WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Deceuninck NV v. William Vaughan, smtm investments ltd
Case No. D2007-1911
1. The Parties
Complainant is Deceuninck NV, Belgium, represented by Baker & McKenzie CVBA, Belgium.
Respondent is William Vaughan, smtm investments ltd, Australia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <deceunick.com> is registered with InnerWise, Inc. d/b/a ItsYourDomain.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 21, 2007. On December 27, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to InnerWise, Inc. d/b/a ItsYourDomain.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On December 27, 2007, InnerWise, Inc. d/b/a ItsYourDomain.com 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 January 10, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 30, 2008. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on January 31, 2008.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on February 13, 2008. 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 manufacturer of PVC-U window systems and profiles. Complainant’s company was established in 1931 and is part of the worldwide Deceuninck Group, which is active in more than 75 countries. Since 1931, Complainant has used the corporate name and trade name “Deceunink.”
Complainant is the owner of Benelux trade mark registration No. 0402520 for the mark DECEUNINK, registered October 15, 1984, for PVC U-window systems and profiles. Complainant and/or its subsidiaries have also registered several domain names that include the mark DECEUNINK, including the domain names <deceuninck.be>, <deceuninck.nl>, <deceuninck.com>, <deceuninck.fr> and <deceuninck.co.uk>.
The domain name in dispute, <deceunick.com> was registered by Respondent on May 4, 2006.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name and that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the domain name in dispute is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights;
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to decide a Complaint “on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <deceunick.com> is virtually identical to Complainant’s registered DECEUNINK trademark. The only difference is the omission of one letter from the mark. The addition of the suffix “.com” does not detract from the confusing similarity.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the domain name is virtually identical and in any event confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Respondent has no rights in the domain name. Respondent is not an authorized licensee of Complainant and is not authorized to use Complainant’s mark. There is no evidence that Respondent has developed any trademark rights in the mark DECEUNINK or that Respondent is commonly known by the designation “deceunick.”
The disputed domain name appears to be a fairly typical example of “typosquatting” designed to be confusingly similar to a registered trademark and thereby profit from consumer confusion on the Internet. The domain name is used by Respondent as a search engine for websites in relation to windows and doors, and provides links to the websites of several competitors of Complainant. Respondent’s website states “Welcome to Deceunick.com. If you’re looking for Window Replacement, Door Repair, Home Improvement or anything similar, go ahead and browse our comprehensive resource directory. You ought to find something interesting!”
The links appearing on the “www.deceunick.com” website appear to be “sponsored links,” pursuant to which Respondent receives a financial compensation on a “pay per click” basis.
Respondent’s use of the domain name to provide a click though service to websites of Complainant’s competitors does not constitute legitimate use and does not entitle Respondent to any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with regard to the domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states circumstances which, if found, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or 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 the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) 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) Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.
It should be noted that the circumstances of bad faith are not limited to the above.
The domain name is connected to a website containing sponsored links to competitors of Complainant, offering products that are competitive with Complainant’s products. Therefore, Internet users, while searching for Complainant’s website, are confusingly led by Respondent’s website to the websites of Complainant’s competitors.
The registration and use of a domain name to re-direct Internet users to websites of competing organizations constitutes bad faith registration and use under the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to be 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 <deceunick.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Date: February 27, 2008