WIPO-UDRP Decision D2004-0400

Case numberD2004-0400
ComplainantTicketmaster Corporation
RespondentBill Hicks
PanelistBernstein, David H.
Affected Domains 1ticketmaster.com
2ticketmaster.com
aaaticketmaster.com
aboutticketmastertickets.com
americanticketmaster.com
arizonaticketmaster.com
atlantaticketmaster.com
bassticketmastertickets.com
bostonticketmaster.com
broadwayticketmaster.com
californiaticketmaster.com
canadaticketmaster.com
chicagoticketmaster.com
dallasticketmaster.com
e-ticketmastertickets.com
europeticketmaster.com
floridaticketmaster.com
houstonticketmaster.com
lasvegasticketmaster.com
laticketmaster.com
londonticketmaster.com
losangelesticketmaster.com
mobileticketmaster.com
newyorkticketmaster.com
nyticketmaster.com
phoenixticketmaster.com
sanfranciscoticketmaster.com
seattleticketmaster.com
texasticketmaster.com
ticketmaster-ticketmaster.com
ticketmaster-usa.com
ticketmasterarizona.com
ticketmasterasia.com
ticketmasteratlanta.com
ticketmasterbaseball.com
ticketmasterbaseballtickets.com
ticketmasterbasketball.com
ticketmasterbasketballtickets.com
ticketmasterbass.com
ticketmasterboston.com
ticketmasterboxing.com
ticketmasterboxingtickets.com
ticketmasterbroadway.com
ticketmasterbroadwaytickets.com
ticketmastercalifornia.com
ticketmastercentral.com
ticketmastercleveland.com
ticketmastercollegebasketball.com
ticketmastercollegebasketballtickets.com
ticketmastercollegefootball.com
ticketmastercollegefootballtickets.com
ticketmastercollegesports.com
ticketmasterconcerttickets.com
ticketmastercountrywesterntickets.com
ticketmasterdallas.com
ticketmasterdetroit.com
ticketmasterdirect.com
ticketmasterflorida.com
ticketmasterfootball.com
ticketmasterfootballtickets.com
ticketmastergolf.com
ticketmasterhockey.com
ticketmasterhockeytickets.com
ticketmasterhocky.com
ticketmasterhockytickets.com
ticketmasterhouston.com
ticketmasterjapan.com
ticketmasterkorea.com
ticketmasterla.com
ticketmasterlasvegas.com
ticketmasterlosangeles.com
ticketmastermarketplace.com
ticketmastermexico.com
ticketmastermiami.com
ticketmasternews.com
ticketmasternewyork.com
ticketmasterny.com
ticketmasteroakland.com
ticketmasteronlinetickets.com
ticketmasterpackages.com
ticketmasterphoenix.com
ticketmasterpittsburgh.com
ticketmasterportland.com
ticketmastersanantonio.com
ticketmastersandiego.com
ticketmastersanfrancisco.com
ticketmastersanjose.com
ticketmasterseattle.com
ticketmastersouthamerica.com
ticketmastersports.com
ticketmastersporttickets.com
ticketmasterstickets.com
ticketmastersuperbowltickets.com
ticketmastertexas.com
ticketmastertheater.com
ticketmastertheatre.com
ticketmastertheatretickets.com
ticketmasterticketmaster.com
ticketmasterunitedstates.com
ticketmastervacations.com
ticketmasterwashington.com
ticketmasterworldseries.com
ticketmasterworldseriestickets.com
ticktmasters.com
unitedstatesticketmaster.com
usaticketmaster.com
virtualticketmaster.com
webticketmaster.com
StatusClosed
DecisionTransfer
Date of Decision13.07.2004

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Ticketmaster Corporation v. Bill Hicks

Case No. D2004-0400

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Ticketmaster Corporation of West Hollywood, California, UnitedStates of America, represented by Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson of Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

The Respondent is Bill Hicks of Morgantown, West Virginia, United States of America.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names:

