The Complainant is Kromann Reumert of Copenhagen, Denmark, represented internally.
The Respondent is kroman reumert of Copenhagen, Denmark.
The disputed domain name <kromanreumert.com> is registered with BRANDON GRAY INTERNET SERVICES, INC. DBA NAMEJUICE.COM.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 15, 2009. On January 15, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to BRANDON GRAY INTERNET SERVICES, INC. DBA NAMEJUICE.COM a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same day, BRANDON GRAY INTERNET SERVICES, INC. DBA NAMEJUICE.COM transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named the Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. After the Complainant on January 27, 2009 indicated that it did not have actual control over the disputed domain name and BRANDON GRAY INTERNET SERVICES, INC. DBA NAMEJUICE.COM on the same date indicated that no action from the parties was required to prevent the disputed domain name from expiring on January 28, 2009, the Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on January 29, 2009 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the BRANDON GRAY INTERNET SERVICES, INC. DBA NAMEJUICE.COM, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an Amended Complaint on February 3, 2009. The Center verified that the Amended Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”), 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 February 6, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 26, 2009. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on February 27, 2009.
The Center appointed Knud Wallberg as the sole panelist in this matter on March 6, 2009. 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.
The Complainant is a law firm based in Denmark. The law firm has a long history and has offices in Copenhagen, Aarhus, London and Brussels.
The Complainant is the result of the merger as of 1 January 2000 between two Danish law firms Kromann Münter and Reumert & Partners, which both were well-known law firms at the time of the merger.
The Complainant has in accordance with Danish trademark law several trademark rights and holds several registrations in the trademarks KROMANN REUMERT, KROMANN and REUMERT in the European Union and Denmark.
Furthermore, the Complainant maintains an active presence on the Internet, primarily through its websites “www.kromannreumert.dk” and “www.kromannreumert.com”.
The Panel has not received any substantial information on the activities of the Respondent.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <kromanreumert.com> is virtually identical and thus confusingly similar to the Complainant's KROMANN REUMERT marks.
The Respondent has merely omitted the letter “N”. UDRP panels have repeatedly held that typosquatted domain names such as this, are confusingly similar for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
In view of the foregoing, the Complainant submits that the Respondent's domain name is identical or confusingly similar to trademarks in which it has rights as required under the Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
According to paragraph 15(a) of the Rules the Panel shall decide a complaint in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following:
(1) that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(2) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respects of the domain name; and
(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that the burden of proving that all these elements are present lies with the Complainant. At the same time, in accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, if a party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under, the Rules, or any request from the Panel, the Panel shall draw such inferences therefrom as it considers appropriate.
The Complainant has in accordance with the Danish Trademark Act established trademark protection for KROMANN REUMERT in June 2000.
The Complainant's prior rights are based on an unregistered trademark KROMANN REUMERT. In accordance with the Danish Trademark Act the trademark KROMANN REUMERT was established by using the trademark in Denmark for the services for which the trademark was supposed to be used and for which it is continually used.
Panels have in various cases concluded that trademark rights can be established by use and that establishment of unregistered trademark rights is in compliance with the UDRP, see E-Resolution Case No. AF-0268 – <web2you.com>, E-Resolution Case No. AF-0568 – <daydreamisland.com>, Sydney Markets Limited v. Nick Rakis trading as Shell Information Systems, WIPO Case No. D2001-0932 – <sydneymarkets.com>, Henssgen Karabinerhaken GMBH v. Hovin, WIPO Case No. D2001-1462 – <henssgen.com>, et cetera.
The Respondent registered <kromanreumert.com> on January 28, 2008.
The disputed domain name contains the Complainant's distinctive trademark KROMANN REUMERT, with the only difference that the second “N” is omitted and with the addition of the “.com” designation. For the purpose of these proceedings the domain name is found to be confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
The Panel finds that the conditions in paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are therefore fulfilled.
According to the Complaint the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use its trademark or to apply for any domain name incorporating the mark.
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. The Respondent has not rebutted this by way of a formal Response or otherwise. Both the wording in the Complainant's and the Respondent's domain names can be interpreted as consisting of two personal names. Nevertheless, the words in the Complainant's domain name is a unique combination of two different personal names and the Respondent's domain name was registered several years after the Complainant registered <kromannreumert.com>, and the Respondent has used and is still using the disputed domain name, namely for a website that contains only links to other websites – among others links for legal services. The Respondent thus could not credibly claim that the domain name is intended to be used for any legitimate interests and such a claim would in any event also be contrary to the way the Respondent has been using and is still using the disputed domain name, namely for a website that contains only links to other sites. The Panel further refers to its below findings in relation to the actual use made of the domain name.
Consequently the Panel finds that the conditions in paragraph 4(a)(ii), cf. 4(c) of the Policy are also fulfilled.
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy further provides that the Complainant must prove the Respondent's registration and use of the domain name in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out, by way of example, the kind of evidence that may be put forward.
Given the extent of use of the Complainant's trademark and the distinctive nature of the mark in relation to legal services, it is inconceivable to the Panel in the current circumstances that the Respondent registered the domain name without prior knowledge of the Complainant and the Complainant's mark.
This is underlined by the fact that the disputed domain name, at the time of the filing of the Complaint was used for a website that contained links to other websites including links related to legal services. The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent by its registration and its use of the domain name, intentionally created a likelihood of confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the domain name in dispute with the purpose of attracting Internet users to the website for commercial gain. The fact that the wording of the webpage “www.kromanreumert.com” as well as of the contained links have changed after the filing of the Complaint, and now allegedly refers to websites relating other services than legal services does not alter this assessment.
Furthermore, the Respondent has given false contact details in breach of the registration agreement, which constitutes evidence of registration in bad faith, see Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003.
Considering all the facts and evidence, the Panel therefore finds that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy are also fulfilled in this case.
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 <kromanreumert.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: March 20, 2009