WIPO

 

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Liseberg AB v. Administration Local Manage Technical

Case No. D2003-0864

 

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Liseberg AB, of Göteborg, Sweden, represented by Albihns Göteborg AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Administration Local Manage Technical, of Hong Kong SAR of China.

 

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <liseberg.com> is registered with Computer Data Networks dba shop4domain.com.

 

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on October 30, 2003. On October 30, 2003, the Center transmitted by email to Computer Data Networks dba shop4domain.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On November 3, 2003, Computer Data Networks dba shop4domain.com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of 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").

In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 5, 2003. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 25, 2003. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondentís default on November 27, 2003.

The Center appointed Arne Ringnes as the sole panelist in this matter on December 8, 2003. 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

The amusement park LISEBERG, which is situated in Gothenburg, Sweden, was founded in connection with Gothenburgís jubilee exhibition in 1923. The Complainant, the municipal company Liseberg AB, took over the responsibility for the amusement park in 1925. The company Liseberg AB was registered February 6, 1925. The Complainant is the parent company of the wholly-owned companies Hotell Liseberg Heden AB, Lisebergs Gäst AB and Lisebergs Restaurant AB.

The Complainant has sold its products and services under the trademark and service mark LISEBERG since 1925. The details of the registered trademarks are summarized as follows:

Trademark:

LISEBERG

Country:

Sweden

Registration no:

238 804

Registration Date:

August 7, 1992

Class:

3, 6, 7, 14, 20, 22, 25, 28, 32, 34, 35, 36, 41, 43, 44 and 45

   

Trademark:

LISEBERG & Device

Country:

Sweden

Registration no:

201 731

Registration Date:

June 19, 1986

Class:

4, 8, 9, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21. 22, 24, 25, 28, 34, 35, 36 and 41

   

Trademark:

LISEBERG & Device

Country:

Norway

Registration no:

203 603

Registration Date:

July 6, 2000

Class:

41

   

Trademark:

LISEBERG

Country:

Norway

Registration no:

104 475

Registration Date:

February 15, 1990

Class:

41

The Complainant owns the following domain names:

<liseberg.se>;
<liseberg.org;
<liseberg.net>;
<liseberg.biz>;
<liseberg.nu> and
<liseberg.info>.

The domain name at issue was registered on  January 31, 2001.

In accordance with paragraph 4(i) of the Policy, the Complainant requests the Administrative Panel appointed in this administrative proceeding to issue a decision that <liseberg.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

 

5. Partiesí Contentions

A. Complainant

LISEBERG is a registered trademark in Sweden and Norway, and has also become established on the market. The high level of recognition of the trademark and service mark also grants the mark a wider protection through its reputation. The Complainant has an exclusive right to the trademark and service mark LISEBERG both by its trademark registrations and by the establishment on the market according to the Swedish Trademarks Act.

The Complainant contends that the domain name at issue is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark and service mark LISEBERG. The domain name at issue incorporates the Complainantís registered and established trademark and service mark LISEBERG in its entirety.

The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. The Complainant has not given consent, license or any other authorization to the Respondent for use or registration of the domain name at issue. When the domain name at issue is entered into an Internet browser, it resolves to an Internet portal situated at "www.roar.com" that features a number of links to "Roarís best sites" for among other things "Adults only". Several of the goods and services covered by the Complainantís trademark and service mark rights are offered on "Roarís best sites". Such use of a domain name that infringes the Complainantís mark to redirect Internet traffic is not legitimate use (cf. WIPO Case No D2002-1127). "www.roar.com" operates a pay-for performance search engine and its customers pay a fee to have their website included in the search results. "www.roar.com" also offers a program wherein participants place search tools on their own website. It is clear that the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to unrelated websites, which does not constitute a legitimate interest in the domain name (cf. WIPO Case Nos. D2002-1127 and D2000-1091).

Further, the Respondentís use of the domain name to link users to pornographic websites seriously tarnishes the Complainantís trademark and service mark. This is especially due to the fact that several of the guests in the Complainantís amusement park are children.

The website "www.roar.com" has been mentioned in several WIPO cases and the Respondents in those cases have been acting in the same way as the Respondent in this case, i.e. re-directing Internet users to the Roar website with a view of attracting Internet users for commercial gain (cf. Fox News Network, LLC v. Warren Reid, WIPO Case Nos. D2002-1085, D2002-1127, D2002-1156, D2002-0713, D2002-0890, D2003-0141). None of the Respondents in those cases were deemed to have a right or legitimate interest in the domain names at issue.

The Respondent has recently amended the website "www.liseberg.com". However, it is still clear that the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to unrelated websites, which does not constitute a legitimate interest in the domain name.

