WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Pelikan Vertriebs Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG. v. Domain Drop S.A.
Case No. D2007-0306
1. The Parties
Complainant is Pelikan Vertriebs Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG., Hannover, Germany, represented by Detmar Schäfer, Hannover, Germany.
Respondent is Domain Drop S.A., West Indies, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wwwpelikan.com>is registered with DomainDoorman, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 1, 2007. On March 5, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to DomainDoorman, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On March 5, 2007, DomainDoorman, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 16, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 5, 2007. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on April 11, 2007.
The Center appointed Nicolas Ulmer as the sole panelist in this matter on April 27, 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.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is a well-known company in Germany and other countries selling a wide variety of products, and specialising in writing instruments, paper and office products. The following trademarks are registered to Complainant:
1. Germany – registered trademark No. 677564, word: PELIKAN
Application date: 28.11.1942
Registration date: 14.06.1955
Goods: amongst others: brushes; paints, lacquers; foils for overhead projection; paper; writing, drawing, painting and modeling goods; office instruments.
2. International Trademark Registration No. 189548 – with designations for Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Benelux
Application date: 16.12.1955
Registration date: 21.12.1955
Goods: amongst others: paints, lacquers; paper; writing, drawing, painting and modeling goods, office requisites.
Complainant also has a series of trademarks registered in other countries: Andorra, Australia, Canada, Japan, Lebanon, Poland, Singapore, Syria and the United States of America, some dating back to the 1950s. Complainant operates in E-commerce through its website “www.pelikan.com”.
Respondent is listed as registrant of the disputed domain name which was registered on or about April 10, 2006. The disputed domain name resolves to a commercial site promoting numerous products or services, including products that are competitive with those of Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant submits a complaint to the effect that all elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are met and notably, that Respondent’s Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s marks.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy, in paragraph 4(a), provides that Complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) Respondent’s Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) 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 disputed Domain Name begins with and incorporates the entirety of Complainant’s trademark. As Complainant points out, the mere adding of the prefix “www”, with or without a period is not sufficient to distinguish from Complainant’s marks; furthermore the omission of a period is a common typing error. In sum the disputed Domain Name is clearly confusingly similar to Complainant’s marks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The file and evidence presented shows no basis to believe Respondent has any right or legitimate interest in respect of the disputed Domain Name, nor is Respondent making legitimate non-commercial use of the disputed Domain name. On the contrary, all evidence points to Respondent’s use of the disputed Domain Name with knowledge of Complainant’s rights for improper commercial gain. Complainant’s marks are used extensively throughout the world in major markets such as Germany, the United States of America and Japan and Complainant’s net sales were more than 196 million CHF worldwide in 2006. Complainant vigourously denies that Respondent has any interest in its marks. The absence of a reply by Respondent also points to a lack of legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, and the Panel so finds.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Disputed Domain Name resolves to a classic “pay per click” commercial site. That site was registered in April 2006, when Complainant’s marks and business had been in place for decades. This supports Complainant’s contention that Respondent registered the disputed Domain Name fully aware of Complainant’s prior rights and well-known business name. Further, the evidence shows that Respondent has made use of Complainant’s marks in its marketing of competing products. This is specific indicia of bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Panel finds that the disputed Doman Name was both registered and 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 <wwwpelikan.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: May 11, 2007