WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. v. Philipssmartcenter.com
Case No. D2002-0472
Complainant in this proceeding is Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V., represented by Mr. J.J.E.C.G. Vandekerckhove, Postbus 220, 5600 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Respondent in this proceeding is Philipssmartcenter.com, Boke, Ilham, Bahcelievler Mah. M. Bedriincetahtaci Sok. No Gaziantep, Sahinbey 27010, Turkey.
2. Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name at issue is <philipssmartcenter.com>.
The Registrar with which the domain name is registered is Tucows, Inc., 96 Mowat Avenue, Toronto, ON M6K 3M1, Canada (the Registrar).
3. Procedural History
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the Center) received the Complaint by email on May 17, 2002, and in hardcopy on May 29, 2002.
The Center transmitted a Request for Registrar Verification to the Registrar on May 22, 2002. On the same date, the Registrar confirmed that the domain name at issue was registered by the registrant, Philipssmartcenter.com through the Registrar.
The Center confirmed that the Complainant complied with all formal requirements pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the Policy), 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) on May 29, 2002.
The Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding was sent to Respondent and copied to the Registrar by the Center on May 29, 2002.
The Notification of Appointment of the Administrative Panel and Projected Decision Date was sent on July 5, 2002. The case file was transmitted to the Panelist on the same day.
4. Factual Background and Partiesí Contentions
This Complaint is based on the following grounds:
The trademark "Philips" has been registered by the predecessors of Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (KPENV), in the Netherlands, since 1891 and is registered in numerous jurisdictions worldwide. The trademark "Philips" is synonymous with a wide spectrum of products varying from consumer electronics to domestic appliances, and from security systems to semiconductors. The "Philips" brand name is the one of the companyís most important assets as it has spent substantially on supporting its brand worldwide.
The Respondent is known as Dogdu Elektrik. The Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant for the word mark "Philips" or the trademark "Philips" on a website. The Respondent has not received an authorization to use the elements of the Complainantís official homepage, which it uses nevertheless.
The Respondent has provided an incorrect postal address. As a result, there appears to have been no contact between Parties concerning the domain name at issue.
5. Partiesí Contentions
The following are Complainantís representations:
1. The domain name in question is confusingly similar to the "Philips" trademark registered by the Complainant, because when looking at the corresponding website, it undoubtedly gives the impression that there is some kind of association with the Complaint with the use of the Complainantís wordmark as well as the use of the words "Lamps Millenium", the Complainant being a leading manufacurer in the lighting business. In this regard, the first seven letters being an exact match to the Complainantís mark only enhances the fact of a confusingly similarity relationship between the Complainantís mark and the domain name in question.
2. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests to the domain name as it has been registered primarily for the following reasons:
(a) The Respondent is not commonly known by the name "philipssmartcenter.com" as they are known as Dogdu Elektrik, as displayed on the corresponding website to the said domain name.
(b) The Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to register the domain name incorporating the trademark "Philips" or the use of the "Philips" wordmark on any website corresponding to the domain name in dispute. Neither has the Complainant authorised or licenced the Respondent to use its trademarks on websites such as <dogduelektrik.com>, where the Respondent also uses the general elements of the Complainantís official homepage. Therefore, in light of the above, the Respondent does not have a legitimate interest in the said domain name at all.
(c) No attempt was made, by the Respondent, to explain the intentions behind the registration of the domain name. In addition, before and after any notice was communicated to the Respondent of the dispute, there was no evidence of the Respondentís use of, or demonstrable preparations to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or making a fair, non-commercial use of the said name which inevitably leads the Complainant to conclude that the Respondent had no legitimate interest in the registration of the said domain name.
(d) The Complainant additionally asserts that the Respondent would not have registered the said domain name had the Respondent conducted a proper trademark search before registering the domain name. This may be evidence of bad faith if not proven otherwise. In addition, Respondent should have known of the existence of the trademark prior to registration of the domain name, as the trademark "Philips" is a well-known mark on an international level. Therefore, it would be unreasonable not to expect the Respondent to be aware of the existence of the trademark.
(e) The registration of the domain name in question causes unfairness and is certainly detrimental to the business of the Complainant as the mark is influential in the field of business it was registered for. "philipssmartcenter.com" certainly heightens the likelihood of confusion to the Internet users, as to the source of affiliation and sponsorship of the domain name, particularly with the unauthorised use of the "Philips" wordmark and shield emblem.
The Respondent has not filed any Response.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Complainantís trademarks are known worldwide. As such, they deserve a strong protection against domain name grabbing. Further, the Respondent is active in one of the fields for which the Complainantís trademarks are best known.
Having received no authorization or license for using the trademark in its domain name, the Respondent has acted in bad faith when registering the domain name at issue. It is not necessary to resort to constructive knowledge of the Complainantís trademark on the part of the Respondent in order to find it in bad faith, as it can be safely assumed that the Respondent, being active in the electronic industry, is in fact aware of the existence of the Complainantís trademark.
Moreover, no use of the website has been undertaken by the Respondent in the period of time between the registration of the domain name and the receipt of the notification of the Complaint.
Finally, the registration of the domain name is obviously based on a willful attempt to attract users to its future website, this being for commercial gain, profiting thereby from the Complainantís immense good-will.
Based on paragraph 4 (i) of the Policy and paragraph 15 of the Rules, the Panel hereby decides and orders that the domain name <philipssmartcenter.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Dated: July 25, 2002