national arbitration forum

 

DECISION

 

Nucor Corporation v. Tyrin Pereida

Claim Number: FA1103001377096

 

PARTIES

Complainant is Nucor Corporation (ďComplainantĒ), represented by Rex W. Miller of Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP, Ohio, USA.† Respondent is Tyrin Pereida (ďRespondentĒ), Arizona, USA.

 

REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME

The domain name at issue is <nucor.info>, registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

 

PANEL

The undersigned certifies that he has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.

 

Judge Ralph Yachnin as Panelist.

 

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on March 10, 2011; the National Arbitration Forum received payment on March 15, 2011.

 

On March 10, 2011, GoDaddy.com, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <nucor.info> domain name is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name.† GoDaddy.com, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the GoDaddy.com, Inc. registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANNís Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the ďPolicyĒ).

 

On March 16, 2011, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of April 5, 2011 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via e-mail to all entities and persons listed on Respondentís registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to postmaster@nucor.info.† Also on March 16, 2011, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the email addresses served and the deadline for a Response, was transmitted to Respondent via post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondentís registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts.

 

Having received no response from Respondent, the National Arbitration Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.

 

On April7, 2011, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Judge Ralph Yachnin as Panelist.

 

Respondent has submitted correspondence which does not meet the requirements of ICANNís Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy to be considered a Response.† Notwithstanding in the interests of justice, fairness and equity the essence of the submission has been taken into consideration in the determination of this decision.

 

 

Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the National Arbitration 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" through submission of Electronic and Written Notices, as defined in Rule 1 and Rule 2. Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, the National Arbitration Forum's Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable.

 

RELIEF SOUGHT

Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.

 

PARTIES' CONTENTIONS

A.† Complainant makes the following assertions:

 

1.    Respondentís <nucor.info> domain name is identical to Complainantís NUCOR mark.

 

2.    Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <nucor.info> domain name.

 

3.    Respondent registered and used the <nucor.info> domain name in bad faith.

 

B.† Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.

 

FINDINGS

Complainant, Nucor Corporation, owns a trademark registration for its NUCOR mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (ďUSPTOĒ) (Reg. No. 2,320,054 issued February 22, 2000).† Complainant uses its NUCOR mark in connection the sale of steel and steel products.

 

Respondent, Tyrin Pereida, registered the <nucor.info> domain name on July 23, 2010.† The disputed domain name resolves to a parked webpage that features links to business both in competition with, and unrelated to, Complainant.

 

DISCUSSION

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.† The Panel is entitled to accept all reasonable allegations and inferences set forth in the Complaint as true unless the evidence is clearly contradictory.† See Vertical Solutions Mgmt., Inc. v. webnet-marketing, inc., FA 95095 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 31, 2000) (holding that the respondentís failure to respond allows all reasonable inferences of fact in the allegations of the complaint to be deemed true); see also Talk City, Inc. v. Robertson, D2000-0009 (WIPO Feb. 29, 2000) (ďIn the absence of a response, it is appropriate to accept as true all allegations of the Complaint.Ē).

 

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 submits evidence of its trademark registration with the USPTO for its NUCOR mark (Reg. No. 2,320,054 issued February 22, 2000).† The Panel finds that registration of a mark with a federal trademark authority, such as the USPTO, is sufficient evidence of Complainantís rights in the mark under Policy ∂ 4(a)(i).† See Miller Brewing Co. v. Miller Family, FA 104177 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 15, 2002) (finding that the complainant had established rights to the MILLER TIME mark through its federal trademark registrations); see also Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Bonds, FA 873143 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 16, 2007) (finding that a trademark registration adequately demonstrates a complainantís rights in a mark under Policy ∂ 4(a)(i)).

