AlJazeera Media Network of Doha, Qatar, was awarded the domain name Aljazeera.tv by a one member UDRP panel of Assen Alexiev
The domain holder did not respond to the UDRP, nor did the domain seem to be in use in the 6+ years since it was registered.
Here are the relevant facts and findings by the one member:
The domain name Aljazeera.tv was registered over 6 years ago on January 22, 2008.
The Complainant is the global media corporation broadcasted in Arabic well known as a new channel.
In 2000, the Complainant launched its Arabic website at aljazeera.net.
In 2006, the Complainant launched its English language TV channel Al Jazeera English. This TV channel was freely broadcasted by satellite and online on Aljazeera.com in the USA in the period 2006 to 2012.
The Al Jazeera Arabic News Channel continues to be freely accessible in the USA through satellite and online live streaming on “www.aljazeera.net”.
The Complainant is the owner of the following trademark registrations for AL JAZEERA (the “AL JAZEERA trademark”):
– The word trademark AL JAZEERA, registered in Qatar on October 17, 2006 for goods and services in International Class 9 with registration number 37020;
– The word trademark AL JAZEERA, registered in Qatar on October 17, 2006 for goods and services in International Class 16 with registration number 37021;
The Respondent, although given a fair opportunity to do so, chose not to present to the Panel any arguments in his defense in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(b)(i) and 5(b)(ix), despite the consequences that the Panel may extract from the fact of a default (Rules, paragraph 14).
If the Respondent had any legitimate reason for the acquisition and use of the disputed domain name, he could have brought it to the attention of the Panel.
In particular, the Respondent has failed to contend that any of the circumstances described in Policy, paragraph 4(c) is present in his favor.
Apart from the factual contentions of the Complainant, the only other sources of information about the Respondent are the WhoIs information, provided by the Registrar, and the content of the website at the disputed domain name. The WhoIs information contains no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the AL JAZEERA trademark of the Complainant, and it resolves to a parking page maintained by the Registrar.
The Complainant broadcasts globally a popular television channel.
The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s AL JAZEERA trademark and is registered in the “.tv” ccTLD, widely associated with television.
This combination has a strong potential to cause confusion in Internet users. The Respondent has not even attempted to show any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name or any justification for his registration especially in the “.tv” ccTLD. In view of the above, it is highly likely that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and its goodwill at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name and that his registration was made specifically with the Complainant and its popularity in mind. In the Panel’s view, in the circumstances, such conduct of the Respondent cannot be regarded as giving rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant’s prima facie case has not been rebutted, and that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
As contended by the Complainant, the AL JAZEERA trademark has no meaning in English, and it has gained strong worldwide reputation in relation to television as a result of the efforts of the Complainant. The AL JAZEERA trademark is registered in the USA, where the Respondent is located, and television broadcasting services are included in its scope of protection. The disputed domain name is registered in the “.tv” ccTLD – a domain that is generally associated with “television”, which makes it a popular and attractive domain for any businesses active in making of broadcasting video and television programs. Thus, the disputed domain name is itself strongly associated with television – the very service for which the AL JAZEERA trademark has gained wide recognition. Therefore, the registration of the disputed domain name in this ccTLD is highly likely to cause confusion among Internet users looking for the Complainant or for online TV channels.
In these circumstances, the Panel cannot conceive of any good faith use of the well-known AL JAZEERA trademark, fully incorporated in a domain name registered in the “.tv” ccTLD by a third party unrelated to the Complainant and acting without the consent of the Complainant. Any such use is likely to be illegitimately exploiting the Complainant’s goodwill and causing confusion.
The Respondent does not appear to have actively used the disputed domain name.
The Panel accepts that such conduct could be explained by the lack of possible good faith use of the disputed domain name and by an expectation of the Respondent that the Complainant would become interested in the disputed domain name at some point in time.
This eventually happened in 2014, and the Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to the Respondent. The principle of good faith requires a response to such letter, but the Respondent did not reply or take any steps to transfer the disputed domain name to the Complainant or to cancel his registration.
The Panel regards this conduct of the Respondent as bad faith inactive use, preventing the Complainant from legitimately reflecting the AL JAZEERA trademark in the “.tv” ccTLD, which supports a finding of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name in the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
Therefore, and in the lack of any allegation or evidence to the contrary, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.]For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name Aljazeera.tv be transferred to the Complainant.”