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THE NATIONAL ARBITRATION FORUM
Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association v Private
Claim Number: FA0009000095687
The Complainant is Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association , New York, NY, USA ("Complainant") represented by Andrew S Langsam, Levison, Lerner, Berger & Langsam. The Respondent is Alex Vorot Private, Moscow, Russia ("Respondent").
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is tiaacref.com registered with Bulkregister.
On October 26, 2000, pursuant to ComplainantТs request to have the dispute decided by a One Member panel, the Forum appointed James P. Buchele as Panelist. The Panelist certifies that he has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his knowledge, has no known conflict in serving as the panelist in this proceeding.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum ("the Forum") electronically on September 25, 2000; The Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on September 26, 2000.
On September 28, 2000, Bulkregister confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name tiaacref.com is registered with Bulkregister and that the Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Bulkregister has verified that Respondent is bound by the Bulkregister registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANNТs UDRP.
On September 28, 2000, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of October 18, 2000 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent via e-mail, post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on RespondentТs registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts, and to email@example.com by e-mail.
Having received no Response from Respondent, using the same contact details and methods as were used for the Commencement Notification, the Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the Forum has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Uniform Rules "to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent." Therefore, the Panel may issue its Decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, the ForumТs Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the panel deems applicable, without the benefit of any Response from the Respondent.
The Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from the Respondent to the Complainant.
Complainant alleges the following:
Respondent did not submit a response in this matter.
Complainant, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, ("TIAA") is the owner of many TIAA-CREF trademarks. Many of its marks are registered in the United States on the Principal Register, including TIAA CREF. Complainant operates a web site at tiaa-cref.org.
Respondent registered the domain name tiaacref.com on March 28, 2000. Respondent is using the domain name to direct consumers to a GOTOO.COM/TREASURE web site.
Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Policy ("Policy") requires that the 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 the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(2) the 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.
Identical and/or Confusingly Similar
The domain name tiaacref.com is virtually identical and at the least confusingly similar to Complainants numerous TIAA-CREF trademarks.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
Respondent has not asserted any rights or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name. There is no evidence indicating how any of Respondents uses to date could demonstrate rights or a legitimate interest in a domain name that is comprised entirely of ComplainantТs mark. The Respondent has failed to satisfy the requirement of ICANN Policy ¶ 4(c).
Registration and Use in Bad Faith
The domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Under ICANN Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv), evidence of bad faith includes evidence that:
by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.
This panel finds the facts of this case demonstrate bad faith under ICANN Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). Respondent has registered a domain name that entirely incorporates a federally registered trademark and is using the domain name to divert internet users to a web site totally unrelated to and bearing no relation to TIAA-CREF. See State Fair of Texas v. Granbury.com, FA 95288 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 12, 2000) (finding bad faith where the Respondent registered the domain name to infringe on the ComplainantТs good will and attract Internet users to the RespondentТs website).
Having established all three elements required by the ICANN Policy, it is the decision of this panel that the requested relief be granted.
Accordingly, it is ordered that the domain name tiaacref.com be transferred from the Respondent to the Complainant.
James P. Buchele, Arbitrator
Dated: October 27, 2000