National Arbitration Forum
Bloomberg L.P. v. SC Media Services and Information SRL c/o Alexandru Lazescu
Claim Number: FA0407000296583
Complainant is Bloomberg L.P. (“Complainant”), represented by Allison Villafane, of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, 787 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019. Respondent is SC Media Services and Information SRL c/o Alexandru Lazescu (“Respondent”), Codrescu 7C, bl.B3, sc.A, ap.5, Iasi, Romania.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <bloomberg.ro>, registered with Romanian National Computer Network, Research Institute for Informatics.
The undersigned certifies that he or she has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his or her knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
Honorable Paul A Dorf (Ret.) as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (the "Forum") electronically on July 15, 2004; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on July 19, 2004.
On July 16, 2004, Romanian National Computer Network, Research Institute for Informatics confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name <bloomberg.ro> is registered with Romanian National Computer Network, Research Institute for Informatics and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Romanian National Computer Network, Research Institute for Informatics has verified that Respondent is bound by the Romanian National Computer Network, Research Institute for Informatics registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy").
On July 23, 2004, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of August 12, 2004 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent via e-mail, post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent's registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts, and to email@example.com by e-mail.
Having received no Response from Respondent, using the same contact details and methods as were used for the Commencement Notification, the Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On August 19, 2004, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Honorable Paul A. Dorf (Ret.) as Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the Forum has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules") "to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent." Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, the Forum's Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable, without the benefit of any Response from Respondent.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <bloomberg.ro> domain name is identical to Complainant’s BLOOMBERG mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <bloomberg.ro> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <bloomberg.ro> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, Bloomberg, L.P., a Delaware company that has been in business since 1981, is one of the largest providers of worldwide financial news and information, and related goods and services. Complainant serves clients in over 125 countries, and employs 1,600 reporters and 94 news bureaus worldwide. Since its inception in 1981, Complainant has continuously used its BLOOMBERG mark in conjunction with its financial services business. Complainant holds trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the BLOOMBERG mark (Reg. No. 2,045,947, issued May 18, 1997, Reg. No. 2,736,744, issued July 15, 2003). Complainant also registered the BLOOMBERG mark on January 10, 2003 (Reg. No. 54085) in the country of Romania.
Respondent registered the <bloomberg.ro> domain name on November 18, 1998. Respondent is not using the domain name in connection with an active website.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to "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."
In view of Respondent's failure to submit a Response, the Panel shall decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of Complainant's undisputed representations pursuant to paragraphs 5(e), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules and draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:
(1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Identical and/or Confusingly Similar
Complainant established in this proceeding that it has rights to the BLOOMBERG mark as evidenced by its registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Reg. No. 2,045,947, issued May 18, 1997, Reg. No. 2,736,744, issued July 15, 2003) and its registration in the country of Romania (Reg. No. 54085, issued January 10, 2003). See Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. v. Wick, FA 117861 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 16, 2002) (“Under U.S. trademark law, registered marks hold a presumption that they are inherently distinctive and have acquired secondary meaning.”); see also Janus Int’l Holding Co. v. Rademacher, D2002-0201 (WIPO Mar. 5, 2002) (finding that Panel decisions have held that registration of a mark is prima facie evidence of validity, which creates a rebuttable presumption that the mark is inherently distinctive. Respondent has the burden of refuting this assumption).
The domain name registered by Respondent, <bloomberg.ro>, is identical to Complainant’s BLOOMBERG mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) because the only difference is the addition of the top-level domain “.ro.” See Rollerblade, Inc. v. McCrady, D2000-0429 (WIPO June 25, 2000) (finding that the top level of the domain name such as “.net” or “.com” does not affect the domain name for the purpose of determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar); see also Blue Sky Software Corp. v. Digital Sierra, Inc., D2000-0165 (WIPO Apr. 27, 2000) (holding that the domain name <robohelp.com> is identical to Complainant’s registered ROBOHELP trademark, and that the "addition of .com is not a distinguishing difference"); see also Busy Body, Inc. v. Fitness Outlet Inc., D2000-0127 (WIPO Apr. 22, 2000) (finding that "the addition of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) name ‘.com’ is . . . without legal significance since use of a gTLD is required of domain name registrants").
