World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. v. Mark Daniel Adamczyk Decision

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. v. Mark Daniel Adamczyk c/o My Domain Holdings

Claim Number: FA1611001701937

 

PARTIES

Complainant is World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Matthew C. Winterroth of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., Connecticut, USA.  Respondent is Mark Daniel Adamczyk c/o My Domain Holdings (“Respondent”), Florida, USA.

 

REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME

The domain name at issue is <wrestlemaniaorlando.com>, registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC.

 

PANEL

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

 

Sandra J. Franklin as Panelist.

 

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on November 8, 2016; the Forum received payment on November 8, 2016.

 

On November 9, 2016, GoDaddy.com, LLC confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name.  GoDaddy.com, LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the GoDaddy.com, LLC 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 November 9, 2016, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of December 5, 2016 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@wrestlemaniaorlando.com.  Also on November 9, 2016, 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 December 6, 2016, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Sandra J. Franklin 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

  1. Respondent’s <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s WRESTLEMANIA mark.

 

  1. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name.

 

  1. Respondent registered and uses the <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name in bad faith.

 

B.  Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.

 

FINDINGS

Complainant holds a registration for its WRESTLEMANIA mark with several governmental authorities, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (Reg. No. 1,432,884, registered Mar. 17, 1987).

 

Respondent registered the <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name on March 12, 2016, and uses it to offer tickets to WRESTLEMANIA events in a fraudulent and unauthorized manner.

 

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.”).

 

Identical and/or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that Complainant has rights in the WRESTLEMANIA mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through its registrations of the mark with the USPTO.  See Haas Automation, Inc. v. Jim Fraser, FA 1627211 (Forum Aug. 4, 2015) (finding that Complainant’s USPTO registrations for the HAAS mark sufficiently demonstrate its rights in the mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).).

 

Respondent’s <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name incorporates the mark entirely and merely adds the geographic term “Orlando” and the “.com” gTLD.  In a recent case concerning these exact alterations to a mark, Insomniac Holdings, LLC v. Mark Daniels / IDrive Media Group, the panel held, “[T]he term ‘Orlando’ and the addition of the gTLD ‘.com’ do not serve to differentiate the disputed domain name from the EDC mark.”  FA 1692320 (Forum Oct. 15, 2016).  The Panel similarly finds that Respondent’s addition of “Orlando” and “.com” do not serve to differentiate <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> from Complainant’s WRESTLEMANIA mark.

 

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).

 

Rights or Legitimate Interests

Once Complainant makes a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), the burden shifts to Respondent to show it does have rights or legitimate interests.  See Hanna-Barbera Prods., Inc. v. Entm’t Commentaries, FA 741828 (Forum Aug. 18, 2006) (holding that the complainant must first make a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under UDRP ¶ 4(a)(ii) before the burden shifts to the respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests in a domain name); see also AOL LLC v. Gerberg, FA 780200 (Forum Sept. 25, 2006) (“Complainant must first make a prima facie showing that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interest in the subject domain names, which burden is light.  If Complainant satisfies its burden, then the burden shifts to Respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the subject domain names.”).

 

Complainant argues that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and states that Respondent has no affiliation with or endorsement from Complainant.  The WHOIS information lists “Mark Adamczyk c/o My Domain Holdings” as the registrant of the disputed domain name. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii).  See Chevron Intellectual Property LLC v. Fred Wallace, FA1506001626022 (Forum July 27, 2015) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by the< chevron-europe.com> domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii), as the WHOIS information named “Fred Wallace” as registrant of the disputed domain name); see also CareerBuilder, LLC v. Baker, D2005-0251 (WIPO May 6, 2005) (“The Complainant contends that the Respondent is not licensed or otherwise authorized to use the disputed domain name. It is now well-established under the Policy that this constitutes prima facie proof for the Complainant . . . .”).

 

Complainant also argues that Respondent uses <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> to offer tickets to WRESTLEMANIA® 33 to confuse Internet users into thinking the site is affiliated with Complainant.  The Panel notes that Respondent prominently displays Complainant’s WRESTLEMANIA mark on the resolving website.  This use is not a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.  See The Orange Bowl Committee, Inc. v. Front and Center Tickets, Inc/ Front and Center Entertainment D2004-0947 (WIPO Jan. 20, 2005), where the panel found that the respondent’s use of a disputed domain name for the resale of tickets to the complainant’s events was not a fair use under the Policy.  Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).

 

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).

 

Registration and Use in Bad Faith

Complainant argues that Respondent’s use of the <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name for the unauthorized sale of tickets to Complainant’s events constitutes bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv).  The Panel agrees and finds that Respondent has engaged in bad faith per Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) by incorporating Complainant’s mark to confuse Internet users as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the tickets offered at the disputed domain name.  See Insomniac Holdings, LLC v. Mark Daniels / IDrive Media Group, FA 1692320 (Forum Oct. 15, 2016) (holding that “using Complainant’s marks … and other web content to create the impression that the Respondent is, or is authorized by, the Complainant to sell tickets to the Complainant’s … branded events” is an example of bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv)).

 

The Panel notes that Respondent registered the disputed domain name 4 days after Complainant announced that it would be holding the WRESTLEMANIA® 33 event in Orlando, Florida on or about March 8, 2016.  The Panel finds that this constitutes opportunistic bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).  See Arizona Board of Regents, for and on behalf of Arizona State University v. Weiping Zheng, FA1504001613780 (Forum May 28, 2015) (finding that the respondent had acted in opportunistic bad faith according to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii), when it registered the disputed domain name just one week after the complainant filed applications to register the SUB DEVIL LIFE mark, and just days after those applications became public through the USPTO’s website); see also Amazon Technologies, Inc. v. harshit dhingaun, FA1505001619696 (Forum June 10, 2015) (holding that the respondent had demonstrated opportunistic bad faith according to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii), when it registered the <amazonfashionindia.com> and <amazonindiafashion.com> domain names within days after the announcement of the complainant’s sponsorship of India Fashion Week).

 

Complainant argues that, since its trademark registrations for the WRESTLEMANIA mark existed well before the registration of the disputed domain name, Respondent had at least constructive knowledge of Complainant's rights in the mark.  The Panel finds that Respondent had actual knowledge of the mark and Complainant's rights, due to the fame of Complainant's mark, Respondent’s use of the mark, and the circumstances outlined above surrounding the registration of the disputed domain name.  This is further evidence of bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).  See Deep Foods, Inc. v. Jamruke, LLC, FA 648190 (Forum Apr. 10, 2006) (stating that while mere constructive knowledge is insufficient to support a finding of bad faith, where the circumstances indicate that the respondent had actual knowledge of the complainant's mark when it registered the domain name, panels can find bad faith); see also Yahoo! Inc. v. Butler, FA 744444 (Forum Aug. 17, 2006) (finding bad faith where the respondent was "well-aware of the complainant's YAHOO! mark at the time of registration").

 

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).

 

DECISION

Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.

 

Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <wrestlemaniaorlando.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.

 

 

Sandra J. Franklin, Panelist

Dated:  December 8, 2016