 

Complainant contends that Respondentís <nucor.info> domain name is identical to Complainantís NUCOR mark.† The disputed domain name merely adds the generic top-level domain to the entirety of Complainantís mark.† Prior panels have concluded that the sole addition of a gTLD to a mark effectively renders the disputed domain name identical to the mark.† See PepsiCo, Inc. v. Shah, FA 103934 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 4, 2002) (finding the <pepsico.info> domain name identical to the complainantís PEPSICO mark); see also Microsoft Corp. v. Zournas, FA 1093928 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 10, 2007) (ďthe Panel finds that Respondentís <windows.info> domain name is identical to Complainantís WINDOWS mark as the addition of a gTLD is a necessary addition in the creation of any domain name and therefore an indistinguishing characteristic under Policy ∂ 4(a)(i).ď).† Therefore, applying past precedent to the facts of this case, the Panel finds that Respondentís <nucor.info> domain name is identical to Complainantís NUCOR mark pursuant to Policy ∂ 4(a)(i).

 

The Panel finds that Policy ∂ 4(a)(i) is satisfied.

 

Rights or Legitimate Interests

 

Complainant alleges that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.† Complainant must first make a prima facie case in support of its allegations, then the burden shifts to Respondent to prove that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ∂ 4(a)(ii).† The Panel finds that based on the arguments set forth in the Complaint, Complainant has established a prima facie †case in support of its contentions and Respondent has failed to submit a Response to these proceedings.† See Swedish Match UK Ltd. v. Admin, Domain, FA 873137 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 13, 2007) (finding that once a prima facie case has been established by the complainant, the burden then shifts to the respondent to demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ∂ 4(c)); see also Intel Corp. v. Macare, FA 660685 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 26, 2006) (finding the ďcomplainant must first make a prima facie case that [the] respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain names under Policy ∂ 4(a)(ii), and then the burden shifts to [the] respondent to show it does have rights or legitimate interests.Ē).† Although Respondent has not come forth with any evidence to meet its burden, the Panel elects to consider the evidence on record before making a determination as to whether or not Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the <nucor.info> domain name. †

 

The WHOIS information for the disputed domain name indicates that the registrant is ďTyrin Pereida.Ē† Respondent does not submit any evidence, and there does not appear to be any additional evidence in the record, indicating that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.† Therefore, the Panel concludes that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy ∂ 4(c)(ii).† See Coppertown Drive-Thru Sys., LLC v. Snowden, FA 715089 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 17, 2006) (concluding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <coppertown.com> domain name where there was no evidence in the record, including the WHOIS information, suggesting that the respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain name); see also St. Lawrence Univ. v. Nextnet Tech, FA 881234 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 21, 2007) (concluding a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name where there was no evidence in the record indicating that the respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain name).

 

Complainant indicates that Respondentís disputed domain name resolves to a website featuring links to third-party websites.† Complainant notes that some of these links redirect Internet users to Complainantís competitors in the steel industry, while others redirect users to websites unrelated to Complainant.† The Panel presumes that Respondent receives financial compensation, likely through click-through fees, in association with the displayed links.† Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondentís use of the disputed domain name is not a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ∂ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ∂ 4(c)(iii).† See TM Acquisition Corp. v. Sign Guards, FA 132439 (Nat. Arb. Forum Dec. 31, 2002) (finding that the respondentís diversionary use of the complainantís marks to send Internet users to a website which displayed a series of links, some of which linked to the complainantís competitors, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services); see also Computer Doctor Franchise Sys., Inc. v. Computer Doctor, FA 95396 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 8, 2000) (finding that the respondentís website, which is blank but for links to other websites, is not a legitimate use of the domain names).

 

Complainant states that when it became aware of Respondentís infringing domain name, Complainant sent Respondent a cease and desist letter.† Complainant indicates that Respondent responded to this letter with the concession that it had ďno intention to host and/or develop a website under Nucor.info.Ē† Respondent later offered to sell the disputed domain name to Complainant for $4,900.† The Panel finds that Respondentís offer to sell the disputed domain name is further proof that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ∂ 4(a)(ii).† See Williams-Sonoma, Inc. v. Fees, FA 937704 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 25, 2007) (concluding that a respondentís willingness to sell a domain name to the complainant suggests that a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in that domain name under Policy ∂ 4(a)(ii)); see also Am. Natíl Red Cross v. Domains, FA 143684 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 4, 2003) (ďRespondentís lack of rights and legitimate interests in the domain name is further evidenced by Respondentís attempt to sell its domain name registration to Complainant, the rightful holder of the RED CROSS mark.Ē).

