B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, a respondent may establish rights to or legitimate interests in a domain name by demonstrating any of the following:
(i) before any notice to it of the dispute, the respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent has been commonly known by the domain name, even if it has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain, to misleadingly divert consumers.
Although the Policy addresses ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name, it is well established, as it is put in section 2.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0, that a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations and evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent does come forward with relevant evidence of rights or legitimate interests, the panel weighs all the evidence, with the burden of proof always remaining on the complainant.
The Complainant submits that it has never granted the Respondent with the right to use or register the tradee or for any other reason.
The Panel notes the nature of the dispute domain name, which is identical to the Complainant’s trademark MEETIC, and carries a high risk of implied affiliation (section 2.5.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0).
The Panel considers that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain for displaying information regarding tarot and finding love, and a phone number to contact a medium cannot be considered a bona fide offering but rather an attempt to capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of the Complainant’s mark or otherwise mislead Internet users.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case, a case calling for an answer from the Respondent. The Respondent has not responded and the Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent could not ignore the existence of the MEETIC tradee on because MEETIC was well -known in Europe before that time, and because MEETIC is a fanciful word, therefore it is difficult to conceive that the use of the disputed domain name is not related to the Complainant’s activities. This assumption is further proved by the fact that the disputed domain name entirely contains the Complainant’s trademark MEETIC.
In this day and age of the Internet and advancement in information technology, the reputation of brands and trademarks transcends national borders. As such, a cursory Internet search would have disclosed the MEETIC trademark and its use by the Complainant. As such, a presumption arises that that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its trade e, particularly given that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s e that incorporates a complainant’s trade mark suggests opportunistic bad faith.
The misappropriation of a well-known tradee by itself constitutes bad faith registration for the purposes of the Policy. See, inter alia, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Domain ID Shield Service Co., LTD / Dorian Cosentino, Planeta Servidor, WIPO Case No. D2010-1277; Volvo Trade-0556.