26th Mar 2001
EMONEY GROUP Inc. v Eom, Sang Sik
Claim Number: FA0012000096337
The Complainant is EMONEY GROUP Inc., Cleveland, OH, USA (“Complainant”). The Respondent is eMoney, Daegu, 704-370, Korea (“Respondent”) represented by Ari Goldberger.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is “EMONEY.com,” registered with Network Solutions.
The undersigned certifies that they have acted independently and impartially and to the best of their knowledge, have no known conflicts in serving as Panelists in this proceeding.
Bruce Meyerson, Daniel Banks and David Sorkin as Panelists.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum (“the Forum”) electronically on December 29, 2000; the Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on December 26, 2000.
On February 2, 2001, Network Solutions confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the domain name “EMONEY.com” is registered with Network Solutions and that the Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Network Solutions has verified that Respondent is bound by the Network Solutions 5.0 registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).
On February 2, 2001, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of February 22, 2001 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 Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts, and to postmaster@EMONEY.com by e-mail.
A timely response was received and determined to be complete on February 22, 2001.
Complainant submitted a timely additional response on March 1, 2001 in accordance with Forum Supplemental Rule 7. This additional response was considered by the Panel.
Respondent submitted an additional response that was not in accordance with Forum Supplemental Rule 7. Accordingly, it has not been considered by the Panel.
On March 6, 2001, pursuant to Respondent’s request to have the dispute decided by a Three Member Panel, the Forum appointed Bruce E. Meyerson, Daniel B. Banks, Jr. and David E. Sorkin as Panelists.
The Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from the Respondent to the Complainant.
The Complainant contends that it has the “ultimate rights” in a trademark or service mark that is identical to the domain name “EMONEY.com.” Complainant alleges that in November 1999 it sought an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the mark “EMONEY.” Complainant contends that the domain name “EMONEY.com” is not associated with a specific website, and that when users access the address they are automatically diverted to another website operated by Respondent.
Respondent contends that the term “EMONEY” is composed of terms that have been determined to be descriptive and is not entitled to legal protection. Respondent points out that although the Complainant has filed an application to register the mark “EMONEY,” the Patent and Trademark Office has refused to register the mark. Respondent asserts that it established the domain name “EMONEY.com” intending to use the site for “bulletin board” services to those wishing to post comments regarding money and financial matters.
Complainant has no legally protectible interest in the term “EMONEY” as this is a descriptive term that describes the characteristics and features of goods or services.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”) instructs this Panel to “decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the 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.
Because Complainant is not able to demonstrate that it currently possesses any relevant trademark rights, its case fails on the first element, and we find it unnecessary to address the remaining issues.
Complainant has not demonstrated a protectible legal interest in the term “EMONEY” or the domain name “EMONEY.com.” We find that the terms contained in the domain name are generic and have not acquired secondary meaning as a trademark. E.g., Successful Money Management Seminars, Inc. v. Direct Mail Express, FA 96457 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 7, 2001) (seminar and success are generic terms);Pet Warehouse v. Pets.com, D2000-0105 (WIPO Apr. 13, 2000) (pets and warehouse are generic terms).
Pursuant to the foregoing, the Complainant’s request for relief is denied.
Bruce Meyerson, Panelist
Daniel B. Banks, Jr., Panelist
David E. Sorkin, Panelist
March 26, 2001