WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd v. NA/Ki Choi
Case No. D2007-0011
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, of Gyeonggi-Do, Republic of Korea, represented by You Me Patent& Law Firm, of Republic of Korea.
The Respondent is NA/Ki Choi of Republic of Korea
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain name <samsungsiltronic.com> is registered with Register.com, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 5, 2007, by email and on January 8, 2007, by courier. On January 5, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Register.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain names at issue. On January 5, 2007, Register.com. 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. On January 9, 2007, 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 January 15, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 4, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 5, 2007.
The Center appointed Moonchul Chang as the Sole Panelist in this matter on February 9, 2007. 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.
On February 28, the Panel issued the Administrative Panel Order No. 1 to request the Complainant to provide any supporting evidence indicating that the holder of the SILTRONIC mark agrees to the transfer to the Complainant sought in this case.
In response to the Panel Order the Complainant submitted a signed letter of support from the representative of Siltronic AG and copies of Certificates of trademark registrations for SILTRONIC.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is an internationally widely known company in manufacturing and selling a variety of home products, electronic gadgets and semiconductor technology products. The Complainant is the holding company of the Samsung Group and owns numerous trademarks and domain names related to the corporate name “Samsung”. The Complainant’s name and trademark have been registered in many countries including the United States of America and Republic of Korea.
At present the Respondent is not using his own website with the disputed domain name.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <samsungsiltronic.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark SAMSUNG. The disputed domain name consists of “samsung” and “siltronic”. SAMSUNG is a famous mark of the Complainant and SILTRONIC is also a well known mark of Siltronic AG. Thus, the domain name is identical in part to the Complainant’s mark.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name because he is neither affiliated with the Complainant nor authorized to use and register the mark SAMSUNG. The Complainant has no affiliation with Siltronic AG.
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent registered and used the domain names in bad faith for the purpose of taking advantage of the Complainant’s mark SAMSUNG or of selling it to the Complainant or other for a higher price. In addition, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name knowing that there is a joint venture project between the Complainant and Siltronic AG to construct a 30 mm wafer.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to decide the Complaint on the grounds of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable. Moreover, under paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, it is established that: “If a Party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under, these Rules or any request from the Panel, the Panel shall draw such inferences therefrom as it considers appropriate”.
In light of the above, the Panel may draw such inferences from the Respondent’s failure to comply with the Rules, as it considers appropriate. Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark or service mark; 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 domain name at issue incorporates two elements “samsung” and “siltronic”.
In the present case, the Panel finds the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark. The domain name wholly incorporates the Comlpainant’s SAMSUNG mark and is likely to be associated with the Complainant which has no apparent connection with the Respondent. It also reflects the names of two companies, Samsung and Siltronic AG, which have planned a joint venture project to construct 30 mm wafer.
Accordingly, the Panel finds the first element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel considers that under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Rules, the overall burden of proof is on the Complainant. However, once the Complainant presents a prima facie evidence that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests, the burden shifts to the Respondent.
First, is the Panel considers that in the absence of any license or permission from the Complainant to use such widely known trademark, no actual or contemplated bona fide or legitimate use of the domain name could reasonably be claimed. Such is the case here, inasmuch as the Complainant is widely known and did not give any license or other permission to the Respondent to use the mark SAMSUNG.
Secondly, there is no evidecence that the Respondent is using the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services at present. In addition there is no evidence to suggest that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain names. The name “samsungsiltronic” has no apparent association with the Respondent.
Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has satisfied the second element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in the present case.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires that the domain name “has been registered and is being used in bad faith”. As this requirement is conjunctive, the Complainant must establish both bad faith registration and bad faith use. In addition the circumstances listed in paragraph 4(b) of the Policy are not exclusive, and that other circumstances may likewise lead to a finding of bad faith registration and use.
Since the marks SAMSUNG and SILTRONIC are widely known in many countries, including the Republic of Korea and United States of America, the Respondent is likely to have registered the disputed domain names with notice of both of Complaint’s mark and the SILTRONIC trademark registration. The Panel considers that the Respondent in all likelihood registered the disputed domain name with the expectation of taking advantage of the reputation of the Complainant’s trademark or selling it to the Complainant or other. This is supported by the fact that there was a joint venture project between Samsung and Siltronic AG to construct a 30 mm wafer.
Based on the foregoing, the Panel is satisfied that bad faith registration and use have been sufficiently established with respect to the domain names <samsungsiltronic.com> in accordance with paragraph 4(b) of the Policy.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraph 4(i) of the Policy and paragraph 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <samsungsiltronic.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: March 6, 2007