WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Harrods Limited v. James Fanshawe, No1 Mayfair Limited
Case No. D2007-1182
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Harrods Limited, of Knightsbridge, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Burges Salmon LLP, of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Respondent is James Fanshawe, No1 Mayfair Limited, of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <harrods2012.com> is registered with Schlund + Partners AG.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 8, 2007. On August 13, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Schlund + Partners a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On August 14, 2007 Schlund + Partners transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 15, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 4, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September, 5, 2007.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on September 12, 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
The Complainant is a department store and is the owner of registered trademarks for HARRODS including registrations in the UK and the European Community. The Complainant or its predecessors have operated a department store under the HARRODS name since about 1849.
The Respondent registered the Domain Name on March 3, 2007.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s submissions can be summarized as follows.
The Complainant is a department store and is the owner of registered trademarks for HARRODS including registrations in the UK and the European Community. The Complainant or its predecessors have operated a department store under the HARRODS name since about 1849. The department store has become famous and has a reputation internationally. The Complainant has a website at “www.harrods.com”. As a result of the quality of its goods and services, the number of its customers and extensive advertising and promotion the Complainant has acquired substantial reputation and goodwill in the HARRODS name.
The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s HARRODS trademark. The only difference is the addition of the non distinctive numbers 2012. The numbers 2012 are synonymous with London’s successful bid to host the Olympics in the year 2012.
The Respondent has no rights and legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent agreed to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainant but did not do so.
The Respondent is based in London and could not fail to be aware of the Complainant at the time of his registration. The Respondent has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purposes of selling or otherwise transferring the Domain Name registration to the Complainant the owner of the HARRODS mark or to a competitor of the Complainant for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s out of pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) The Domain Name 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 confusing similarity
The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark consisting of the Complainant’s HARRODS trademark and the numbers 2012 which would be interpreted by members of the public as a reference to London’s hosting of the Olympic games in the year 2012. The distinctive part of the domain name is the HARRODS name. The addition of the non distinctive numbers “2012” which suggest a connection with London where the Complainant is based do nothing to prevent the confusing similarity of the Domain Name with the Complainant’s HARRODS trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interest of the Respondent
The Respondent has not filed a Response and does not appear to have any rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name. In the circumstances of this case, and in view of the Panel’s discussion here below, the Panel finds that the second element of the Policy has been established.
C. Bad Faith
Paragraph 4 (b) of the Rules sets out four non exclusive criteria which shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith including “the Respondent has registered or has acquired the domain name 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 that complainant for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name”.
The Domain Name has not been used by the Respondent. Given the fame of the Complainant’s HARRODS trademark and the fact that the Domain Name suggests activities sponsored by the Complainant in connection with the London Olympics, the Domain Name could only be used legitimately by the Complainant or someone actually connected or authorized by the Complainant. The Complainant would clearly be very concerned if such a Domain Name were being used by a third party not so authorised. In the absence of a Response from the Respondent rebutting the Complainant’s allegations, the Panel accepts the submissions of the Complainant that on the balance of probabilities there appears to be no explanation of the facts other than that the Respondent registered the Domain Name containing the Complainant’s trademarks opportunistically with an intent to profit from sale of the Domain Name 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, <harrods2012.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: September 21, 2007