The Complainant is Synkem of Chenove, France, represented by Maître Pinto, France.
The Respondent is Synkemlab of Mumbai, India.
The disputed domain name <synkemlab.com> is registered with Ascio Technologies Inc., Denmark.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 28, 2010. On April 28, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Ascio Technologies Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 29, 2010, Ascio Technologies Inc. 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 May 4, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 24, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on May 26, 2010.
The Center appointed James A. Barker as the sole panelist in this matter on June 1, 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.
The disputed domain name was registered on October 14, 2009 (as indicated by the ‘creation date' in the WhoIs details).
The Complainant has a mark registered in France for SYNKEM. That mark was registered in October 1988, in class 1 for industrial chemicals, among other things. The Complainant provided an untranslated copy of a registration certificate to that effect.
Evidence attached to the Complaint (available at the Complainant's own website at “www.synkem.com”) indicates that the Complainant “is a French manufacturer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Advanced Intermediaries” and that it “has more than 20 years experience in organic chemistry on industrial scale and we develop several cutting edge technologies”.
The Complainant provided evidence (a copy of a screen shot) of the website to which the disputed domain name reverted on March 5, 2010. On that date, the disputed domain name reverted to a website entitled “Synkem Lab”, and contained the statement that “Synkem is a contract manufacturing sourcing and outsourcing organization for pharma, agro and polymer industries around the world…Our core activity includes Pharma contract manufacturing and sourcing and outsourcing projects like API's, Intermediates, and fine chemicals, veterinary chemicals, photography chemicals, industrial chemicals and herbal products.”
The Complainant states that “The domain name is the same SYNKEM / SYNKEMLAB, and the society SYNKEM works on the medical, with laboratory.”
The Complainant also says that the “Respondent should be considered as having no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name because the mark SYNKEM was always the property of the Complaint.” While ambiguously drafted, the Panel reads the Complaint as saying that the Respondent has no relevant trademark rights and is making a commercial or unfair use of the disputed domain name with intent for commercial gain.
Finally, the Complainant says that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith, because it “was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor and to catch the clients of the French society”. In that respect, the Complainant claims that the Respondent has acted in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, to succeed the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the disputed 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 disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
These elements are discussed as follows.
The Complainant provides evidence of having registered rights in the mark SYNKEM which predate the registration of the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to that mark.
The Complainant's mark is entirely incorporated in the disputed domain name, which only adds the descriptive term “lab”. As far as the Panel can tell (although the Complainant did not explain the origin of its mark), its mark is arbitrary and fanciful, and so is at the stronger end of the spectrum. It is well-established under the Policy that the entire incorporation of a distinctive mark in a domain name, including a domain that that adds a descriptive word, may be sufficient for a finding of confusing similarity. See e.g. EAuto, L.L.C. v. Triple S. Auto Parts d/b/a Kung Fu Yea Enterprises, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0047; AT&T Corp. v. William Gormally, WIPO Case No. D2005-0758; Nokia Corporation v. Nokiagirls.com a.k.a IBCC, WIPO Case No. D2000-0102. As such, there is a likelihood that at least some Internet consumers might be confused as to whether the domain name has an association with the Complainant.
The Complainant's case, although brief, is sufficient to establish a prima facie case against the Respondent on this ground. Having submitted no Response, the Respondent has provided no evidence to support a claim of having such rights or legitimate interests.
There is no evidence of the kinds mentioned in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, which are demonstrative of rights or legitimate interests. Rather, for the reasons set out further below in relation to bad faith, the evidence suggests that the Respondent's intention was to take unfair advantage of the Complainant's trademark.
For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Bad faith may be found where the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name to take unfair advantage of the Complainant's rights in some way. See e.g. Your Golf Travel Limited v. Hardelot Holidays Limited, WIPO Case No. D2007-1058.
The Respondent provided no evidence of having rights of its own in the disputed domain name, nor of operating a legitimate business in fact. The Respondent's website, on its face, purported to offer services very similar to those of the Complainant. The Complainant operates in a specialized field, and has registered a distinctive mark in that connection. Having regard to these facts, there is little doubt in the Panel's mind that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant's pre-existing mark and sought to take advantage of an association with it. If the Respondent had any genuine interest in the disputed domain name, it would have been simple to make some response to the allegations against it.
But the Respondent has chosen to submit no Response. Under paragraphs 5(e) and 14(a) of the Rules, where a Respondent does not submit a Response the Panel shall decide the dispute on the Complaint. Under paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel may also draw such inferences from the Respondent's default as it considers appropriate. In the circumstances of this case, the Panel considers that there are no exceptional circumstances, and draws the inference that the Respondent has not submitted a Response because it does not deny the claims made against it.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered, and has been 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, <synkemlab.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
James A. Barker
Dated: June 15, 2010