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant asserts that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the <bloomberg.ro> domain name. Since Respondent did not respond to the Complaint, the Panel may accept any reasonable assertions by Complainant as true. See Desotec N.V. v. Jacobi Carbons AB, D2000-1398 (WIPO Dec. 21, 2000) (finding that failing to respond allows a presumption that Complainant’s allegations are true unless clearly contradicted by the evidence); see also Charles Jourdan Holding AG v. AAIM, D2000-0403 (WIPO June 27, 2000) (finding it appropriate for the Panel to draw adverse inferences from Respondent’s failure to reply to the Complaint).
Respondent is wholly appropriating Complainant’s mark and is not using the <bloomberg.ro> domain name in connection with an active website. The Panel finds that the passive holding of a domain name that is identical to Complainant’s mark is not a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) and it is not a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Pharmacia & Upjohn AB v. Romero, D2000-1273 (WIPO Nov. 13, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests where Respondent failed to submit a Response to the Complaint and had made no use of the domain name in question); see also Melbourne IT Ltd. v. Stafford, D2000-1167 (WIPO Oct. 16, 2000) (finding no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name where there is no proof that Respondent made preparations to use the domain name or one like it in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services before notice of the domain name dispute, the domain name did not resolve to a website, and Respondent is not commonly known by the domain name); see also Am. Home Prod. Corp. v. Malgioglio, D2000-1602 (WIPO Feb. 19, 2001) (finding no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name <solgarvitamins.com> where Respondent merely passively held the domain name); see also Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS v. Kahveci, D2000-1244 (WIPO Nov. 11, 2000) (finding that “merely registering the domain name is not sufficient to establish rights or legitimate interests for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy”).
Moreover, Respondent has offered no evidence and there is no proof in the record suggesting that Respondent is commonly known by the <bloomberg.ro> domain name. Thus, Respondent has not established rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Tercent Inc. v. Yi, FA 139720 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 10, 2003) (stating “nothing in Respondent’s WHOIS information implies that Respondent is ‘commonly known by’ the disputed domain name” as one factor in determining that Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) does not apply); see also Broadcom Corp. v. Intellifone Corp., FA 96356 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 5, 2001) (finding no rights or legitimate interests because Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name or using the domain name in connection with a legitimate or fair use); see also Gallup Inc. v. Amish Country Store, FA 96209 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 23, 2001) (finding that Respondent does not have rights in a domain name when Respondent is not known by the mark).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
While any of the four circumstances listed at Policy ¶ 4(b) establishes bad faith registration and use of a domain name, the listed circumstances were not intended to be exclusive. The Panel may consider the totality of the circumstances in addressing whether Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. See Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, D2000-0624 (WIPO Aug. 21, 2000) (“the examples [of bad faith] in Paragraph 4(b) are intended to be illustrative, rather than exclusive”); see also Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. Risser, FA 93761 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 18, 2000) (finding that in determining if a domain name has been registered in bad faith, the Panel must look at the “totality of circumstances”)
Although Respondent registered the <bloomberg.ro> domain name in 1998, it has not used the disputed domain name in connection with the offering of any services or in conjunction with an active website. The Panel finds that Respondent’s passive holding of the domain name evidences bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Telstra Corp. v. Nuclear Marshmallows, D2000-0003 (WIPO Feb. 18, 2000) (finding that “it is possible, in certain circumstances, for inactivity by the Respondent to amount to the domain name being used in bad faith”); see also DCI S.A. v. Link Commercial Corp., D2000-1232 (WIPO Dec. 7, 2000) (concluding that Respondent’s passive holding of the domain name satisfies the requirement of ¶ 4(a)(iii) of the Policy); see also Clerical Med. Inv. Group Ltd. v. Clericalmedical.com, D2000-1228 (WIPO Nov. 28, 2000) (finding that merely holding an infringing domain name without active use can constitute use in bad faith); see also Caravan Club v. Mrgsale, FA 95314 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 30, 2000) (finding that Respondent made no use of the domain name or website that connects with the domain name, and that passive holding of a domain name permits an inference of registration and use in bad faith)
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <bloomberg.ro> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Honorable Paul A. Dorf (Ret.), Panelist
Dated: September 2, 2004