The Complainant is Hitachi Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan, represented by Sanderson & Co., United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Respondent is Value-Domain Com, Value Domain of Osaka, Japan.
The disputed domain name <hitachi-capital.org> is registered with eNom.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 11, 2010. On May 12, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 12, 2010, the Registrar 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 14, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 3, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on June 4, 2010.
The Center appointed Keita Sato as the sole panelist in this matter on June 9, 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 Complainant is Hitachi Ltd, whose official name is “Kabushikikaisha Hitachi Seisakusyo” in the Japanese language. The Complainant is a corporation organized under Japanese laws and has its principal place of business in Tokyo. The Complainant has registered a number of trademarks relating to “Hitachi Capital” in various jurisdictions, including, Community Trademark Registration No. 1657014 for the word mark HITACHI CAPITAL (covering goods and services under Classes 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42). The word mark is also registered with the Japan Patent Office for goods and services in Classes 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42.
The Respondent is Value-Domain Com, Value Domain which is located in Osaka. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <hitachi-capital.org> on May 11, 2008, and is still the registrant on record of the disputed domain name.
In the Complaint, the Complainant claims;
1) The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant's HITACHI CAPITAL mark and confusingly similar with the Complainant's other registrations for the word mark HITACHI, and the word “Capital” is descriptive of the financial services that are offered by the Complainant.
2) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, since the HITACHI trademarks are internationally known and the Respondent is not licensed to use the Complainant's trademarks.
3) The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, since the Respondent intentionally attempted to use the Complainant's reputation so that users will be forwarded to other websites not owned or authorized by the Complainant. Also the Respondent committed to a pattern of conduct, since a search of the name “Value Domain” in previous WIPO UDRP decisions indicates some ten previous decisions and in each case the Respondent had the domain name removed from them.
For the foregoing reasons, the Complainant requests a decision that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the disputed domain name, 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 has been registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
The disputed domain name <hitachi-capital.org> is indeed confusingly similar to the HITACHI CAPITAL trademark. As the Complainant asserted, the trademark HITACHI CAPITAL was registered at CTM and Japan Patent Office by the Complainant in 2002. The substantial part of the domain name <hitachi-capital.org> is confusingly similar with the Complainant's trademark, noting that the suffix “.org” corresponds to a top level domain identifier which can be put aside for the purposes of the first element of the UDRP and the only minor difference between the domain name and the trademark is a meaningless hyphen.
Given the above, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar with the registered marks of the Complainant.
The Respondent is not licensed to use the Complainant's trademarks, nor is the Respondent in any way associated with the Complainant's group of companies, as the Complainant claims.
The Respondent seemingly has no real business at the website with the disputed domain name. There are several indications in the Respondent's website (http://hitachi-capital.org/mycar/mycarlone.html and other sub-pages, (Annex 15 of the Complaint) which appear to describe the car loan service of Hitachi Capital Ltd, a Complainant related company. The Panel notes that the top page of the Respondent's webpages is only a blank page. As submitted by the Complainant, the top page was blank on April 16, 2010 The Panel made the same finding of a blank top page on June 12 and 23, 2010. The Panel finds in the circumstances of this case that it is very unlikely that the Respondent would have any real business. Furthermore, the Panel notes that almost a half of the description on one of the Respondent's webpages is copied from the car loan service webpage operated by Hitachi Capital Ltd, (which can be found at “www.netplaza.jp”, which the Panel independently confirmed on June 22, 2010). For example, the description named “shitadorikun”, which is a service mark of Hitachi Capital Ltd's special trade-in service, could be found on the webpage operated by the Respondent.
Noting the above circumstances and the fact that the Respondent has not submitted a response to the Complaint, and has thus not claimed any rights to the disputed domain name, the Panel makes the inference, in accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules that no such rights exist.
In these circumstances, the Panel finds that the Complainant has successfully demonstrated the second element of the Policy.
As described above, beyond the blank top page, the Respondent operates the webpage at “http://hitachi-capital.org/mycar/mycarlone.html” which consists partly of the same content as the website of Hitachi Capital Ltd, a Complainant related company providing financial services. At the Respondent's active sub-pages with the disputed domain name additional content can be found (Annex 15 of the Complaint). The Panel notes the existence of what appears to be sponsored links, including content related to such topics as financial services, pregnancy, job search, and health etc. The Panel finds that this shows that the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to intentionally attract Internet users to the website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source of the website. The Panel further notes that normally such sponsored links are a source of commercial gain for the website operator.
All the points above, and the fact that the Respondent is no stranger to UDRP proceedings, lead to the conclusion by the Panel that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has also proven the third element 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 <hitachi-capital.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: June 24, 2010