WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG v. Reps, Inc.
Case No. D2006-0459
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KGIngelheim, Germany, represented by Hofstetter, Schurack & Skora Patent-und Rechtsanwälte, Germany.
The Respondent is Reps, Inc., Arlington, Virginia United States of America.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <boehringer-ingelheimdrugs.com>, <boehringer-ingelheimproducts.com>, <boehringer-ingelheimsamples.com> and <boehringer-ingelheimtraining.com> are all registered with Go Daddy Software.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 12, 2006. On April 12, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to Go Daddy Software a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain names at issue. On April 19, 2006, Go Daddy Software 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 April 19, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 9, 2006. The Respondent did not submit a formal response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 10, 2006.
The Center appointed Christophe Caron as the sole panelist in this matter on May 17, 2006. 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
Created in 1885, the Boehringer Ingelheim group is nowadays one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. In 2004, the worldwide net sales of Boehringer is amounted to 8157 million euros, with about 36 000 employees and 144 affiliates companies spread around the globe.
The Complainant handles more than one hundred BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM trademarks all over the world. The BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM trademarks are especially used for goods and services of the international classes 1 and 5.
The Respondent registered the <boehringer-ingelheimdrugs.com>, <boehringer-ingelheimproducts.com>, <boehringer-ingelheimsamples.com> and the <boehringer-ingelheimtraining.com> domain name on October 28, 2005. The Complaint exhibits copies of the domain names registrations provided by Go Daddy.com.
5. Parties’ Contentions
In the absence of a Response from the Respondent the Panel can only consider the Complainant’s contentions. In summary, these are as follows :
(1) That the domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights,
(2) That the Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the domain names,
(3) That the Respondent registered and used the domain names in bad faith.
For all these reasons, the Complainant requests the Administrative Panel that the disputed domain names be transferred to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
In an e-mail communication, dated May 10, 2006, the Respondent declared that Reps Inc. would gladly transfer the domain names in question to the Complainant.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is satisfied that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the numerous registered trade marks BOEHRINGER INGELHEIMof the Complainant.
The name BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM is a very distinctive identifier of the Complainant and its products. The relevant and distinguishing part of the four domains at issue is “Boehringer Ingelheim”. Thus the domain names incorporate the entire and older trademark of the Complainant.
The Panel considers that “drugs”, “products”, “samples” and “training” are just descriptions of the offered products, which has no distinguishing effects. Furthermore, some of these words refers to the Complainant’s activities (product refers to chemical or pharmaceutical products, drug refers to drugs).
The Panel also considers that the addition of “.com” doesn’t change the fact that the domains names are identical to Complainant’s trademarks. In fact, the addition of the “.com” has no legal significance in comparing the Domain names and the Complainant’s trademark.
The Complainant therefore succeeds in respect of paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
No evidence has been served or is relied upon by the Respondent to the effect that it has rights or legitimate interests in respect to the domain names.
The Respondent has never used, presently or in the past, the words “Boehringer-ingelheim” for a personal or business matter. For example, the Respondent is not holder of a trademark “boeringher-ingelheim” or any similar trademark”. Furthermore, the Respondent doesn’t use the trademark “Boehringer-Ingelheim” and the domains at issue in connection with offering any own goods or services. And the Respondent is not an authorized dealer, distributor or licensor of the Complainant.
Based on the record and in the absence of any evidence of a rebuttal by the Respondent the Panel infers that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interest in the disputed the domain names. The Panel holds that the Complainant has succeeded in proving paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
It should be noted that paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out circumstances which in particular but without limitation shall be evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith.
The bad faith of the Respondent in the registration and use of the disputed domain names is present for the following reasons :
The domain names incorporate another entity’s famous trade marks. The Respondent thus creates a likelihood of confusion as to the source of the content offered at the websites to which the domain names resolve.
The Respondent is using the domain names at issue to address internet users to a search engine website for information and advertisements relating to the pharmaceutical sector. This suggests that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant’s activities in the pharmaceutical field when the Respondent registered the disputed domain names.
The Panel notes that the websites to which the disputed domain names resolve have been exploited to display sponsored links (through the services offered by GoDaddy.com) for the Respondent’s own financial gain.
The Panel is thus satisfied that the third element has been established, and it follows that the Complainant has succeeded in proving the three elements of 4(a) of the Policy.
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 names <boehringer-ingelheimdrugs.com>, <boehringer-ingelheimproducts.com>, <boehringer-ingelheimsamples.com> and <boehringer-ingelheimtraining.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: May 30, 2006