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Mariah Carey #domain : All I want for Christmas, is a #UDRP

Mariah Carey is one of the most successful music artists of all time (of all time!)

Her single, “All I want for Christmas is you” has generated millions of dollars in record and CD sales. Released in 1994, the song is one to keep on playing during Christmas.

It comes as no surprise that someone registered the domain name MariahCarey.Christmas, but the enterprising singer was not amused, and filed a UDRP.

Guess who won. ūüėÄ

Lotion, LLC v. REDACTED PRIVACY

Claim Number: FA2006001902064

DOMAIN NAME
The disputed domain name is <mariahcarey.christmas>.

PARTIES

Complainant is Lotion, LLC of Woodland Hills, California, United States of America, represented by Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C. of New York, New York, United States of America.

Respondent is Hicham Boulfetat of Montmagny, France.

REGISTRIES and REGISTRARS

Registries: UNR Corp.

Registrar: OVH sas

EXAMINER

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

Fernando Triana, Esq., as Examiner.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Complainant submitted: June 29, 2020

Commencement: July 1, 2020

Default Date: July 17, 2020

Having reviewed the communications records, the Examiner finds that the Forum has discharged its responsibility under URS Procedure Paragraphs 3 and 4 and Rule 4 of the Rules for the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (the “Rules”) .

RELIEF SOUGHT

Complainant requests that the domain name be suspended for the life of the registration.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Clear and convincing evidence.

FINDINGS and DISCUSSION

1. Complainant’s trademark MARIAH CAREY has been registered around the world before several Trademark Offices since 1996 (according to the international registration No. 2024932) in international classes 16, 25 and 41.

2. The disputed domain name is identical to the trademark owned by Complainant.

3. Respondent does not have legitimate interests or rights over the disputed domain name.

4. Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith.

As per the Paragraph 9 (c) of the URS Rules, the Examiner will determine in which language to issue its Determination. Taking into account that Complainant submitted the Complaint in English and that no Response was filed, the Examiner will decide in English.

URS Procedure 1.2.6, requires Complainant to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be suspended.

Identical and/or Confusingly Similar

Concerning the first element, Paragraph 1.2.6.1., of the URS Procedure introduces that to obtain an order to suspend a domain name; the disputed domain name should be identical or confusingly similar to a word mark:

(i) for which Complainant holds a valid national or regional registration and that is in current use; or

(ii) that has been validated through court proceedings; or

(iii) that is specifically protected by a statute or treaty in effect at the time the URS complaint is filed.

Furthermore, the use of said trademark could be shown by:

a. Demonstrating evidence of use ‚Äď which can be a declaration and one specimen of current use in commerce ‚Äď was submitted to, and validated by, the Trademark Clearinghouse.

b. Providing a sample of use submitted directly with the URS Complaint‚ÄĚ.

a) Existence of a trademark in which the Complainant has rights and is in current use

Complainant proved its rights on the trademark MARIAH CAREY which has been registered around the world before several Trademark Offices since 1996 (according to the international registration No. 2024932) in international classes 16, 25 and 41.

This information appears to be incontestable and conclusive evidence of Complainant’s ownership of the cited trademark and the exclusive right to use it in connection with the corresponding services. The registration of a trademark is prima facie evidence of validity, which creates a rebuttable presumption that the trademark is inherently distinctive[1].

Furthermore, Complainant filed evidence of current use in commerce validated by, providing a sample of use submitted directly with the URS Complaint.

Therefore, the Examiner concludes that Complainant has demonstrated to be the owner of a valid trademark registration which is in current use for purposes of Paragraph 1.2.6.1.(i), of the URS Procedure.

b) Identity or confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark

The Examiner considers that the reproduction of the trademark MARIAH CAREY, by the disputed domain name <mariahcarey.christmas>, is sufficient ground to establish that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark[2]. Specially since the disputed domain name reproduces entirely Complainant’s trademark without any other elements. Consequently, consumers will assume that the owner of the disputed domain name is Complainant.

