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September 10, 2010 / Nate Harris

Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Intranzition Services Inc.

Summary of Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Intranzition Services Inc.
(WIPO Case No. D2010-1190)

Filed July 19, 2010; Decided August 30, 2010 (Panelist: Douglas M. Isenberg)

Domain Name: <revlonoutlet.com>

revlonoutlet.com

revlonoutlet.com

The Parties

Complainant Revlon Consumer Products Corporation (“Revlon”) is the maker of the world-famous Revlon cosmetic and beauty care products. Revlon has sold beauty products under the REVLON mark since 1932, and had net sales of $1.3 billion last year. It owns nearly 3,000 trademark applications or registrations around the world, and last year spent over $200 million advertising products bearing the REVLON mark.

Respondent Intranzition Services Inc. (“Intranzition”) failed to respond to the complaint. Intranzition registered the disputed domain name on October 23, 2008. According to Revlon, the disputed domain “points to a webpage that features a link to 123plumbing.com”. [Not true. The disputed domain displays the root directory of the web server to which it points. The web server has an empty folder named 123plumbing.com.] The website at the domain 123plumbing.com features “images and reviews of books about plumbing.”

Revlon emailed Intranzition about the disputed domain name several times earlier this year. On June 11, 2010, Intranzition responded, indicating that it had registered the domain to “serve as Reverend Lon’s website to sell religious goods and artifacts[.]” However, “due to the Revered’s [sic] untimely passing, the site is empty” and would not be completed. Revlon offered its condolences on the Reverend’s death and, presumably with great tact, requested “the name and address of his former church and any news article that discusses his passing.” [The decision doesn’t state whether they asked Intranzition to hold a mirror up to the Reverend’s mouth.] Yet Intranzition failed to provide any further information on the life or death of the Reverend.

Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel notes Revlon’s “obvious” rights in its REVLON mark, which was apparently formed as a “fanciful combination” of the names of Revlon’s founders, Charles and Joseph Revson and Charles Lachman. [Shouldn’t it be REVMAN, then?]

The disputed domain name is made up of the REVLON mark, along with the word “outlet”, and the gTLD “.com”. The Panel notes previous decisions holding that “descriptive or generic additions, and particularly those which relate to the goods or service for which a mark is used, do not avoid confusing similarity of domain names and trademarks[.]”  Here, the word “outlet” is relevant to the REVLON mark, since the public would be likely to assume that Revlon cosmetics could be sold through outlet stores.

Thus, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the REVLON mark.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel finds that Revlon has made a prima facie showing that Intranzition has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel points out that Revlon has not authorized Intranzition to use the REVLON mark; that there is no evidence Intranzition is known by the name revlonoutlet.com; and that the disputed domain appears to be a link hosting website, which is not a legitimate or noncommercial use and may suggest that Intranzition receives referral fees for hosting those links.

Intranzition did not respond to the complaint, and so did not rebut the prima facie showing. Thus, the Panel finds that Intranzition has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Bad Faith

The Panel finds that Intranzition must have been aware of Revlon’s  “highly distinctive and fanciful nature” REVLON mark when it registered and use the disputed domain name, suggesting opportunistic bad faith.

With respect to Reverend Lon:

[T]he Panel finds Respondent’s reference to “Reverend Lon” as a justification for its registration of the Disputed Domain Name to be unbelievable given Respondent’s failure to provide any details about the existence of such a person. See SmithKline Beecham (Cork) Limited; SmithKline Beecham Corporation (dba GlaxoSmithKline) v. Daniel Crean, WIPO Case No. D2006-1185 (finding that the registrant’s use of the domain name <tykerb.org> in connection with a website for a person allegedly named “Tyrone Kerby” “is irrelevant, does nothing to diminish his bad faith and is a transparent and unsuccessful attempt to evade the Policy” where Complainant owned rights to the trademark TYKERB for use in connection with an orally administered therapy for treatment of breast cancer and certain other tumors).

Therefore, the Panel found the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith.

Decision

The Panel orders that the disputed domain name be transferred to Revlon.

Commentary

For what it’s worth, 123plumbing.com was registered by individuals from Bellmore, NY–the small town on Long Island where Intranzition’s place of business is located. Seems like they were using the server pointed to by the disputed domain name to develop 123plumbing.com, and to that end had created a folder called 123plumbing.com on the server. (Click here to see what I mean.)

Therefore, the disputed domain name does not “merely contain[] links to other websites,” as argued by Revlon and accepted by the Panel.  It follows that Intranzition probably doesn’t receive referral fees. That’s important, because the Panel gave weight to that “mere referral website”  theory in finding that Intranzition had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

I found the whole  “Reverend Lon” argument really funny. It was a nice try, anyway. I did some searching and couldn’t find any mention of a Reverend Lon who died in the past 2 years. I agree with the Panel that he didn’t exist, but, if he did, R.I.P. Reverend Lon.

Epilogue

9/9/2010: revlonoutlet.com still displays the directory listing with the 123plumbing.com directory.

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