On June 6, 2016, Dr. Vinod K. Agarwal, sole arbitrator appointed by National Internet Exchange of India (hereinafter mentioned as NIXI), has ruled in favor of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., by transferring the domain name ‘www.wwetshirt.in’ to it.
Complainant, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., is a well- known company, incorporated in State of Delaware, United States of America. Complainant had initially promoted its business under the name of World Wide Wrestling Federation. Complainant was then acquired by Titan Sports Co. and in 2002, its name was changed to World Wrestling Entertainment. On April 7, 2016, Complainant formally renamed itself ‘WWE’. It is involved in developing, producing and marketing television programmes, live events and licensing and sale of branded consumer products. Complainant has registered its trademark ‘WWE’, in various classes, and have also registered many domain names, incorporating WWE.
On April 18, 2016, the Complainant filed a complaint with the NIXI, stating that the Respondent has registered a domain name which is similar to the Complainant’s trademark. For the purpose of arbitrating the present matter, NIXI appointed a sole Arbitrator. Notice, dated May 20, 2016, was send to the Respondent, requesting him to submit his response latest by June 5, 2016. There was no response sent by the Respondent, hence the ex- party award is passed by the Arbitrator.
Contentions of the Complainant
Contentions regarding the similarity of the domain name
Complainant’s trademark ‘WWE’, is registered in 63 regions including India. Complainant has also registered 300 domain name incorporating WWE trademark.
Respondent’s domain name incorporates the entire trademark of the Complainant, hence Respondent’s domain name is identical and substantially similar to Complainant’s trademark. The Complainant also cited various case laws to support its contention.
Contention regarding the legitimate interest of the Respondent
The Respondent has not been commonly known by the mark ‘WWE’, as the name of the Respondent organization is not known. Moreover, the Respondent does not have any legitimate interest in respect of the disputed domain name ‘www.wwetshirt.in’. Hence, the Respondent registered the domain name for the sole purpose of misappropriating its association with the Complainant and to create confusion in the minds of the general public.
Contentions regarding the use in bad faith
The main objective of registering the disputed domain name is to mislead the public. The Respondent has mala fide intention to earn profit from the reputation of Complainant’s trademark.
TThere is a likelihood that the visitors of the Respondent’s website may believe that the Complainant has licensed the Respondent to register the disputed domain name or the Respondent has some connection with the Complainant.
Observations of the Arbitrator