Thus, by registering the disputed domain name, Respondent creates a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the disputed domain name.

In consequence, as per this reasoning, the Examiner finds that, in the present case, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark and thus, the requirement set forth in Paragraph 1.2.6.1., of the URS Procedure is duly complied with.

Registration and Use in Bad Faith

Paragraph 1.2.6.3., of the URS Procedure, includes a non-exclusive list of circumstances that demonstrate bad faith registration and use by Respondent, as follows:

a. Respondent has registered or acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the disputed domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of documented out-of pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or

b. Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in order to prevent the trademark holder or service mark from reflecting the trademark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

c. Respondent registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

d. By using the disputed domain name Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s web site or location or of a product or service on that web site or location.

Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith since Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in order to prevent Complainant from registering it and to reflect its trademark in a domain name and to disrupt the business of a competitor, thus being a blocking registration.

Furthermore, according to the evidence filed the disputed domain name is currently inactive, with advertisement of the Registrar.

As stated by the Panel in State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Sotelo, the requirement of use in bad faith does not require that it prove in every instance that a respondent is taking positive action.

The mere failure to make an active use of the disputed domain name is indicative of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Subparagraph c) of the Paragraph 1.2.6.3., of the URS Procedure[3].

Furthermore, the Panel finds that since MARIAH CAREY is neither generic nor descriptive, is not a coincidence that Respondent selected the trademark MARIAH CAREY to include it in the disputed domain name.

Thus, the Examiner concludes that Respondent registered the disputed domain name for the purpose of disrupting Complainant’s business.

Furthermore, Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name does not fall into the category of bona fide offering of goods or services, Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and the use made of the disputed domain name misleads divert consumers.

As per this reasoning, the Examiner finds that, in the present case, the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, thus, the requirement set forth in Paragraph 1.2.6.3., of the URS Procedure is duly complied with.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 8.3 of the URS Procedure explains the extent of the second element as established in Paragraph 1.2.6.2., of the URS Procedure which is that Registrant has no legitimate right or interest to the disputed domain name. In a URS procedure, Complainant’s burden of proof regarding Registrant’s lack of rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, is limited present adequate evidence to substantiate Complainant’s trademark rights in the disputed domain name, such as, evidence of a trademark registration and evidence that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith in violation of the URS.

As per the URS requirements, Complainant’s burden of proof has been met, regarding Registrant’s lack of rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, as Complainant has successfully shown evidence to substantiate its trademark rights, such as, the trademark registration MARIAH CAREY since 1996.

Moreover, as established in Paragraph 8.3 of the URS Procedure, Complainant has demonstrated that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith in violation of the URS, as studied and shown before.

Finally, Complainant asserts that Respondent lacks legitimate interest or rights over the disputed domain name.

Consequently, the Examiner finds that, in the present case, Respondent has no legitimate right or interest to the disputed domain names, thus, the requirement set forth in Paragraph 1.2.6.2., of the URS Procedure is duly complied with.

FINDING OF ABUSE or MATERIAL FALSEHOOD

The Examiner finds that the Complaint was neither abusive nor contained material falsehoods.

DETERMINATION

After reviewing the Complainant’s submissions, the Examiner determines that

the Complainant has demonstrated all three elements of the URS by a standard of clear and convincing evidence; the Examiner hereby Orders the following domain name <mariahcarey.christmas> be SUSPENDED for the duration of the registration.

Fernando Triana, Esq., Examiner

Dated: July 22, 2020

[1] See Janus Int’l Holding Co. v. Rademacher, D2002-0201 (WIPO May 5, 2002).

[2] See ER Marks, Inc. and QVC, Inc. v. Hansmann, FA 1381755 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 6, 2011); see also Oki Data Ams., Inc. v. ASD, Inc., D2001-0903 (WIPO November 6, 2001).

[3] See State Farm Mut.Auto. Ins. Co. v. Sotelo, FA 1008269 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 17, 2007); see also Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. Risser, FA 93761 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 18, 2000).


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