Decisión del Panel Administrativo nº D2019-2450 of Tribunal Arbitral de la OMPI, December 03, 2019 (case Meow Wolf, Inc. v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1242101181, Contract Privacy Inc. Customer 1242532075, Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243594352 / Brody Rios, NET4000)

Defense:Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1242101181, Contract Privacy Inc. Customer 1242532075, Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243594352 / Brody Rios, NET4000
Resolution Date:December 03, 2019
Issuing Organization:Tribunal Arbitral de la OMPI
Decision:Transfer
Dominio:Generic Domains
SUMMARY

[meowwolfdc.com] [meowwolfdenver.com] [meowwolfvegas.com]

 
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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Meow Wolf, Inc. v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1242101181, Contract Privacy Inc. Customer 1242532075, Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243594352 / Brody Rios, NET4000

Case No. D2019-2450

1. The Parties

Complainant is Meow Wolf, Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by The Bennett Law Group, United States.

Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1242101181, Contract Privacy Inc. Customer 1242532075, Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243594352, Canada / Brody Rios, NET4000, United States.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names [meowwolfdc.com], [meowwolfdenver.com], and [meowwolfvegas.com] (the “Domain Names”) are registered with Google LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 8, 2019. On October 9, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On October 10, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Names, which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on October 10, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 24, 2019.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Supplemental Rules”).

In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2 and 4, the Center formally notified Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 24, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 13, 2019. The Response was filed with the Center on November 13, 2019.

The Center appointed Christopher S. Gibson as the sole panelist in this matter on November 18, 2019. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.

4. Factual Background

Established in 2008, Complainant is an arts and entertainment group based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Complainant employs over 400 employees in positions creating and supporting art across a variety of media, including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming, performance, and more. The company creates immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. This includes art installations, video and music production, and extended reality content, which take place in various geographic locations. More than 1 million visitors have visited the company’s space in New Mexico. In 2017, the company generated roughly USD 9 million in income. It has been well-publicized that Complainant is expanding to Las Vegas in 2020, then Denver, followed by a permanent exhibit in Washington, D.C. (“DC”) in 2022. Complainant’s expansion to Denver involves a USD 60 million, 90,000-square-foot immersive art park. It has been widely reported that the company recently raised more than USD 158 million in funding from investors, following a prior funding round of USD 17 million.

Complainant is the owner of the MEOW WOLF trademark, having commenced use of this mark in 2008 in connection with entertainment services and clothing. Complainant owns five registrations and two pending applications for the MEOW WOLF mark, registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), as follows:

- Registration No. 4090514, registered on January 24, 2012, with first use in commerce of February 1, 2008;

- Registration No. 5556865, registered on September 4, 2018, with first use in commerce of February 1, 2008;

- Registration No. 5526158, registered on July 24, 2018, with a first use in commerce of February 1, 2008;

- Registration No. 5618471, registered on November 27, 2018, with first use in commerce of February 1, 2008;

- Registration No. 5801032, registered on July 9, 2019, with a first use in commerce of September 4, 2018.

- Applications: Serial No. 87707172 with priority date of December 4, 2017, and Serial No. 87549755 with priority date of July 31, 2017.

In 2017, Complainant’s first permanent installation in Santa Fe won the prestigious THEA Award from the Themed Entertainment Association. Complainant and its MEOW WOLF trademarks have received critical acclaim and unsolicited media attention, including the following:

- “Meow Wolf, The Insane Art Collective Taking Over the World”, Rolling Stone, January 16, 2019;

- “As the Experience Economy Booms, Meow Wolf Raises $158 Million to Expand Its Footprint Across America”, ArtNet News, May 17, 2019;

- “Meow Wolf is coming to the nation's capital! Wait, Meow what?”, The Washington Post, December 13, 2018;

- “George R.R. Martin expands storytelling universe with Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe arts collective”, Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2019;

- “What in the World Is Meow Wolf and Why Is It Tourism's Big New Name?”, Frommer’s.

Respondent operates as 4TIX, LLC, and uses the brand and domain name [buytickets.com] for its website in connection with its business of providing an online marketplace for buying and selling tickets for concerts, events, festivals, and sports events.

The Domain Names were registered as follows:

Domain Name Registration Date
[meowwolfdenver.com] January 4, 2018
[meowwolfvegas.com] April 16, 2018
[meowwolfdc.com] December 11, 2018

5. Parties’ Contentions

A.
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