WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Fiat Auto. v. Italienska
Case No. DBIZ2002-00030
1. The Parties
Complainant in this proceeding is Fiat Auto S.p.A., Corso Agnelli 200, 10135 Torino, Italy.
Respondent is Italienska Bil, box 324, Sollentuna 192 39, Sweden.
2. Domain Name and Registrar
This dispute concerns the domain name <fiat.biz>.
The Registrar with which the domain name is registered is Nameengine, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the Center) received a complaint on April 18, 2002, pursuant to the Start-Up Trademark Opposition Policy for .biz ("STOP Policy"), the Rules for Start-Up Trademark Opposition Policy ("STOP Rules") and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Start-up Trademark Opposition Policy for .biz ("WIPO Supplemental STOP Rules")on April 24, 2002. The Notification of STOP Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding was sent on May 14, 2002. Respondent default was notified on June 10, 2002. The notification of the appointment of the Panel was sent on June 28, 2002. The file was transmitted to the Panelist on the same day.
4. Factual Background and Partiesí Contentions
A. The Trademark
The complaint is based on the "fiat" trademark.
Complainant is the owner among other ones of the community trademark "fiat", registration nį 334854.
B. The Complaint
In its complaint Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical with its trademark.
Complainant alleges that Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in the domain name.
Complainant alleges that Respondent registered the domain name in bad faith as Respondent must have been aware of the famous "fiat" trademark and as Respondent is preventing Complainant from registering a .biz domain name corresponding to its trademark.
C. The Response
The respondent has not forwarded any response.
5. Discussion and Findings
a) Trademark Identical to the Domain Name
There is no doubt that the domain name <fiat.biz> is identical with the Complainantís trademark as the top level domain name .biz is not a distinguishing feature.
(b) Respondent's Rights or Legitimate Interests in the Domain Name
The respondent defaulting in the present proceedings has not provided evidence of any circumstance giving rise to a right or legitimate interest in the domain name.
(c) Domain Name Registered or Used in Bad Faith
Respondent has not made any positive action, such as offering to sell the domain name to Complainant or a competitor of Complainant. The strong reputation of Complainant, which is a well-known company throughout the world, and its "fiat" trademark, which is also well-known worldwide, leads one to the conclusion that the Respondent registered the domain name in bad faith. The Complainant's mark is too well-known for the Respondent not to have been aware that registration of domain name would infringe upon the rights of a third party. The registration of the domain name combined with Respondentís failure to provide any actual or contemplated intention of good faith use of the domain name, is further evidence of bad faith (see Compaq Computer Corporation v. Boris Beric, WIPO Case No. D2000-0042). Further, any potential use of the domain name, which is identical to Complainantís well-known trademark, would inevitably lead people to believe that Respondent and Respondentís website are in some way associated with Complainant. Due to the international notoriety of Complainant, potential use of the disputed domain name is equivalent to actual use in regard of a finding of bad faith (see Red Bull GmbH v. Harold Gutch, WIPO Case No. D2000-0766).
In the light of the foregoing, the Panel decides that the domain name registered by Respondent is identical to the corresponding trademarks of Complainant, that Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in respect of this domain name and that the domain name in issue has been registered or is being used in bad faith by Respondent.
Accordingly the Panel requires that the registration of the domain name <fiat.biz> be transferred to Complainant.
Dated: July 18, 2002