The Complainant is Skyscanner Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Keltie LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is TECHWOMAN NG, Nigeria.
The disputed domain name <skyscanner.africa> is registered with 101domain GRS Limited (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 12, 2020. On February 13, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same date, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on February 24, 2020.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to the 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 the Rules, paragraphs 2 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 27, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 18, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 19, 2020.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on March 26, 2020. 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.
The Complainant is a provider of travel information and arrangement services and owns trademark registrations for SKYSCANNER effective in many countries around the world, including United States Trademark Registration No. 3242752, registered on May 15, 2007. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on January 26, 2020. The Respondent does not use the disputed domain name for an active website.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; (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.
The incorporation of a trademark in its entirety may be sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered mark. See Britannia Building Society v. Britannia Fraud Prevention, WIPO Case No. D2001-0505. In this case, the disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trademark SKYSCANNER in its entirety.
A registered trademark provides a clear indication that the rights in the mark shown on the trademark certificate belong to its respective owner. Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., Les Publications Conde Nast S.A. v. Voguechen, WIPO Case No. D2014-0657. The Complainant has demonstrated its rights because it has shown that it is the owner of multiple valid and subsisting trademark registrations for the mark SKYSCANNER.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
The Panel evaluates this element of the Policy by first looking to see whether the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. If the Complainant makes that showing, the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests shifts to the Respondent.
The Complainant has established, prima facie, that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. On this point, the Complainant asserts that that the Complainant has not given its consent for the Respondent to use SKYSCANNER in a domain name registration (or in any other manner). And to the best of the Complainant’s knowledge, the Respondent is not commonly known by the name “SkyScanner”. Further, the disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website, and there is therefore no evidence that the Respondent has made demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name for legitimate purposes. Moreover, there is no evidence that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and/or services.
These facts establish the Complainant’s prima facie showing. The Respondent has not provided any basis on which that showing may be overcome. The Complainant has established this second element under the Policy.
Because the Complainant’s mark SKYSCANNER is well known, it is implausible to believe that the Respondent was not aware of that mark when it registered the disputed domain name. In the circumstances of this case, such a showing is sufficient to establish bad faith registration of the disputed domain name.
Bad faith use is clear from the Respondent’s activities of passively holding the disputed domain name. That the disputed domain name is currently inactive does not prevent a finding of bad faith. Playboy Enterprises International, Inc. v. Registration Private, Domain Protection Services Inc. / Domain Vault, Domain Vault LLC, WIPO Case No. D2018-1456. Given (i) the degree of distinctiveness and reputation of the Complainant’s mark, (ii) the failure of the Respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good faith use, and (iii) the implausibility of any good faith use to which the disputed domain name may be put, the Panel finds bad faith use. See, WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, section 3.3. For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant has successfully met this third Policy element.
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 <skyscanner.africa> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: April 9, 2020
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