<aaaticketmaster.com>;
<aboutticketmastertickets.com>;
<americanticketmaster.com>;
<arizonaticketmaster.com>;
<atlantaticketmaster.com>;
<bassticketmastertickets.com>;
<bostonticketmaster.com>;
<broadwayticketmaster.com>;
<californiaticketmaster.com>;
<canadaticketmaster.com>;
<chicagoticketmaster.com>;
<dallasticketmaster.com>;
<e-ticketmastertickets.com>;
<europeticketmaster.com>;
<floridaticketmaster.com>;
<houstonticketmaster.com>;
<lasvegasticketmaster.com>;
<laticketmaster.com>;
<londonticketmaster.com>;
<losangelesticketmaster.com>;
<mobileticketmaster.com>;
<newyorkticketmaster.com>;
<nyticketmaster.com>;
<phoenixticketmaster.com>;
<sanfranciscoticketmaster.com>;
<seattleticketmaster.com>;
<texasticketmaster.com>;
<ticketmasterarizona.com>;
<ticketmasterasia.com>;
<ticketmasteratlanta.com>;
<ticketmasterbaseball.com>;
<ticketmasterbaseballtickets.com>;
<ticketmasterbasketball.com>;
<ticketmasterbasketballtickets.com;
<ticketmasterbass.com>;
<ticketmasterboston.com>;
<ticketmasterboxing.com>;
<ticketmasterboxingtickets.com>;
<ticketmasterbroadway.com>;
<ticketmasterbroadwaytickets.com>;
<ticketmastercalifornia.com>;
<ticketmastercentral.com>;
<ticketmastercleveland.com>;
<ticketmastercollegebasketball.com>;
<ticketmastercollegebasketballtickets.com>;
<ticketmastercollegefootball.com>;
<ticketmastercollegefootballtickets.com>;
<ticketmastercollegesports.com>;
<ticketmasterconcerttickets.com>;
<<ticketmastercountrywesterntickets.com>;
<ticketmasterdallas.com>;
<ticketmasterdetroit.com>;
<ticketmasterdirect.com>;
<ticketmasterflorida.com>;
<ticketmasterfootball.com>;
<ticketmasterfootballtickets.com>;
<ticketmastergolf.com>;
<ticketmasterhockey.com>;
<ticketmasterhockeytickets.com>;
<ticketmasterhocky.com>;
<ticketmasterhockytickets.com>;
<ticketmasterhouston.com>;
<ticketmasterjapan.com>;
<ticketmasterkorea.com>;
<ticketmasterla.com>;
<ticketmasterlasvegas.com>;
<ticketmasterlosangeles.com>;
<ticketmastermarketplace.com>;
<ticketmastermexico.com>;
<ticketmastermiami.com>;
<ticketmasternews.com>;
<ticketmasternewyork.com>;
<ticketmasterny.com>;
<ticketmasteroakland.com>;
<ticketmasteronlinetickets.com>;
<ticketmasterpackages.com>;
<ticketmasterphoenix.com>;
<ticketmasterpittsburgh.com>;
<ticketmasterportland.com>;
<ticketmastersanantonio.com>;
<ticketmastersandiego.com>;
<ticketmastersanfrancisco.com>;
<ticketmastersanjose.com>;
<ticketmasterseattle.com>;
<ticketmastersouthamerica.com>;
<ticketmastersports.com>;
<ticketmastersporttickets.com>;
<ticketmasterstickets.com>;
<ticketmastersuperbowltickets.com>;
<ticketmastertexas.com>;
<ticketmastertheater.com>;
<ticketmastertheatre.com>;
<ticketmastertheatretickets.com>;
<ticketmaster-ticketmaster.com>;
<ticketmasterticketmaster.com>;
<ticketmasterunitedstates.com>;
<ticketmaster-usa.com>;
<ticketmastervacations.com>;
<ticketmasterwashington.com>;
<ticketmasterworldseries.com>;
<ticketmasterworldseriestickets.com>;
<ticktmasters.com>;
<unitedstatesticketmaster.com>;
<usaticketmaster.com>;
<virtualticketmaster.com>;
<webticketmaster.com>;
<1ticketmaster.com>;
<2ticketmaster.com>;

are all registered with Go Daddy Software.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the“Center”) on June 1, 2004. On June 2, 2004, the Center transmitted by email to Go Daddy Software a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain names at issue. On June 3, 2004, Go Daddy Software transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the“Supplemental Rules”).

In accordance with the Rules, Paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 4, 2004. In accordance with the Rules, Paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June24,2004. The Respondent did not submit any Response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 28, 2004.

The Center appointed David H. Bernstein as the sole panelist in this matter on July2,2004. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, Paragraph 7.

4. Factual Background

Because the Respondent has not answered the Complaint, the following facts are undisputed:

Complainant provides ticketing services throughout the United States and rest of the world to more than 8,000 clients and covering more than 350,000 events per year. In the United States, Complainant has registered its trademarks TICKETMASTER.COM, TICKETMASTER, and two stylized versions thereof under the U.S. Registration Nos. 2,464,562, 1,746,016, 2,643,508, and 2,742,550, respectively, between January12,1993 and July 29, 2003. Additionally, Complainant has registered numerous permutations of its Ticketmaster trademark in over 79 countries.

