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Respondent has been the subject of numerous complaints under the Policy, and on numerous occasions domain names registered by Respondent have been the subject of orders for transfer by WIPO administrative panels. Complainant argues that because Respondent’s web portal includes various headings similar to services offered by Complainant this evidences that Respondent was aware of Complainant’s business.
The main web portal for Complainant’s business is at Internet address “ although Complainant has registered a significant number of domain names that redirect Internet users to the web portal operated at that address (id., at Annex 6).
Complainant registered the domain name in June 2000 (see id., Annex 4), was incorporated in February 2000, and claims to have started its business in July 1999. (Complaint) Complainant alleges that Respondent has been determined to have registered and used in bad faith at least 49 domain names in WIPO administrative proceedings.
According to the Registrar’s Verification Report, Respondent is registrant of the disputed domain name, . The Policy requires that domain name registrants submit to a mandatory Administrative Proceeding conducted by an approved dispute resolution service provider, of which the Center is one, regarding allegations of abusive domain name registration and use (Policy, paragraph 4(a)). Complainant argues that its common law rights in the trade and service mark arose before Respondent registered the disputed domain name.
According to a WHOIS database report provided by Complainant, the record of registration for the disputed domain name was created on November 21, 2001. Complainant contends that the terms “Friends” and “Reunited” taken together are “inherently distinctive”.
Complainant has furnished substantial evidence in the form of published reports of Thompson Business Intelligence, to show that as of July 25, 2001, approximately 800,000 individuals had registered with Complainant’s web-based business (id., Annex 8). D2006-0545, and; Bell South Intellectual Property Corporation v. The Panel has not attempted to independently verify that assertion.