WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
WorldWideWorker.com B.V. v. Web Domain Names
Case No. D2006-1153
1. The Parties
The Complainant is WorldWideWorker.com B.V., Enschede, Netherlands, represented by Shield Mark B.V., Netherlands.
The Respondent is Web Domain Names, Shanghai, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <worlwideworker.com> is registered with Moniker Online Services, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 7, 2006. On September 11, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to Moniker Online Services, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On September 12, 2006, Moniker Online Services, LLC 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 13, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 3, 2006. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 5, 2006.
The Center appointed Ladislav Jakl as the Sole Panelist in this matter on October 16, 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.
The language of the proceeding is English.
4. Factual Background
The Respondent registered the domain name < worlwideworker.com> (hereinafter “the Domain Name”) on June 10, 2004.
The Complainant is the holder of the following trademarks in relation to employment agency services, employment counseling and recruiting and consultation in the field of recruiting:
WORLD WIDE WORKER.COM - US registration No.2750844, filing date: August 28, 2000;
WORLD WIDE WORKER.COM – Benelux registration No. 0683713, filing date: April 12, 2000;
WORLD WIDE WORKER– Benelux registration No. 0792400, filing date: February 1, 2006.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Identity and confusing similarity
The Complainant is the holder of several trademarks relating to employment agency services, employment counseling and recruiting and consultation in the field of recruiting used in relation to global recruiting in the oil, gas and mining industry. The Complainant contends that the contested Domain Name <worlwideworker.com> is almost identical to Complainant’s trademarks and trade name, the only difference being the letter “d”. The difference between the contested Domain Name and Complainant’s trademark and trade name has the character of a misspelling only. Internet users that try to reach Worldwideworker’s website (Complainant’s website) and make typographical errors are mistakenly being directed to the contested website.
Furthermore, the Complainant contends that the services which are offered on the website “www.worlwideworker.com“, job search and employment are identical to the Complainant’s services and that the public will think that the Domain Name <worlwideworker.com> is connected to Worldwideworker’ s (Complainant’s) trademarks and trade name.
Rights or legitimate interests
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed Domain Name. The Complainant has used its trademarks, trade name and the domain name <worldwideworker.com> since early 2000. The Respondent has registered the Domain Name <worlwideworker.com> in June 2004. There is no relation between the Complainant and the Respondent, nor has the Complainant given the Respondent a license, nor an authorization to use the Complainant’s trademarks. Since the Respondent’s Domain Name has a character of misspelling only, the Respondent tries to draw Internet users who are looking for the Complainant’s website.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent is taking unfair advantage of Complainant’s reputation. As the Respondent is not an authorized licensee of the Complainant nor authorized to use the Complainant’s mark, the Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to the registrant on May 29, 2006. The letter informed the registrant that the Domain Name <worlwideworker.com> was an unauthorized user of the Complainant’s trademark and requested that it cease the unauthorized use voluntarily and transfer the name to Complainant.
The Complainant contends that disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of the Complainant. Moreover, the Respondent intentionally attempts to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website, in trying to draw Internet users who are looking for the Complainant’s website.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the Complainant prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:
(i) the Domain Name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has filed a list of its above mentioned trademarks and enclosed copies of trademark registration decisions of the corresponding industrial property offices. The Panel finds that these trademarks comprise the words “world wide worker”. Two of them comprise the suffix “.com”. All these trademarks are registered in relation to employment agency services, employment counseling and recruiting and consultation in the field of recruiting.
As to confusing similarity, the disputed Domain Name contains all the letters from the three words of the Complainant’s registered trademark “world wide worker”, with the exception of one of the two domain names, and the suffix “.com”. Neither the omission of the letter “d” in the word “world”, nor removal of the space between the words prevent a finding of confusingly similarity with Complainant’s trademarks at issue.
Therefore, the Panel finds that requirement of the Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out a number of circumstances, in particular but without limitation, which may be effective for a Respondent to demonstrate that it has rights to, or legitimate interests, in the Domain Name at issue, for purpose of Paragraph 4(a) (ii):
“(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”
According to Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules a Panel shall decide a Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
According to Paragraph 5(e) of the Rules, if a Respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the Complaint.
The Panel finds that Complainant has made a prima facie case that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Having received no response from the Respondent within the fixed period of time from the Notification of Complaint, the Panel notes that the Respondent has not provided evidence of circumstances of the type specified in Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or of any other circumstance giving rise to a right to or legitimate interests in the Domain Name at issue.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states that any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration or use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that domain name has been registered or acquired by Respondent primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the Respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose
of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) the Respondent by using the domain name has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location of a product or service on its website or location.
The Respondent was probably aware of Complainant’s registered trademarks prior to registering the Domain Name at issue. The Complainant justly contends that Respondent’s use of the Domain Name will cause confusion in the minds of the Internet users and avers, that this use disrupts the business of the Complainant. to the Panel accepts the Complainant’s arguments that disputed Domain Name is extremely likely to confuse Internet users trying to find the Complainant’s products as a result of the incorporation of the Complainant’s trademarks in this Domain Name.
On the basis of the above mentioned arguments the Panel comes to the conclusion that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark, and as a result disrupts the business of the Complainant.
Therefore the Panel finds that the Respondent has acted in bad faith within the meaning of Paragraph 4(b) 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 <worlwideworker.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: October 30, 2006