WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche v. Lyn Davis
Case No. D2006-1098
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche, AG, of Stuttgart, Germany, represented by Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners, Germany.
The Respondent is Lyn Davis, Greerton, New Zealand.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <porschehome.com> is registered with Wild West Domains, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 28, 2006. On August 30, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to Wild West Domains, Inc., a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On August 30, 2006, Wild West Domains, Inc. 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 September 6, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 26, 2006. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 28, 2006.
The Center appointed Dr. Nicoletta Colombo as the sole panelist in this matter on October 11, 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 the world famous sports car manufacturer and the owner of numerous trademarks consisting or incorporating the word “Porsche” also in New Zealand, the country where the Respondent resides. The trademark PORSCHE is known in the entire world with a reputation for high quality and performance. Porsche brand cars and spare parts are distributed and shipped worldwide, including New Zealand, through a network of official dealers.
The Complainant operates its principal website at www.porsche.com, which opens the gate to national websites.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <porschehome.com> on June 19, 2005. The website has no genuine content. It redirects viewers to a veriety of sponsored links with no relation at all with the Complainant. It is designed to prevent the user from understanding at first sight that it is not the Complainant’s real homepage. Inside the website there are several deceptive links, like www.porsche.com, which takes users to www.porscher.com, another worthless website with sponsored links and advertising and no relation at all to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not answer a cease and desist letter sent by email by the Complainant wherein it was demanded to transfer the contested domain name.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends the following:
- The contested domain name (composed of the words “Porsche” and “home”) is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The word “home” may be interpreted as the start page or main web page of a website operated by the Complainant.
- The Respondent is not commonly known by the contested domain name and has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. Moreover, it has never been an authorized dealer of the Complainant’s products and the two parties have never had any business relationship.
The Respondent does not use the contested domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services. Its sole purpose is to earn revenue through advertising. The Respondent has registered the contested domain name in bad faith because it intentionally attempts to attract Internet users to its website for its own commercial gain.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has several trademarks registrations for “Porsche” all over the world, including New Zealand. Therefore it has been proved that the Complainant has rights in the PORSCHE trademark.
The only difference between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark is the addition of the word “home”. The addition of the word “home” (which is a generic term that may be commonly interpreted as the home page of a website of the Complainant) does not add a distinctive element to the disputed domain name, but, on the contrary, increases the likelihood of confusion between the domain name and the Complainant’s trademark.
Several WIPO UDRP decisions state that confusing similarity, for the purposes of the Policy, is established when a domain name wholly incorporates a complainant’s mark and only adds a generic word (see i.e., Société del Hotels Méridien v. Mr. Cuneyt Ozarici, WIPO Case No. D2005-0201; Accor, Society Anonyme a Directoire et Conseil de Surveillance v. SEOCHO, WIPO Case No. D2002-0517; Telstra Corporation Limited v. Ozurls, WIPO Case No. D2001-0046).
The addition of the generic top level domain extension “.com” does not eliminate the similarity.
There is no doubt that the domain name <porschehome.com> is confusingly similar to the trademark of the Complainant. Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not filed any response in this case. The Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent has not rights or or legitimate interests in the domain name, see paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.
Moreover, the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted or authorized the Respondent to use its trademark, or to apply for or to use the domain name incorporating said mark.
Under these circumstances, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Based on the evidence presented by the Complainant, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
As sufficient evidence of registration and use in bad faith, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered the contested domain name (which corresponds to a widely known trademark with the addition of a generic word like “home”) most probably with knowledge of the Complainant’s rights. Only someone who was familiar with the Complainant’s mark would have registered a domain name incorporating the word “porsche” for use in connection with automobiles.
Furthermore, the Respondent earns advertising revenue by diverting Internet users to its <porschehome.com> domain.
Thus, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name with the intent to benefit from the reputation of Complainant’s famous trademark. As such, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the third element 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 name <porschehome.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: October 25, 2006