 

The Panel finds that Policy ∂ 4(a)(ii) is satisfied.

 

Registration and Use in Bad Faith

 

Complainant contends that Respondent registered the disputed domain name for the primary purpose of selling it.† Complainant indicates that in a letter sent by Respondent, dated November 11, 2010, Respondent stated, ďPlease be aware that I have no intention to host and/or develop a website under Nucor.info.Ē† On that same date, Respondent offered to sell the disputed domain name to Complainant for $4,900.† The Panel finds that Respondentís offer to sell the disputed domain name to Complainant, coupled with Respondentís own statement indicating that it never intended to host or develop a website at the <nucor.info> domain name, indicates that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith under Policy ∂ 4(b)(i).† See Pocatello Idaho Auditorium Dist. v. CES Mktg. Group, Inc., FA 103186 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 21, 2002) ("[w]hat makes an offer to sell a domain [name] bad faith is some accompanying evidence that the domain name was registered because of its value that is in some way dependent on the trademark of another, and then an offer to sell it to the trademark owner or a competitor of the trademark owner"); see also Little Six, Inc. v. Domain For Sale, FA 96967 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 30, 2001) (finding the respondent's offer to sell the domain name at issue to the complainant was evidence of bad faith).

 

Complainant alleges that Respondentís resolving website features links to third-party websites in competition with Complainant, such as those for stainless steel alloys, steel forging, and metal fabrication services.† The Panel finds that Respondentís registration and use of the <nucor.info> domain name to redirect Internet users to competitors of Complainant constitutes a disruption of Complainantís business and is evidence of bad faith under Policy ∂ 4(b)(iii).† See Tesco Pers. Fin. Ltd. v. Domain Mgmt. Servs., FA 877982 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 13, 2007) (concluding that the use of a confusingly similar domain name to attract Internet users to a directory website containing commercial links to the websites of a complainantís competitors represents bad faith registration and use under Policy ∂ 4(b)(iii)); see also St. Lawrence Univ. v. Nextnet Tech, FA 881234 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 21, 2007) (ďThis Panel concludes that by redirecting Internet users seeking information on Complainantís educational institution to competing websites, Respondent has engaged in bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ∂ 4(b)(iii).Ē).

 

The Panel has already concluded that Respondent likely receives monetary compensation by way of click-through fees received from the third-party links displayed on the resolving website.† The Panel therefore finds that Respondentís registration and use of a domain name identical to Complainantís NUCOR mark to profit from Internet users likelihood of confusion as to Complainantís sponsorship or affiliation of the disputed domain name and resolving website is evidence of Respondentís bad faith under Policy ∂ 4(b)(iv).† See Univ. of Houston Sys. v. Salvia Corp., FA 637920 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 21, 2006) (ďRespondent is using the disputed domain name to operate a website which features links to competing and non-competing commercial websites from which Respondent presumably receives referral fees.†† Such use for Respondentís own commercial gain is evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ∂ 4(b)(iv).Ē); see also T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. utahhealth, FA 697821 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 7, 2006) (holding that the registration and use of a domain name confusingly similar to a complainantís mark to direct Internet traffic to a commercial ďlinks pageĒ in order to profit from click-through fees or other revenue sources constitutes bad faith under Policy ∂ 4(b)(iv)).†

 

The Panel finds that Policy ∂ 4(a)(iii) is satisfied.

 

DECISION

Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.

 

Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <nucor.info> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.†

 

Hon. Ralph Yachnin, Panelist

Justice, Supreme Court, NY (Ret.)

 

Dated:† April 8, 2011

 

 

 

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