WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Nobelstiftelsen (The Nobel Foundation) v. Fliks it-solutions GMbH / Randolf Jorberg
Case No. DNU2006-0001
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Nobelstiftelsen (The Nobel Foundation), Stockholm, Sweden, represented by Ahlford Advokatbyrå AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Fliks it-solutions GMbH, Mr. Randolf Jorberg, Bochum, Germany.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <nobelpriset.nu> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with eNom.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 27, 2006. On June 28, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On June 28, 2006, eNom 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. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on June 30, 2006. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 July 4, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 24, 2006. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 25, 2006.
The Center appointed Alfred Meijboom as the sole panelist in this matter on August 2, 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 foundation incorporated under Swedish law, which is responsible for awarding the Nobel Prizes. Since 1901 the Nobel Prizes are annually awarded for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and for peace. The Nobel Prizes are widely regarded as the supreme commendation in the world.
The Complainant holds many trademarks which include the word NOBEL PRIZE, including:
- The Swedish device mark NOBELPRIS (194467), registered since January 25, 1985;
- The Swedish word mark NOBELPRIZE (196321), registered since May 24, 1985;
- The Community word mark NOBEL PRIZE SERIES (873778), registered since April 5, 2000;
- The Swedish word mark NOBEL PRIZE CONCERT (375744), registered since October 21, 2005;
- The Community word mark NOBEL PRIZE (2120806), registered since September 27, 2002;
- The Swedish word mark NOBELPRIZE.ORG (381504), registered since June 16, 2006;
- An application for a Community word mark NOBELPRISET (application no. 4942256), applied for on April 7, 2006.
The Domain Name, <nobelpriset.nu>, was registered on January 19, 2005. The Swedish word “priset” means “prize” in English.
The Domain Name directs to a commercial pornographic website, which is the same or similar to the website behind the domain name <deluxemovie.com>.
5. Parties’ Contentions
In order to succeed in this proceeding and obtain the transfer of the Domain Name, the Complainant is required to prove that the three elements set out in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are met.
The Complainant makes the following assertions with respect to these elements:
(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademarks in which the Complainant has rights.
The Complainant contends that it has acquired a substantive and valuable goodwill in the mark NOBELPRISET and has therefore, by use, established an unregistered trademark under the Swedish Trademark Act. Furthermore, the Complainant has also acquired trademark rights referring to the Nobel Prize by registration (listed above in paragraph 4). The Complainant specifically addresses that the word nobelpris in the Swedish device mark with registration number 194467 is an integrated part of the Domain Name, <nobelpriset.nu>.
Consequently, the Complainant is of the opinion that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the mentioned unregistered and registered trademarks.
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant and has no connection with the Nobel Prizes in any way. On top of that the Respondent uses the Domain Name for a pornographic website.
(iii) The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant registered the domain names <nobelpriset.com> and <nobelpriset.se> on December 27, 2004 and on January 23, 2003, respectively. The Respondent, by the registration of the Domain Name only one month after the registration of <nobelpriset.com>, took advantage of the fact that the Complainant failed to register the Domain Name itself. Therefore, it should be presumed that the Respondent - as stipulated in section 4(b)(i) of the Policy - has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of transferring it to the Complainant.
Secondly, by registering and using the Domain Name for a pornographic website, the Complainant contends that the Respondent - as stipulated in section 4(b)(iv) of the Policy - intentionally attempts to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks and domain names as to the source of the website or location.
Furthermore, the Complainant stresses that its trademark NOBELPRISET has a very good reputation and is recognized worldwide. The Complainant claims that its official website <nobelprize.org> had more than 25 million visitors in 2005.
For all these reasons the Complainant is of the opinion that the Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant claims to have acquired, by use, rights in the unregistered trademark NOBELPRISET under the Swedish Trademark Act. However, the Complainant has not submitted any evidence thereof. Furthermore, the application for the Community trademark NOBELPRISET has not yet matured into a registration. Consequently, the Panel will disregard both the claim as to the unregistered trademark as well as the Community trademark application, and will only take the Complainant’s trademark registrations into consideration.
Since the Complainant has several Swedish and Community trademark registrations, including NOBELPRIS and NOBEL PRIZE (listed in paragraph 4), the Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in these trademarks.
For the purpose of assessing whether the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks, the “.nu” suffix is disregarded, it being a necessary component. The relevant part of the Domain Name is “nobelpriset”. “Nobelpriset” is Swedish for NOBEL PRIZE and contains the term NOBELPRIS in its entirety. Therefore, the Panel considers “nobelpriset” and the Complainant’s trademarks NOBEL PRIZE and NOBELPRIS to be confusingly similar.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant stated that it is not affiliated with the Respondent and that the Respondent has no connection with the Nobel Prizes in any way. There is no evidence before the Panel that the Respondent is known under the name “nobelpriset”. The Respondent uses the Domain Name for a pornographic website. There is no evidence before the Panel of circumstances as described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or any other circumstances which would indicate that the Respondent has any rights to or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.
Consequently, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Domain Name is composed of the distinctive term “nobelpriset”, which is similar to the mentioned Complainant’s registered trademarks NOBELPRIS and NOBEL PRIZE. In addition the Panel considers that the NOBEL PRIZE trademarks have a reputation and are well-known throughout the world. In accordance with WIPO Case No. D2002-0625 (ACCOR v. Tigertail Partners) the Panelist finds it is reasonable to conclude that in all likelihood only someone who was familiar with the NOBEL PRIZE trademarks would have registered the Domain Name. Therefore the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered in bad faith.
The Panel does not agree with the Complainant that the mere fact that the Domain Name was registered within a month after the registration of the domain name <nobelpriset.com> by the Complainant constitutes the necessary evidence that the Respondent registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of transferring it to the Complainant. The Complainant must also prove that the Domain Name is being used in bad faith. The Panel shares the Complainant’s opinion that the Respondent, when using the Domain Name, appears to have sought to take advantage of the reputation of the Complainant’s trademark(s). The Respondent created a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks and generates traffic by redirecting internet users to a commercial pornographic website linked to the Domain Name. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Name meets all the criteria of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, which paragraph provides indications for use in bad faith. Therefore, the Panelist concludes that the Domain Name is being used 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 <nobelpriset.nu> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: August 14, 2006