Under the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution

Case Number: AF-0314
Contested Domain Name:
Panel Member: L.J. Gibbons

1. Parties and Contested Domain Name

Complainant: Naturwood Furniture
Respondent: Vermont Internet
Contested Domain Name:

2. Procedural History:

The electronic version of the Complaint form was filed on-line through eResolution's Website on August 15, 2000. The hardcopy of the Complaint Form was received on August 21, 2000. Payment was received on August 24, 2000.

Upon receiving all the required information, eResolution's clerk proceeded to:

- Confirm the identity of the Registrar for the contested Domain Name;

- Verify the Registrar's Whois Database and confirm all the required contact information for Respondent;

- Verify if the contested Domain Name resolved to an active Web page;

- Verify if the Complaint was administratively compliant.

The inquiry leads the Clerk's Office of eResolution to the following conclusions: the Registrar is Network Solutions Inc., the Whois database contains all the required contact information, the contested Domain Name resolves to an inactive Web page and the Complaint is administratively compliant.

An email was sent to the Registrar by eResolution Clerk's Office to confirm the name of the billing contact and to obtain a copy of the Registration Agreement on August 15, 2000. The requested information was received August 17, 2000.

The Clerk's Office then proceeded to send a copy of the Complaint Form and the required Cover Sheet in accordance with paragraph 2 (a) of the ICANN's Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

The Clerk's Office fulfilled all its responsibilities under Paragraph 2(a) in connection with forwarding the Complaint to the Respondent on August 25, 2000. That date is the commencement date of the administrative proceeding.

On August 25, 2000, the Clerk's Office notified the Complainant, the Respondent, the concerned Registrar, and ICANN of the date of commencement of the administrative proceeding.

The complaint, official notification and all the annexes were sent by Canadian Registered Postal Mail to the respondent's various addresses. According to the Canadian Postal Mail tracking system, all were delivered on August 28, 2000.

On September 14, 2000, the Clerk's Office notified the Respondent and the Complainant of the failure of the first one to respond to the complaint. It also informed the parties that according to ICANN Rules Art.5 (ix)(e)"If a respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the complaint"

On September 15, 2000, the Clerk's Office contacted Mr. L.J. Gibbons, and requested that he acts as panelist in this case.

On September 18, 2000, Mr. L.J. Gibbons, accepted to act as panelist in this case.

On September 19, 2000, the Clerk's Office forwarded a user name and a password to Mr. L.J. Gibbons, allowing him to access the Complaint Form, the Response Form, and the evidence through eResolution's Automated Docket Management System.

On September 19, 2000, the parties were notified that Mr. L.J. Gibbons had been appointed and that a decision was to be, save exceptional circumstances, handed down on October 2, 2000.

3. Factual Background

The facts are stated in the discussion and findings section.

4. Parties' Contentions

Complainant alleges that Respondent has no legitimate interest in the domain name and has registered it in bad faith.

5. Discussion and Findings

It is important to note that the respondent elected not to respond to the complaint. Accordingly, I reviewed the complaint as to whether it established a prima facia case for the transfer of the domain name, and I accepted as true the allegations stated in the complaint. My review was facilitated by the well pled and documented complaint submitted by the complainant.

I make the following findings of fact:

  • Naturwood's claim to the mark is based on common law trademark rights arising through use of the mark. This complaint is based on Naturwood Furniture's common law trademark rights in the name "Naturwood." Since 1948, Naturwood Furniture has used the name "Naturwood" in connection with its primary business of selling high-quality furniture. Naturwood's use of the name extends beyond California and into Nevada and Arizona.

  • The domain name ( registered by respondent Vermont Internet is identical to the mark in which complainant Naturwood Furniture has rights.
  • There is some discussion in the documents of another domain name I find that the status of was not properly pled in the complaint; consequently, the status of is not properly before me and that I do not have jurisdiction to reach this issue.
  • Some time after registering the domain name, Vermont Internet entered into a website development agreement with Naturwood Furniture. As part of the agreement, Vermont Internet was to transfer the domain name to Naturwood Furniture.
  • Some months into the website development project, Vermont Internet repudiated the agreement with Naturwood Furniture and stated that he would not complete the project and that he had "turned all materials over" to a website developer who was familiar with the project.
  • This website developer had no knowledge of and was not a party to any agreement to complete the project.
  • On several occasions, Naturwood Furniture requested that Vermont Internet transfer the domain name in accordance with the website development agreement that it breached.
  • On May 10, 2000, Vermont Internet advised Naturwood Furniture that he would sell the domain name to another company unless Naturwood Furniture paid him $5,000.00.
  • Vermont Internet registered the domain name for the sole purpose of selling it to any company that entered into a website development agreement with it and that it will sell it to any company that pays its price.
  • Vermont Internet has already agreed to transfer the domain name to Naturwood Furniture pursuant to the website development agreement that it breached, but refuses to do so.
  • I find that the domain name is confusingly similar to the common law trademark of the complainant.
  • I find that the respondent has no legitimate interest in the domain name. Respondent did not file a response to the complaint. There is nothing in the record to support a contrary finding in favor of the respondent. Further, the arbitrator declines to speculate as to possible grounds to find in favor of the respondent.
  • I find that the domain name was registered or the respondent continued registration in bad faith. In particular, respondent attempted to charge the complaint an amount in well in excess of actual costs before respondent would transfer the domain name. This constitutes bad faith under provision 4(b)(i) of the ICANN Dispute Resolution Policy.
  • In conclusion, I find that the complainant has stated a prima facia case accompanied by documents supporting its request that the domain name to transferred. Because the complaint has met its burden of proof, the domain name, shall be transferred.

6. Conclusions

For the foregoing reasons, it is the judgment of the arbitrator that the domain name shall be TRANSFERRED to the complainant.

7. Signature

Signed this 2nd day of October, 2000, in the City of Toledo, State of Ohio, United States of America.

(s) Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons

Presiding Panelist