Finally, the Complainant contends that the domain name is registered and used in bad faith. The Respondentís use of the domain name at issue to divert users to a pornographic website and other sites, in order to profit from fees paid by advertisers, to which the Respondent has no connection, is accordingly evidence of that the domain name at issue was registered and is being used in bad faith (cf. WIPO Case Nos. D2001-0860, D2003-0022). This evidence is alone sufficient in order to show that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. In addition there is no doubt that the Respondent was aware of the Complainantís highly unique and well-known trademark and service mark LISEBERG when registering the domain name at issue. It is obvious that the domain name at issue was chosen in order to attract Internet users to the Respondentís website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainantís mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website (cf. paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).

The domain name at issue has been registered and is being used in bad faith, both before and after the Respondentís amendments of the website "www.liseberg.com".

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainantís contentions.

 

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant shall prove that it has rights in the trademark LISEBERG and that the domain name <liseberg.com> is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark.

The Panel finds that the trademark LISEBERG is protected for the Complainant. The Complainant has submitted evidence that shows that LISEBERG is a registered trademark for the Complainant in Sweden and Norway. The Panel also finds that the trademark has become established by use on the market in at least Sweden and Norway. In a recognition study conducted by Infratest Burke in 2000, the target group had the highest spontaneous knowledge of the trademark LISEBERG among all amusement parks (64 percent spontaneous knowledge in Sweden and 63 percent in Norway). The company name and trademark LISEBERG has been in use since 1925, and the Panel finds that the amusement park since then has become one of the leading amusement parks, not only in Sweden but also in the rest of Europe and in the world. In 2002, Liseberg was ranked by the International Amusement Industry news weekly "Amusement Business" as the 32 largest amusement park in the world and as the 6 largest amusement park in Europe, based on attendance.

Further, the trademark LISEBERG is undoubtedly identical or confusingly similar to the domain name at issue, as the domain name incorporates the Complainantís trademark in its entirety.

Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the first condition under the Rules is satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

It is submitted by the Complainant that the Complainant has never given consent, license or any other authorization to the Respondent for use or registration of the domain name at issue. There is no evidence in the case that shows that there is a connection between the Respondent and the domain name, which could indicate a legitimate interest. On the contrary, the Respondentís behavior indicates a complete lack of any right or legitimate interest in the domain name.

When the domain name at issue is entered into an Internet browser, it resolves to an Internet portal situated at "www.roar.com" that features a number of links to other websites. "www.roar.com" operates a pay-for performance search engine and its customers pay a fee to have their website included in such search results. Thus it is clear to the Panelist that the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to unrelated websites. Such use does not constitute a legitimate interest in the domain name (cf. WIPO Case Nos. D2002-1127 and D2000-1091).

There is no evidence in the case that refute the Complainantís submissions, and the Panel concludes that the Complainant has proved also the second condition of the Rules.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The relevant question to consider with respect to this third condition, is whether the Respondent by using the domain name, has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainantís mark LISEBERG, see Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

The Panel finds that the trademark LISEBERG is unique and well-known, and it is not likely that the Respondent Ė which is situated in Hong Kong Ė would register such a domain name without being aware of the Complainantís trademark. Taken into account that the Respondent is not known under the name, it is evidenced in the opinion of the Panel that the domain name has been registered in bad faith. This opinion is also supported by the fact that the website "www.roar.com" has been mentioned in several WIPO cases, and the Respondents in these cases have acted the same way as the Respondent in this case Ė they have all been redirecting Internet users to the website "www.roar.com" with a view of attracting Internet users for commercial gain. In all cases the domain names were deemed as being registered and used in bad faith. There is no evidence for considering this case differently.

The Complainant has submitted that the Respondent has recently amended the content on the website "www.liseberg.com". The question is whether the amendments have any influence on the Panelís findings. In respect of the term "is being used", it has been stated in previous WIPO decisions that if at any time following the registration the name is used in bad faith, the fact of bad faith is established. The Panel finds in any case that the domain name has been registered and is used in bad faith, both before and after the amendments on the website (cf WIPO Case Nos. D2000-0003 and D2000-0021). The Complainantís trademark was and is still being used to redirect Internet users, to attract Internet users to the Respondentís website for commercial gain. In addition, the offering of links to pornographic websites before the amendments on the website tarnishes the Complainantís trademark, and is in the opinion of the Panel another evidence of bad faith.

Thus, the Panel concludes that Complainant has proved also the third condition of the Rules.

 

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <liseberg.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

 


 

Arne Ringnes
Sole Panelist

Dated: December 23, 2003