Integrated Robotics : Disgruntled former employee shuts off company’s #domain access

Integrated Robotics is a company that was formed in 2012 to help customers solve real world data acquisition issues with leading edge integrated platforms and payload system solutions.

According to their web site at Integrated-Robotics.com:

In 2015, Integrated Robotics evolved into a commercial drone services company with mission capable payload sensors to capture data for client mission analysis. Industry experience motivated us to acquire a patented miniature RADAR sensor for mid-air collision avoidance – “Detect, Sense and Avoid” from University of Denver.

It all went well until an employee that was fired, retaliated by shutting off access to the company’s email and web site, taking over the domain.

Integrated Robotics filed a UDRP at the National Arbitration forum, stating:

Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in <integrated-robotics.com> domain name. Respondent does not operate any business or offer any product or service using the domain name. Respondent is a former employee of Complainant, and no longer holds any rights or legitimate interests to domain name. After being fired, Respondent retaliated against Complainant by shutting off Complainant’s access to the email address associated with the disputed domain name. Respondent now refuses to transfer the disputed domain name.

Respondent registered the <integrated-robotics.com> domain name properly pursuant to Respondent’s former employ with Complainant. Respondent is a former employee for Complainant and registered the disputed domain name with its personal name. Respondent’s bad faith is evident from it attempts to extort Complainant for some form of compensation in order to transfer the disputed domain name.

Unfortunately, such cases are not a good fit for the UDRP process, as they involve contractual issues best resolved via the judiciary system. Essentially, this is a case of corporate crime.

The sole panelist, David A. Einhorn, denied the request for transfer of the domain name Integrated-Robotics.com.

Full details of this decision follow:

Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems, Ltd. v. Roy Wright / INNOVATIVE INSTITUTE FOR MATERIAL STUDIES INC

Claim Number: FA1807001796804

PARTIES

Complainant is Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems, Ltd. (“Complainant”), represented by Gregory Stein of Baldwin & Butler, LLC, Alaska, USA. Respondent is Roy Wright / INNOVATIVE INSTITUTE FOR MATERIAL STUDIES INC (“Respondent”), Virginia, USA.

REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME

The domain name at issue is <integrated-robotics.com>, registered with Tucows Domains 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.

David A. Einhorn appointed as Panelist.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on July 16, 2018; the Forum received payment on July 18, 2018.

On July 16, 2018, Tucows Domains Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <integrated-robotics.com> domain name is registered with Tucows Domains Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Tucows Domains Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Tucows Domains Inc. registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).

On July 20, 2018, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of August 9, 2018 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via e-mail to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to postmaster@integrated-robotics.com. Also on July 20, 2018, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the e-mail addresses served and the deadline for a Response, was transmitted to Respondent via post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts.

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

On August 15, 2018, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed David A. Einhorn 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” 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 Forum’s Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable, without the benefit of any response from Respondent.

RELIEF SOUGHT

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

PARTIES’ CONTENTIONS

A. Complainant

Complainant, Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems, Ltd., is a U.S.-based innovation company providing systems integration solutions. Complainant received its Certificate of Incorporation to do business as Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems, Ltd.

Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in <integrated-robotics.com> domain name. Respondent does not operate any business or offer any product or service using the domain name. Respondent is a former employee of Complainant, and no longer holds any rights or legitimate interests to domain name. After being fired, Respondent retaliated against Complainant by shutting off Complainant’s access to the email address associated with the disputed domain name. Respondent now refuses to transfer the disputed domain name.

Respondent registered the <integrated-robotics.com> domain name properly pursuant to Respondent’s former employ with Complainant. Respondent is a former employee for Complainant and registered the disputed domain name with its personal name. Respondent’s bad faith is evident from it attempts to extort Complainant for some form of compensation in order to transfer the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not submit a Response. The Panel notes that the <integrated-robotics.com> domain name was registered on August 18, 2016.

FINDINGS and 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.”

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.

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(f), 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 (Forum July 31, 2000) (holding that the respondent’s 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) (“In the absence of a response, it is appropriate to accept as true all allegations of the Complaint.”).

Preliminary Issue: Deficient Response

The Forum received correspondence from Respondent who indicated that it did not understand the nature or issue that was being disputed. As the communication from Respondent is not responsive to the claims of Complainant, the Panel does not consider the Response to be in compliance with ICANN Rule 5. See Sears Brands, LLC v. Airhart, FA 1350469 (Forum Dec. 2, 2010) (electing to not accept and not consider the response as the response was not in compliance with ICANN Rule 5).

Preliminary Issue: Non-UDRP Legal Arguments

Complainant argues various legal points pursuant to Contract and Employment Law as they may apply to Respondent’s prior employment at Complainant and subsequent retaliation efforts after being fired. The instant dispute is governed by the UDRP and not contract or employment law, so the Panel disregards these arguments. While Policy ¶ 4(k) allows the parties to litigate these points in court, the Panel finds that these arguments are not applicable to this arbitration proceeding within the scope of the UDRP and its elements. See Abbott Labs. v. Patel, FA 740337 (Forum Aug. 15, 2006) (holding that the UDRP Policy applies only to abusive cybersquatting and nothing else).

Accordingly, the following analysis is strictly confined to an analysis under the UDRP and does not address any arguments made with respect to contract or employment Law.

Identical and/or Confusingly Similar

Complainant fails to claim rights in any mark. Complainant does not assert rights in a trademark, nor does it assert common law rights. Therefore, the Panel holds that Complainant failed to establish rights in a mark per Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).

As the Panel has found that Complainant has not satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i), the Panel declines to analyze the other two elements of the Policy. See Netsertive, Inc. v. Ryan Howard / Howard Technologies, Ltd., FA 1721637 (Forum Apr. 17, 2017) (finding that because the complainant must prove all three elements under the Policy, the complainant’s failure to prove one of the elements makes further inquiry into the remaining element unnecessary); see also Wasatch Shutter Design v. Duane Howell / The Blindman, FA 1731056 (Forum June 23, 2017) (deciding not to inquire into the respondent’s rights or legitimate interests or its registration and use in bad faith where the complainant could not satisfy the requirements of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i)).

DECISION

Having not established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED.

Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <integrated-robotics.com> domain name REMAIN WITH Respondent.

David A. Einhorn, Panelist

Dated: August 22, 2018


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