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House of Blues Brands Corp. v. Artbravo Inc., British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre, Case No. 00054 - by Eric Macramalla

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Domain Name: houseofblues.ca
OutCome: Transfer Granted
Response Filed: Yes
Panellist: Rodney C. Kyle (Chair), Pierr-Emmanuel Moyse, Michel D. Manson

The Complainant was the owner of four registered trade-marks in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, including HOUSE OF BLUES registered in 1998. The Registrant registered the disputed domain name on October 29, 2005, after the 30 day grace period expired on the Complainant's prior registration. The Registrant pointed the disputed domain name to a website referring to blues music at which revenue from referrals was generated.

Under the CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("Policy"), a successful Complainant must establish that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar with a mark in which it had rights, that the name was registered in bad faith and that the Registrant does not have a legitimate interest in the domain name.

The Panel held that the Complainant was eligible to initiate the proceeding by virtue of being the owner of the House of Blues Canadian trade-mark registration.

On the issue of confusion, the Panel held that the disputed domain name was identical to the registered trade-mark of the Complainant in view of paragraph 1.2 of the Policy. Accordingly, the Panel concluded that houseofblues.ca was confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trade-mark.

The Panel also held that the Registrant had no legitimate interest in the domain name. In particular, the Registrant was using the disputed domain name as part of a revenue generating business by re-directing the contested domain name to a website referring to blues music at which referral fees were generated. Only after receiving notice from the Complainant did the Registrant resolve the disputed domain name to direct internet traffic to a picture of a painting from Pablo Picasso's blue period.

Finally, considering much of the same evidence described above, the Panel concluded that the domain name had been registered in Bad Faith. In particular, the Panel found that the domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting a competitor and that the Registrant had engaged in a pattern of registering domain names in order to prevent persons who have rights in marks from registering the marks as domain names.

The Panel ordered the domain name houseofblues.ca transferred to the Complainant as per paragraph 4.3 of the Policy.

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