Complainant is Grundfos A/S of Bjerringbro, Denmark, represented by Bech-Bruun Law Firm, Denmark.
Respondent is Sator Ltd. of Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation.
The disputed domain name <grundfos.pro> is registered with DomainPeople, Inc.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 16, 2010. On April 16, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to DomainPeople, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 16, 2010, DomainPeople, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on April 20, 2010. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April 22, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 12, 2010. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center communicated Respondent's default on May 14, 2010.
The Center appointed Clark W. Lackert as the sole panelist in this matter on June 2, 2010. 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.
Because the Complaint was submitted in the English language and the Registrar confirmed that the language of the registration agreement is English, these proceedings are being conducted in the English language.
Complainant Grundfos A/S is a Danish company and a member of Grundfos Group, which was established in 1945 and is wholly owned by the company Grundfos Holding A/S of Denmark. The Grundfos Group is a manufacturer of high technology pumps and pump systems and is represented by more than 82 companies in 45 countries including the Russian Federation. Complainant has provided a copy of its 2008 annual report which cites profits exceeding EUR 98,000,000 in 2007 and EUR 64,000,000 in 2008 and three physical locations in the Russian Federation. Complainant has cited trademark rights for GRUNDFOSS dating to 1946 and changed its name from GRUNDFOSS to GRUNDFOS in 1967. Complainant owns multiple trademark registrations for its GRUNDFOSS/GRUNDFOS name, and has provided copies of certificates of registration for the following marks in Denmark and the Russian Federation:
Danish Registration No. VR 1968 02852 of October 25, 1968 for GRUNDFOS in Classes 9, 42, 43, 44, and 45 currently valid through October 25, 2018; and
Russian Federation Registration No. 30230 for GRUNDFOSS of August 30, 1965 in Classes 7, 9, and 11 currently valid through December 3, 2014.
The domain name <grundfos.pro> was registered on September 29, 2009. The domain name is currently registered to Sator Ltd. of Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation. The administrative contact person for the domain name is identified as Igor Pinkov. The registrar for the domain name is DomainPeople, Inc. The website operating at the disputed domain name's content features information regarding Grundfos water pumps and a catalog of products. The website also displays a logo design featuring the GRUNDFOS mark.
Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to Respondent on January 13, 2010 regarding use of the <grundfos.pro> domain name. Respondent did not reply to the cease and desist letter. A reminder letter was sent to Respondent on February 12, 2010. Respondent did not reply to the reminder letter.
Complainant emphasizes that the Grundfos name and GRUNDFOS trademark are both well-known worldwide, especially within the company's industry of specialization. Complainant states that the Grundfos Group is represented by more than 82 companies in 45 countries around the world, employs 17,900 employees, and was cited by Fortune magazine as one of “10 great companies to work for” in January of 2003. Complainant has provided copies of its 2008 annual report, the aforementioned Fortune magazine article, and a copy of the first page of Google results for “grundfos” indicating that the term yields 1.4 million hits when searched. Further, Complainant cites Grundfos A/S v. Orion Web, WIPO Case No. D2005-0618, which concludes that the GRUNDFOS trademark must be characterized as “very well known”.
Complainant observes that consumers accessing the <grundfos.pro> domain name are likely to believe that they will be able to obtain genuine Grundfos Group products from the website or that Respondent maintains a cooperative relationship with Complainant, and that this scenario contributes to a likelihood of confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant's company name and trademark. Complainant also states that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with regard to the <grunfos.pro> domain name, and that registration of the domain name has been made in bad faith. Complainant has not licensed or granted permission for Respondent to use its GRUNDFOS trademark or to register the <grundfos.pro> domain name, and notes that the use of the GRUNDFOS trademark on Respondent's website suggests and affiliation with, or endorsement by, Complainant. Complainant notes that Respondent's use of the GRUNDFOS trademark is infringing Complainant's trademark rights and claims that this use is an attempt to direct traffic to Respondent's website for commercial gain.
Based on the foregoing, Complainant requests that ownership of the disputed domain name <grundfos.pro> be transferred to Complainant.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
Complainant registered the GRUNDFOS trademark in Denmark on October 25, 1968 and registered the GRUNDFOSS trademark in the Russian Federation on August 30, 1965. Both of these registrations precede the registration of the <grundfos.pro> domain name owned by Respondent.
The domain name <grundfos.pro> is identical to the Danish trademark in which Complainant has rights. Moreover, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Russian trademark GRUNDFOSS in which Complainant has rights.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The domain name <grundfos.pro> was registered on September 29, 2009. There is no evidence in the record to indicate that Respondent is licensed to use Complainant's GRUNDFOS trademark, that Respondent is associated or affiliated with Complainant, or that Respondent has any other rights or legitimate interests in the term “Grundfos”. By declining to file a Response, the Respondent has not refuted the allegations of Complainant's prima facie case on this element.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
The record shows that Complainant has been operating its business under the Grundfos name for decades and has owned rights in its GRUNDFOS trademark for products and services for over forty (40) years. Complainant maintains commercial operations under the Grundfos name in the Russian Federation and owns rights in its GRUNDFOSS trademark in this jurisdiction, which is confusingly similar to the <grundfos.pro> domain name.
The website located at <grundfos.pro> offers water pumps and related services by Respondent and features Complainant's trademarks and specific information regarding Complainant's business including its number of employees and well-established history of providing water pumps and plumbing solutions for residential and commercial clients. Based on the content of the <grundfos.pro> website, Respondent appears to be aware of Complainant's business and appears to have chosen the <grundfos.pro> domain name in an effort to deceive customers into believing that the disputed domain name is somehow associated with, affiliated with, and/or endorsed by Complainant. Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that where a registrant, by using a domain name, intentionally attempts to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the registrant's website, this constitutes evidence of bad faith registration and use. It is likely that consumers accessing Respondent's website will believe that the products and services featured are offered by Complainant, thereby diverting web traffic from Complainant's websites at <grundfos.com> and <grundfos.ru>. There is no evidence in the record to refute this conclusion.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <grundfos.pro> be transferred to Complainant.
Clark W. Lackert
Dated: June 16, 2010