The 108 Disputed Domain Names listed above in Section 2 (the “Disputed Domain Names”) were registered on or about December 29, 2003. Each of the Disputed Domain Names indicates that the page is “parked FREE at GoDaddy.com!” and includes advertising and links to various web sites. It is unclear from the record whether these advertisements were placed by Go Daddy.com! and whether Respondent derives any benefit from the listed advertising.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant asserts that Respondent’s registration and use of the Disputed Domain Names violates Complainant’s rights in the registered trademark TICKETMASTER. Complainant alleges that the Disputed Domain Names are confusingly similar to and incorporate an unauthorized use of the TICKETMASTER trademark. Complainant further claims that the only differences between its trademark and the Disputed Domain Names are prefixes or suffixes describing the geographic target market or other typographical variations designed to mislead a consumer who misspells or mistypes “ticketmaster” while seeking Ticketmaster’s web site.

Complainant alleges that Respondent has no legitimate interest in the Disputed Domain Names because Respondent has not applied for or obtained any state or federal trademark or service mark registrations for any of the Disputed Domain Names and is not commonly known by any of the Disputed Domain Names except insofar as its web sites unlawfully bear those titles. Complainant also states that Respondent has not used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Disputed Domain Names or a name corresponding to the Disputed Domain Names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services per Paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy.

Complainant also alleges that the Disputed Domain Names have been registered and used in bad faith. In support of this claim, Complainant argues that Respondent’s advertising of various products and services, including a domain name reseller plan, is evidence of bad faith since the websites do not clarify that they are not related to the Complainant or its products and services. Thus, the Complainant claims, Respondent is taking advantage of prefixes and suffixes to the TICKETMASTER mark, as well as a slight misspelling of the mark, to attract users to its websites and showing them unwanted advertising, apparently for commercial gain. Complainant also states that Respondent’s registration and use of a misspelled domain name constitutes “typosquatting,” which in and of itself constitutes bad faith registration and use. Furthermore, Complainant alleges that Respondent had actual knowledge of Ticketmaster’s rights when it registered the Disputed Domain Names, based on Ticketmaster’s long use and registration of the mark TICKETMASTER. Finally, the Complainant asserts that Respondent’s registration of such a large number of Disputed Domain Names is indicative of abusive registration or “warehousing”, which it claims is evidence of bad faith pursuant to Paragraph 4(b)(ii) of the Policy.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

The burden for Complainant under Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is to prove:

(i) That the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) That the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) That the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Disputed Domain Names are confusingly similar to Complainant’s TICKETMASTER mark. 107 of the Disputed Domain Names incorporate in its entirety the TICKETMASTER mark, which is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and thus is entitled to a presumption of validity. Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903 (November 6, 2001). As numerous prior panels have held, the fact that a domain name wholly incorporates a complainant’s registered mark is sufficient to establish identity or confusing similarity for purposes of the Policy despite the addition of other words to such marks. See, e.g., Playboy Enterprises Int’l, Inc. v. Domain Active Pty Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2002-1156 (February 13, 2003) (finding over 70 variations of the PLAYBOY mark confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark); Advance Magazine Publishers, Inc. v. Models USA, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2002-0907 (December 19, 2002) (finding domain names consisting of country names added to mark VOGUE, such as <voguebritain.com> and <voguecanada.com>, confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark).

The only other Disputed Domain Name, <ticktmasters.com>, is also confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark since intentional typographical errors do not render a domain name dissimilar to a trademark. Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. v. NSDAQ.COM, WIPO Case No. D2001-1492 (February 27, 2002) (common misspellings of NASDAQ mark confusingly similar); Oxygen Media, LLC v. Primary Source, WIPO Case No. D2000-0362 (June 19, 2000) (<0xygen.com>, with a zero rather than the letter “o” is confusingly similar to OXYGEN trademark).

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In the absence of a Response, it is appropriate to accept as true all the supporting allegations of the Complaint. See, e.g., Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Haag, WIPO Case No. D2001-0755 (July 25, 2001); Talk City, Inc. v. Robertson, WIPO Case No. D2000-0009 (February 29, 2000). The evidence submitted by the Complainant makes it clear that there is no use being made of the Disputed Domain Names in connection with either a bona fide offering of goods or services or use in a legitimate non-commercial or fair manner. Furthermore, Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by any of the Disputed Domain Names. Thus, for purposes of this proceeding, Complainant has satisfied its burden of proving that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Names.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Under Paragraph 4(b)(ii) of the Policy, bad faith is established when the Respondent is found to “have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that [the Respondent had] engaged in a pattern of such conduct.” Respondent’s registration of more than a hundred domain names, all containing some variation of the famous TICKETMASTER mark, is conclusive evidence both of an effort to prevent Complainant from reflecting its mark in these domain names and of a pattern of such conduct. See Telstra Corp. Ltd. v. Ozurls, WIPO Case No. D2001-0046 (March 20, 2001) (registration of “[f]ifteen domain names that involve the Complainant’s mark and a series of services, products, geographical descriptors, or generic words” constitute bad faith registration and use). Thus, on this record, the Complainant has sustained its burden of proving that Respondent registered and used the Disputed Domain Names in bad faith.

