion and Findings

     6.1   Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that the Complainant must prove each of the
           following requirements:

           (i)    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

           (ii)   that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the
                  Domain Name; and

           (iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

     These matters are considered in turn below.

     (i)   The domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly
           similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights.

     6.2   This first factor contains two elements:

           First, does Complainant have rights in a relevant mark, and second, is the Domain
           Name identical or confusingly similar to that mark. Plaza Operating Partners,
           Ltd. v. POP Data Technologies and Joseph Pillus, WIPO Case No. D2000-0166.

     6.3   This Panel accepts that the Complainant is the holder of the registration for the
           marks referred to as above.

     6.4   The only difference between the Domain Name,
           <price-waterhouse-coopers.com> and the marks in which Complainant has rights,
           as above, is the insertion of a hyphen [-] between the word “price” and the word
           “waterhouse” and between the word “waterhouse” and the word “coopers”.

     6.5   “Essential” or “virtual” identity is sufficient for the purposes of the Policy: The
           Stanley Works and Stanley Logistics Inc. v. Cam Creek Co. Inc., WIPO Case No.
           D2000-0113, Nokia Corp. v. Nokiagirls.com a.k.a IBCC, WIPO Case No.
           D2000-0102, and America Online, Inc. v. Anson Chan, WIPO Case No.
           D2001-0004.

     6.6   The use of a hyphen between two words is so de minimus as not to constitute a
           material difference between the mark in which Complainant holds rights and the
           Domain Name registered to the Respondent: Channel Tunnel Group Ltd. v.
           Powell, WIPO Case No. D2000-0038; Pep Boys Manny, Moe and Jack of
           California v. E-Commerce Today, Ltd. eResolution Case No. AF-0145.

     6.7   This Panel finds that the Domain Name <price-waterhouse-coopers.com> is
           identical or confusingly similar to the PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS name
           and mark in which Complainant has rights.




                                             page 8
(ii)   Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain
       name.

6.8    Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant PricewaterhouseCoopers nor is it
       authorized to use Complainant’s PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS name and
       mark. The Respondent registered the <price-waterhouse-coopers.com> Domain
       Name without the authorization, knowledge or consent of Complainant.

6.9    Once a Complainant makes a prima facie showing that a Respondent lacks rights
       in the Domain Name, the burden of proof shifts to the Respondent to come
       forward with demonstrable evidence proving a legitimate interest in the Domain
       Name. Document Technologies, Inc. v. International Electronic Communications
       Inc. WIPO Case No. D2000-0270; Universal City Studios, Inc. v. G.A.B.
       Enterprises WIPO Case No. D2000-0416; Drexel University v. David Brouda,
       WIPO Case No. D2001-0067. This is consistent with the Policy in para. 4(c)(iii),
       which speaks in terms of the Respondent demonstrating his rights or legitimate
       interests in the Domain Name for legitimate non-commercial or fair use purposes.
       The Policy strikes a fair relationship between the overall onus of proof in regard
       to an issue in a case as contrasted with the proof of a fact material to that issue.
       This Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie showing, as above.

6.10 This Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in
     respect of the Domain Name <price-waterhouse-coopers.com>.

(iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

6.11 It has been held that a failure of a Respondent to file a Response entitles the Panel
     to draw an inference adverse to the Respondent’s that there is no basis for finding
     that the Respondent should have had any good faith reason for registering and
     using the Domain Name in issue. See: Isabelle Adjani v. Second Orbit
     Communications, Inc. WIPO Case No. D2000-0867.

6.12 As held in Bill Withers v. Robert Dominico et al, WIPO Case No. D2000-1621, it
     has been established in a number of cases that registration together with
     “inaction” and other facts can constitute bad faith use. See also:
     Telstra Corp. Ltd. v. Nuclear Marshmallows WIPO Case No. D2000-0003;
     Ingersoll-Rand v. Frank Gully, d/b/a Advcomren WIPO Case No. D2000-0021;
     Guerlain, S.A. v. Peikang WIPO Case No. D2000-0055; Compaq Compute Corp
     v. Boris Beric WIPO Case No. D2000-0042; Sanrio Company, Ltd. and
     Sanrio Inc. v. Neric Lau WIPO Case No. D2000-0172; 3636275 Canada, dba
     eResolution v. eResolution.com WIPO Case No. D2000-0110; Marconi Data
     Systems, Inc. v. IRG Coins and Ink Source, Inc. WIPO Case No.D2000-0090;
     Stralfors AB v. P D S AB, WIPO Case No. D2000-0112; InfoSpace.com, Inc. v.
     Ofer, WIPO Case No. D2000-0075.

6.13 There are other facts that provide sufficient evidence of bad faith in this case. It
     has been held that the taking by a Respondent of deliberate steps to ensure that its
     true identity cannot be determined and communication with it cannot be made is
     evidence of bad faith. See: Telstra Corp. Ltd. v. Nuclear Marshmallows WIPO
     Case No. D2000-0003; Home Director, Inc. v. Home Director, WIPO Case No.
     D2000-0111; Geoffrey Inc. v. Babys Russian, WIPO Case No. D2000-1011;
     McClatchy Newspapers, Inc. v. Moldava S.A. WIPO Case No. D2001-0304.


                                        page 9
     6.14 That this is the situation in the case before this Panel has been demonstrated to
          the fullest.

     6.15 Given the evidence put forward by the Complainant, and the lack of any
          Response from the Respondent, this Panel finds that the Domain Name
          <price-waterhouse-coopers.com> has been registered and is being used in bad
          faith.


7.   Decision

     7.1   This Panel finds and decides that:

           (a)   the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or
                 service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

           (b)   the Complainant has established that Respondent has no rights or legitimate
                 interests in respect of the Domain Name <price-waterhouse-coopers.com>;

           (c)   the Complainant has established that the Domain Name has been registered,
                 and is being used in bad faith.

     7.2   The ruling of this Panel is that the registration of the Domain Name
           <price-waterhouse-coopers.com> be transferred to the Complainant.




                             ____________________________
                                 Cecil O.D. Branson, Q.C.
                                       Sole Panelist

                                Dated: December 14, 2001




                                           page 10

								
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