The Complainant is Big Ticket Television Inc., United States of America (“United States” or “U.S.”), internally represented.
The Respondent is WhoisGuard, Inc, Panama. / DAI CA, Viet Nam.
The disputed domain name <judgejudy.cc> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 5, 2020. On June 8, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 8, 2020, 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 June 18, 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 June 18, 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 June 26, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 16, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 17, 2020.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on July 28, 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 unit of Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)Television Distribution, itself a division of CBS Studios Inc. The Complainant owns a United States Trademark for the name JUDGE JUDY, registration number 2314834, filed on July 30, 1996 and registered on February 1, 2000. Judge Judy is a U.S. arbitration-based reality court television programme, presided over by retired Judge Judy Sheindlin, developed by the Complainant, which was first broadcast in 1996. The Complainant promotes the Judge Judy program through the domain name <judgejudy.com>, registered on July 20, 1996.
The disputed domain name was registered on February 1, 2020. The disputed domain name previously resolved to a website displaying episodes of Judge Judy. The disputed domain name currently resolves to a CBS Television Distribution website.
The Complainant has continuously used its JUDGE JUDY trademarks in connection with the television series of that name since 1996. The consuming public and television industry recognize and associate these trademarks with the Complainant.
The primary elements of the disputed domain name are the terms “judgejudy” which incorporate the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety. The remainder of the disputed domain name is comprised of the country-code top-level domain (“ccTLD”) “.cc” which does not contain any distinctive elements.
The Complainant’s extensive rights in the JUDGE JUDY trademarks evidence its exclusive rights in these trademarks with respect to services and products in its fields of endeavour. The Complainant is not affiliated in any way with the Respondent and has not authorized the Respondent to use the JUDGE JUDY marks or any domain name incorporating them or any other mark that is confusingly similar to them. The WhoIs information concerning the disputed domain name shows that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name resolved to a website that contained unauthorized copies and pirated streams of the Judge Judy series. The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name in this manner is a clear attempt to pass itself off as the Complainant and divert traffic from the Complainant’s Judge Judy website.
Given the fame of the JUDGE JUDY marks and the Respondents’ use of unauthorized copies and pirated streams of the Judge Judy series on their website, the Respondent cannot assert that in registering the disputed domain name, they were unaware of the Complainant’s rights in the JUDGE JUDY marks. The Respondent clearly registered the disputed domain name with the specific intention of causing consumer confusion and trading on the goodwill associated with the JUDGE JUDY marks. The Respondent’s website is replete with proprietary intellectual property including the official series log and a likeness of Judge Scheindlin. The Complainant emailed the Respondent requesting the transfer of the disputed domain name on April 1, 2020. On April 2, 5, and 7, 2020, the Respondent replied pointing out links to other websites showing short clips of the Judge Judy series.
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 disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark JUDGE JUDY and the ccTLD “.cc”. The ccTLD is irrelevant here because it is a standard registration requirement. See section 1.11 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
The Respondent is not called “Judge Judy” or anything similar. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use its trademarks
Based on the available record, and in the absence of any response from the Respondent on this point, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
Shortly after registering the disputed domain name, the website to which the dispute domain name resolved started showing episodes of the Judge Judy show. This shows that the Respondent knew or should have known of the show when they registered the dispute domain name. The Respondent seems to have intended to use the disputed domain name to infringe the Complainant’s trademark and copyright and have done so in order to divert to their website Internet users interested in the Complainant’s show.
In emails to the Complainant, dated April 2, 5 and 7, 2020, the Respondent seemed to be arguing that the presence of other websites which did similar things as the Respondent’s, somehow excused the Respondent from having to respect the Complainant’s rights. The existence of other breaches of the Complainant’s trademark does not excuse the Respondent’s behaviour.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <judgejudy.cc> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 10, 2020
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