Global Village Publishing, Inc. just won the rights to the three letter domain name gvp.com, in a one member panel UDRP decision, a domain which is owned for many years until their Godaddy account was hacked and the domain transferred.
Here is what the Complainant had to say:
- Complainant has for many years owned the <gvp.com> domain name, and has continuously conducted business and advertised its services through that site.
- GLOBAL VILLAGE PUBLISHING and GVPI are famous trademarks associated with Complainant’s business.
- On or about December 14, 2012, a third party hacked Complainant’s account with GoDaddy.com and transferred the <gvp.com> domain name registration to Respondent without Complainant’s knowledge or authorization.
- Respondent’s use is deceptive and fraudulent, and causes Internet users to believe that Respondent is offering services through Complainant’s domain name.
- Respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant’s right to the disputed domain name.
- Respondent’s actions cause confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source or origin of Respondent’s goods or services.
The Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant claims rights in the GVPI mark pursuant to its registration of the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (Reg. No. 2,917,145 registered Jan. 11, 2005).
Complainant makes no specific claims of confusing similarity, other than noting that it previously owned the gvp.com domain name for its own business.
The Panel notes, however, that the disputed domain name merely removes the letter “I” from Complainant’s GVPI mark, and that past panels have found the deletion of a single letter insufficient in distinguishing a domain name from a mark. S
The Panel finds that Respondent’s gvp.com domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s GVPI mark for the purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Complainant claims that Respondent hacked Complainant’s account with GoDaddy.com, the previous domain name registrar, and transferred the <gvp.com> domain name to Respondent without Complainant’s consent.
Because the domain name is now hosted by a different registrar, GoDaddy.com was unable to assist Complainant in retrieving its stolen domain name.
The Panel notes that past panels have found that hacking into a complainant’s account is evidence that a respondent is not making a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) and 4(c)(iii).
The Panel finds that Respondent has not established rights or legitimate interests under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) and 4(c)(iii).
Because the Respondent has not provided a response to this action the Respondent has failed to meet its burden regarding proof of any rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain.
The Complainant has proven this element.
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
Complainant alleges that Respondent is using the disputed domain name to cause confusion with Complainant’s brand, by making Internet users falsely believe Respondent is offering services related to Complainant.
Complainant also claims that Respondent is profiting from its use of the disputed domain name.
Respondent’s engagement in activity that is indeed confusing consumers for commercial gain is evidence of bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv).
The Panel finds that Respondent is diverting users to its site for commercial gain, and that such behavior constitutes registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv).
Complainant claims that on December 14, 2012, Respondent hacked into Complainant’s GoDaddy.com account and fraudulently transferred the gvp.com domain name to Respondent.
The Panel notes that past panels have found a transfer initiated by hacking to be clear evidence of bad faith registration and use.
The Panel finds that Respondent acquired the disputed domain name via hacking, and holds that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
Respondent makes no contentions with regards to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).
The Complainant has proven this element.
Because the Complainant has established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that Complainant’s requested relief shall be GRANTED.””