The Complainant is Deutsche Telekom AG of Bonn, Germany, represented by Lovells LLP, Germany.
The Respondent is Registrant Name: Jan Haedicke, registrant Organization: Dr. Meyer, Dr. Meyer of Bremerhaven, Bremen, Germany.
The disputed domain name <t-vorteil.info> is registered with Name.com LLC.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 16, 2009. On October 16, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to Name.com LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 20, 2009, Name.com LLC 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” 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 October 22, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 11, 2009. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 26, 2009.
The Center appointed Thomas Hoeren as the sole panelist in this matter on December 18, 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 owns the German trademark registration No. 30658551 for the designation T-VORTEIL (with “Vorteil” being the German word for “advantage”). The T-VORTEIL mark is registered for the following goods and services: INT. CL. 9: Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic,optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, control, rescue and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission, processing and playback of audio, image or data; magnetic recording medium, vending machines and mechanisms for coinoperated apparatus; calculating machines, data processing equipment and computers, recorded and unrecorded disks of all kinds (included in Class 9 ), computer programs (saved); electronically stored data (downloadable); electronic publications (downloadable). INT. CL. 16: printing products; photographs; office requisites (except furniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus). INT. CL. 35: advertising, management, business administration; collecting, systematizing, compilation and analysis of economic data and information in computer databases; retail services (also via the Internet and other communications networks), on goods of classes 9 and 16. INT. CL. 36: insurance and financial affairs, monetary affairs; Real Estate. INT. CL. 38: telecommunications, service of news agencies, rental of telecommunications equipment, information on telecommunications. INT. CL. 42: scientific and technological services and research and design services, industrial analysis and research services, design and development of computer hardware, software and databases (software); maintenance of software, technical advice; electronic data storage, rental of data processing equipment; design web sites for others; licensing of intellectual property rights.
The Complainant has argued: The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark T-VORTEIL. The domain name <t-vorteil.com> reflects the Complainant's T-VORTEIL mark identically. The disputed domain name <t-vorteil.info> was previously used for a web site on which tariff optimization services for customers of telecommunication providers were offered. The Respondent does not use the disputed domain name for a bona fide offering of goods or services. In fact, it was using the domain name to offer services related to telecommunications and made unauthorized use of the Complainant's trademarks for this purpose.
Furthermore, the complainant has held that there is no indication that the Respondent was commonly known before by the disputed domain name. The Complainant trademark T-VORTEIL had already been registered for over a year by the time of the registration of the disputed domain name on July 18, 2008. Furthermore, the Complainant has already been using numerous trademarks of its “T-” series of trademarks in Germany for many years before the registration of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use in determining the dispute:
“A Panel shall 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 seems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that, for a complaint to be granted, the Complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to the trademarks or service marks in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or no legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is used in bad faith
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark since it consists in the incur[oration of the identical Complainant's prior German trademark registration No. 30658551 for the designation T-VORTEIL. The addition of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) “.info” is without legal significance from the standpoint of comparing the disputed domain name to Complainant's trademarks since use of a gTLD is required of domain name registrants, “.info” is one of only several such gTLDs, and “.info” does not serve to identify a specific enterprise as a source of goods or services. See also Ticketmaster Corporation v. DiscoverNet, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0252; Williams-Sonoma, Inc. d/b/a Pottery Barn v. John Zuccarini d/b/a Country Walk, WIPO Case No. D2002-0582 concerning the inclusion of a gTLD.
The Respondent of the disputed domain name has not filed any Response to the Complaint filed. Consequently, the Respondent has not rebutted the Complainant's prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the said domain name. Furthermore, the Complainant does not appear to have authorized the Respondent to use its trademarks and in particular, to register a domain name composed of the Complainant's trademarks. As such the Panel finds for the Complainant under the second element aswell
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out that certain circumstances may, “in particular but without limitation”, be evidence of bad faith. Here, although there has been no active use of the Domain Name, other than the inactive web site, the circumstances present here are sufficient to establish bad faith registration and use. The Respondent knew of Complainant's trademark when acquiring and using the disputed domain name. He was likely well aware that it was very likely that Internet users looking for official information about the Complainant would be misled to Respondent's web site. By using the domain name <t-vorteil.info> in the described way, the Respondent was trading on the goodwill of the Complainant and free-riding on the recognition that Complainant's trademarks enjoy among Complainant's customers in Germany.
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 <t-vorteil.info> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: December 20, 2009