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Paragraph 4(i) of the Policy and Paragraph 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Disputed Domain Names:

<aaaticketmaster.com>;
<aboutticketmastertickets.com>;
<americanticketmaster.com>;
<arizonaticketmaster.com>;
<atlantaticketmaster.com>;
<bassticketmastertickets.com>;
<bostonticketmaster.com>;
<broadwayticketmaster.com>;
<californiaticketmaster.com>;
<canadaticketmaster.com>;
<chicagoticketmaster.com>;
<dallasticketmaster.com>;
<e-ticketmastertickets.com>;
<europeticketmaster.com>;
<floridaticketmaster.com>;
<houstonticketmaster.com>;
<lasvegasticketmaster.com>;
<laticketmaster.com>;
<londonticketmaster.com>;
<losangelesticketmaster.com>;
<mobileticketmaster.com>;
<newyorkticketmaster.com>;
<nyticketmaster.com>;
<phoenixticketmaster.com>;
<sanfranciscoticketmaster.com>;
<seattleticketmaster.com>;
<texasticketmaster.com>;
<ticketmasterarizona.com>;
<ticketmasterasia.com>;
<ticketmasteratlanta.com>;
<ticketmasterbaseball.com>;
<ticketmasterbaseballtickets.com>;
<ticketmasterbasketball.com>;
<ticketmasterbasketballtickets.com;
<ticketmasterbass.com>;
<ticketmasterboston.com>;
<ticketmasterboxing.com>;
<ticketmasterboxingtickets.com>;
<ticketmasterbroadway.com>;
<ticketmasterbroadwaytickets.com>;
<ticketmastercalifornia.com>;
<ticketmastercentral.com>;
<ticketmastercleveland.com>;
<ticketmastercollegebasketball.com>;
<ticketmastercollegebasketballtickets.com>;
<ticketmastercollegefootball.com>;
<ticketmastercollegefootballtickets.com>;
<ticketmastercollegesports.com>;
<ticketmasterconcerttickets.com>;
<<ticketmastercountrywesterntickets.com>;
<ticketmasterdallas.com>;
<ticketmasterdetroit.com>;
<ticketmasterdirect.com>;
<ticketmasterflorida.com>;
<ticketmasterfootball.com>;
<ticketmasterfootballtickets.com>;
<ticketmastergolf.com>;
<ticketmasterhockey.com>;
<ticketmasterhockeytickets.com>;
<ticketmasterhocky.com>;
<ticketmasterhockytickets.com>;
<ticketmasterhouston.com>;
<ticketmasterjapan.com>;
<ticketmasterkorea.com>;
<ticketmasterla.com>;
<ticketmasterlasvegas.com>;
<ticketmasterlosangeles.com>;
<ticketmastermarketplace.com>;
<ticketmastermexico.com>;
<ticketmastermiami.com>;
<ticketmasternews.com>;
<ticketmasternewyork.com>;
<ticketmasterny.com>;
<ticketmasteroakland.com>;
<ticketmasteronlinetickets.com>;
<ticketmasterpackages.com>;
<ticketmasterphoenix.com>;
<ticketmasterpittsburgh.com>;
<ticketmasterportland.com>;
<ticketmastersanantonio.com>;
<ticketmastersandiego.com>;
<ticketmastersanfrancisco.com>;
<ticketmastersanjose.com>;
<ticketmasterseattle.com>;
<ticketmastersouthamerica.com>;
<ticketmastersports.com>;
<ticketmastersporttickets.com>;
<ticketmasterstickets.com>;
<ticketmastersuperbowltickets.com>;
<ticketmastertexas.com>;
<ticketmastertheater.com>;
<ticketmastertheatre.com>;
<ticketmastertheatretickets.com>;
<ticketmaster-ticketmaster.com>;
<ticketmasterticketmaster.com>;
<ticketmasterunitedstates.com>;
<ticketmaster-usa.com>;
<ticketmastervacations.com>;
<ticketmasterwashington.com>;
<ticketmasterworldseries.com>;
<ticketmasterworldseriestickets.com>;
<ticktmasters.com>;
<unitedstatesticketmaster.com>;
<usaticketmaster.com>;
<virtualticketmaster.com>;
<webticketmaster.com>;
<1ticketmaster.com>;
<2ticketmaster.com>.

be transferred to the Complainant.

David H. Bernstein
Sole Panelist

Dated: July 13, 2004