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Choice Hotels International, Inc. v. Daniel Montanbault, British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre, Case No. 00062 - by Eric Macramalla

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Domain Name: comfort-inn.ca
OutCome: Transfer Granted
Response Filed: Yes
Panellist: Barry C. Effler (Chair), Michael D. Manson, Anton Melnyk

Gowlings represented the Complainant in this case

The Complainant was the owner of the registered COMFORT INN trade-mark. The Complainant registered the trade-mark on February 4, 1983. The Registrant registered the disputed domain name on March 30, 2006. The domain has remained inactive since registration, other than a basic 'under construction' page provided by the web host.

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 had rights in the COMFORT INN trade-mark by virtue of being the owner of the corresponding Canadian trade-mark registration. On the issue of confusion, the Panel found that incorporating the entirety of the words of the Complainant's marks within the domain name comfort-inn.ca was confusingly similar within the meaning of the Policy.

The Panel also held that the domain name was registered in bad faith. The Registrant offered the domain name for sale for $30,000, an amount clearly in excess of the Registrant's costs of registration of the domain name as per paragraph 3.1 of the Policy.

Finally, the Panel held that the Registrant did not have any legitimate interest in the domain name as per paragraph 3.6 of the Policy

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

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