The Complainant is Skyscanner Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Keltie LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc., Panama / Nitish Gupta, Aeromax travels private limited, India.
The disputed domain name <skyscaner.info> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 14, 2020. On April 14, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same day, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on April 16, 2020, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on April 17, 2020.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 April 22, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 12, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 13, 2020.
The Center appointed Marilena Comanescu as the sole panelist in this matter on June 3, 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, a company incorporated in the United Kingdom in 2001, is a global travel search site allowing clients to compare prices and to book flights, hotels and car rentals. Currently, the Complainant’s websites attract circa 100 million visits per month, the SKYSCANNER smart device app has been downloaded over 70 million times, and the Complainant’s services are provided in over thirty languages and in seventy currencies.
In November 2016, the Complainant was acquired by Ctrip, a Chinese tourism group, in a deal worth approximately USD 1.7 billion.
The Complainant holds about ninety trademarks for or including the word “Skyscanner”, such as the following:
- the International Trademark Registration No. 1030086 of December 1, 2009, for SKYSCANNER (word), covering services in classes 35, 39, and 42 and designating many jurisdictions worldwide; and
- the Indian Trademark Registration No. 1890840 of March 21, 2011, for SKYSCANNER (word), covering services in classes 35, 38, and 39.
The Complainant’s main website is available at “www.skyscanner.net”.
The disputed domain name <skyscaner.info> was registered on December 9, 2019, and at the time of filing the Complaint, it resolved to an inactive web page.
The same parties were involved in a previous dispute regarding the domain name <skyscaner.us>, decided in the favour of the Complainant. See Skyscanner Limited v. Nitish Gupta / Aeromax travels private limited, FORUM Claim No. FA2001001880602.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is virtually identical to its trademark SKYSCANNER whichs enjoys global reputation, the only exception being the omission of the letter “n” in the disputed domain name, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
In view of the abscence of a Response, the discussion and findings will be based upon the contentions in the Complaint and any reasonable position that can be attributable to the Respondent. Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, a complainant can only succeed in an administrative proceeding under the Policy if the following circumstances are met:
(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 the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel will further analyze the potential concurrence of the above circumstances.
The Complainant holds rights in the SKYSCANNER trademark.
The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark SKYSCANNER with a minor misspelling, an omission of one letter “n”. However, such misspelling does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity as the Complainant’s trademark is clearly recognizable within the disputed domain name.
Numerous UDRP panels have considered that a domain name which consists of a common, obvious or intentional misspelling of a trademark is confusingly similar to the relevant mark for the purpose of the first element. See section 1.9 of theWIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
Further, it is well established in decisions under the UDRP that the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) (e.g., “.com”, “.info”, “.org”) may typically be disregarded for the purposes of consideration of confusing similarity between a trademark and a domain name. See section 1.11 of the theWIPO Overview 3.0.
Given the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark SKYSCANNER, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent does not hold any trademark rights, license or authorization whatsoever to use the mark SKYSCANNER, that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and that the Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use or a bona fide offering of goods and services.
Under the Policy, “where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element”. See section 2.1 of theWIPO Overview 3.0.
The Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions and has not come forward with relevant evidence to rebut the Complainant’s prima facie case.
There is nothing in the record suggesting that the Respondent has ever been commonly known by the disputed domain name or that the Respondent made a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial use under the disputed domain name.
In fact, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name incorporating a third party’s trademark, widely used worldwide, without any authorization and keeps it inactive.
For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
The Complainant holds trademark rights for SKYSCANNER since at least 2002. Due to its extensive use and marketing, the SKYSCANNER trademark has become distinctive and enjoys significant reputation in its field of activity.
The disputed domain name was created in 2019 and incorporates the Complainant’s mark in its entirety with a minor alteration. Furthermore, the Respondent’s name suggests an apparent involvement of the same in the travel industry.
From the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith, knowing the Complainant and targeting its trademark.
At the time of filing the Complaint the disputed domain name was not actively used.
From the inception of the UDRP, UDRP panels have found that the non-use of a domain name (including a blank or “coming soon” or other similar inactive page) would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding. The Panel must examine all the circumstances of the case to determine whether the Respondent is acting in bad faith. Examples of what may be relevant circumstances found to be indicative of bad faith include the degree of distinctiveness or reputation of the Complainant’s mark and the failure of the Respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good-faith use. See section 3.3 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.
The Complainant’s trademark enjoys worldwide reputation and there is no plausible reason for the Respondent to choose and register such name other than to create confusion or association with the Complainant and its SKYSCANNER mark.
Further, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name under a privacy service and refused to participate in the present proceedings in order to put forward any arguments in its favor.
Also, as provided in the amended Complaint, the Respondent has already been the subject of an adverse decision in at least one previous proceeding involving the same trademark, which affirms a finding of bad faith.
For all the above reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <skyscaner.info> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 12, 2020
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