WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Roskilde Bank A/S v. Jurij Antonov
Case No. D2006-1069
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Roskilde Bank A/S, Roskilde, Denmark, represented by Bech-Bruun, Denmark.
The Respondent is Jurij Antonov, Moscow, Russian Federation.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <roskildebank.com> is registered with Go Daddy Software.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 22, 2006. On August 24, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to Go Daddy Software a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On August 24, 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 August 29, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 18, 2006. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 20, 2006.
The Center appointed Pierre Olivier Kobel as the Sole Panelist in this matter on October 10, 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
The Complainant is a Danish public limited company registered with the “Danish Commerce and Companies Agency” under the name “Roskilde Bank A/S”. Its principal place of business is in Roskilde, Denmark.
The Complainant holds a semi-figurative trademark “ROSKILDE BANK – den lokale Bank”, registered in Denmark under No. VR 1996 03916 on September 24, 1996, in class 36 of the Nice arrangement and a semi-figurative trademark “ROSKILDE BANK- den lokale Bank”, registered in Denmark under No. VR 1996 06245 on February 4, 1997, in classes 35 and 36 of the Nice arrangement.
Currently, the information available and displayed under the disputed domain name is the following:
“Welcome to our future place on the web.
R.O.S. Kilde Bank is a joint venture between Russian and Austrian banks.
We are at the moment building our presence on the Internet here at our main address roskildebank.at.
However, you can also reach us via our secondary address roskildebank.com.
We welcome and accept customers from all over the world”.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical to its registered trademarks.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent has not acquired and does not hold any trademark right in the domain name. Moreover, the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The Complainant believes that the Respondent has no legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, because it did not use or provide evidence of a preparation of bona fide offering of goods or services. The mere indication on a website in preparation that “R.O.S. Kilde Bank is a joint venture between Russian and Austrian banks” does not constitute such evidence.
The Complainant however contends that this is an indication of the Respondent’s intent to make commercial use of the domain name in a way that will divert consumers and therefore cause damage to its business.
To the Complainant’s knowledge, the alleged joint venture between Russian and Austrian banks does not exist.
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name was originally registered in October 2005 by a certain Mr. Henrik Steen Olsen. It was then transferred to a Mr. Dieter Brinkman and later again, that is between May and June 2006, to the Respondent. According to the Complainant, there is a possibility that Mr. Brinkman never existed.
On July 27, 2006, the counsel for the Complainant sent a cease and desist notice to the Respondent, by registered mail and e-mail. The same letter was sent to Mr. Olsen and Mr. Brinkman who are not parties to the present proceedings. The notice sent to Mr. Brinkman was returned to the Complainant’s counsel bearing a notice: “unknown address”.
To the Complainant’s view, the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to attract Internet users for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must show that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it has rights, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name and that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. When the Respondent fails to respond, the Panel can draw such inferences therefrom as it considers appropriate (paragraph 14(b) of the Rules).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The trademarks held by the Complainant are “ROSKILDEBANK-den lokale Bank”. The element likely to remain in the mind of the public is “ROSKILDEBANK”, which is also the trade name of the Complainant. The following designation “den lokale Bank” is descriptive as it refers to the scope of the activities of the bank. The distinctive element of the trademark is the word “ROSKILDEBANK”.
The disputed domain name is identical to the distinctive element of the Complainant’s trademark. In other words, there is a clear likelihood of confusion between the disputed domain name and the trademarks of the Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s arguments and therefore did not allege any legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.
The information displayed on the Internet under the disputed domain name address, refers to intentions to use the disputed domain name to offer banking services under the trade name R.O.S. Kilde Bank. According to the Complainant, the Respondent has not created any bank and does not currently provide banking services under a name corresponding to the disputed domain name. The Panel notices that the Respondent’s name, which is totally different from the disputed domain name, does not allow any inference of a link or connection with the disputed domain name. As a result, and in the absence of counter-argument from the Respondent, the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has demonstrated the Respondent’s absence of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
According to the information displayed by the Respondent on the Internet, its alleged aim is to provide banking services under the trade name R.O.S. Kilde Bank, using the disputed domain name. Absent rebuttal from the Respondent, the reasonable inference is that there was an intention on the part of the Respondent to attract customers to its website for commercial gains (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy) and in doing so to disrupt the business of a competitor (paragraph 4(b)(iii) of the Policy).
In the absence of reply to the cease and desist notice sent by the Complainant and in the absence of any counter-argument casting any doubt on the Complainant’s arguments, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the domain name in bad faith.
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 <roskildebank.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Pierre Olivier Kobel
Dated: October 25, 2006