The 17 year old domain name Areas.com was just lost in a very short UDRP decision in which the domain holder did not even file a formal response.
For all you domain investors that ask why even spend the money to properly defend a UDRP, The Panel found that “failure to respond the Complaint can be evidence of bad faith” in and of itself.
That is why if you have a valuable domain you need to hire an experienced attorney in UDRP matters and ask for a three member panel.
Esitbot.com values the domain name, Areas.com at $73,000
Here are the highlights of the one member panel of Alejandro Touriño
“”The Complainant was AREAS, S.A. of Barcelona, Spain which was founded in 1968, andspecialized in food and beverage services and travel retail, with an international presence in, among other countries, Spain, where the Respondent is based.
The Complainant has a workforce of over 9.670 employees and manages 1.111 outlets in concession spaces.
The Complainant is the owner of several trademarks AREAS in different countries. In particular, the Complainant owns the following trademarks with effects in Spain, the country of residence of the Respondent:
– Spanish trademark AREAS n° 1543472 registered on December 2, 1992.
– Spanish trademark AREAS n° 1994643 registered on November 5, 1996.
– Community trademark AREAS n° 001823608 registered on January 22, 2003.
– Community trademark AREAS n° 10541894 registered on June 5, 2012.
The Complainant is the owner of the trade name “AREAS, S. A.” since 1969.
The Complainant is also the owner of several domain names containing the trademark AREAS, including the following:
The disputed domain name
In the case at hand, by not submitting a formal Response, the Respondent has not discussed the Complainant’s prima facie case, failing to invoke any circumstance that could demonstrate, pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel observes that there is no relation, disclosed to the Panel or otherwise apparent from the files, between the Respondent and the Complainant. The Respondent is not licensee of the Complainant, nor has the Respondent otherwise obtained any authorization to use the Complainant’s trademarks.
Furthermore, there is no indication before the Panel that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name, has made preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, or that it intends to make a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
The Panel notes that the disputed domain name
Thus, in light of the above, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that a failure to respond the Complaint can be evidence of bad faith.
See, e.g., Spyros Michopoulos S.A. v. John Tolias, ToJo Enterprises, WIPO Case No. D2008-1003, in which the Panel stated: “[a]ny such bad faith is compounded when the domain name owner, upon receipt of notice that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a registered trade mark, refuses to respond”.
Noting that both parties are located in Spain, the Panel finds it is also unlikely that the Respondent would not have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the domain name. The Panel finds bad faith registration from the preceding facts.
In several WIPO UDRP decisions, it was ascertained that passive holding of a domain name may be sufficient to constitute bad faith use, taking into consideration the overall context of the Respondent’s behavior. In the present case, the following circumstances seem relevant in this respect: the Respondent has provided no evidence of any good faith use of the disputed domain name; the Respondent does not seem to have associated the disputed domain name with any web site or online presence at all.
In view of the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith”