WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AB Electrolux v. Kelli Cristina Coco Petrucci
Case No. D2010-0836
1. The Parties
The Complainant is AB Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by Melbourne IT Corporate Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Kelli Cristina Coco Petrucci of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <central-electrolux.com> is registered with Nomer.com.br.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 25, 2010. On May 25, 2010, the Center transmitted by email a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 26, 2010, Nomer.com.br. 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”).
On June 4, 2010, the Center sent an email communication to the parties in relation to the language of the proceedings. On the same day, the Complainant indicated that it requested English be the language of the proceedings. The Respondent did not submit any comments relating this matter.
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 June 18, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 8, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 9, 2010.
The Center appointed José Mota Maia as the sole panelist in this matter on August 19, 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.
Pursuant to Rules, paragraph 11, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, or specified otherwise in the registration agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the registration agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise. In this case, the language of the registration agreement for the disputed domain name is Portuguese.
The Complainant requested that the proceedings be pursued in English. Given the provided submissions and circumstances of this case and in light of the absence of objection from the Respondent in this regard, the Center accepted the Complaint as filed in English and offered the opportunity to the Respondent to submit a response in either Portuguese or English.
The Respondent received, both in English and Portuguese, sufficient information to assess the situation. The Respondent did not object to the Complainant’s request and did not ask for a translation into Portuguese of all the documents submitted by the Complainant.
In the circumstances, the Panel decides that the Complainant’s request should be granted, and that English be the language of the proceedings.
4. Factual Background
AB Electrolux is a Swedish joint stock company founded in 1901 and is one of the largest producers in the world of appliances and equipment for kitchen and cleaning.
The trademark ELECTROLUX is the subject of a large number of registrations in more than 150 countries. Due to extensive, long term use and costs incurred in advertising, this Panel finds that the trademark acquired the status as well-known.
The disputed domain name was registered on August 27, 2009.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark in which it has rights. Details of these trademarks have been provided to the Panel.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has neither rights nor legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. According to the Complainant, the Respondent is not known under the name Central Electrolux.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent intentionally registered the domain name in order to benefit from the Complainant’s reputation by creating confusion with the ELECTROLUX trademark.
The Complainant also submits that during correspondence with the Respondent, the latter was totally unwilling to resolve the situation.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To qualify for cancellation or transfer of the domain name, the Complainant must prove each of the elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, namely:
(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 interest in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
In accordance with paragraph 10(d) of the Rules, the Panel shall determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of the evidence.
In previous UDRP cases in which the respondent failed to file a response, the panel decisions were based upon the complainant’s assertions and evidence, as well as reasonable inferences drawn from the respondent’s failure to reply. See The Vanguard Group, Inc. v. Lorna Kang, WIPO Case No. D2002-1064 and Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei v. Macros-Telekom Corp., WIPO Case No. D2001-0936.
Nevertheless, a panel must not decide in the complainant’s favour solely based on the respondent’s default. See Cortefiel, S.A. v. Miguel García Quintas, WIPO Case No. D2000-0140. A panel must decide whether the complainant has introduced elements of proof, which allow the panel to conclude that its allegations are true and meet the requirements of the Policy.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
It is well established in previous UDRP cases that, where a domain name incorporates a complainant’s trademark, this may be sufficient to establish that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar for the purposes of the Policy. See Magnum Piering, Inc. v. The Mudjackers and Garwood S. Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525.
In the present case, the disputed domain name incorporates identically the Complainant’s trademark ELECTROLUX.
Furthermore, the addition of the suffix “.com” is for registration purposes only, being a requirement of the Internet domain name system, and does not serve as a distinguishing feature for trademark purposes. See The Bank of the Pacific v. Digi Real Estate Foundation, WIPO Case No. D2006-1112.
In view of all this, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark ELECTROLUX in which the Complainant has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Panel, to have registered trademark rights.
Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In order to determine whether the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, attention may be paid to the following circumstances in particular but without limitation:
(i) whether before any notice to the respondent of the dispute, there is any evidence of the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services;
(ii) whether the Respondent has been commonly known by the domain name, even if the Respondent has acquired no trademark or service mark rights;
(iii) whether the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain misleadingly to divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
There is no evidence to show that the Respondent was acting in pursuant of any rights or legitimate interests when registering the disputed domain name. Indeed, in view of the Complainant’s widely-known trademark ELECTROLUX, the Respondent must in all likelihood have known, when registering the disputed domain name that it could not claim any such rights or interests.
There is no evidence that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
Also, the Panel finds no evidence that the Respondent has used, or undertaken any demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering goods or services.
Therefore, for all the above reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has neither rights to nor legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Regarding the bad faith requirement, paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four examples of acts which constitute evidence of bad faith. However, this list is not exhaustive, but merely illustrative. See Nova Banka v. Iris, WIPO Case No. D2003-0366.
Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy is particularly relevant to the present case and provides that there is evidence of bad faith in the following circumstances:
“(iv) by using the domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gains, internet users to its website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on its website or location.”
Based on the evidence provided in the casefile, the Panel agrees with the Complainant’s contention that the Respondent, by registering the disputed domain name, is trading on the Complainant’s valuable goodwill.
Again, by registering and using the disputed domain name incorporating the Complainant’s ELECTROLUX trademark, the effect is to mislead Internet users and consumers into thinking that the Respondent is, some way or another, connected to, sponsored by or affiliated with the Complainant’s and its business, or that the Respondent’s activities are approved or endorsed by the Complainant. None of which, according to the case file is, in fact, the situation.
Such misleading consequences, in the view of the Panel, constitute bad faith on the part of the Respondent. See Columbia Insurance Company v. Pampered Gourmet, WIPO Case No. D2004-0649.
Again, the registration and use of the disputed domain name comprising the Complainant’s widely-known and well-established trademark also has the effect of disrupting the Complainant’s business, which, for the purposes of the Policy, is also an indication of bad faith on the part of the Respondent. See paragraph 4(b)(iii) of the Policy.
Likewise, the failure by the Respondent to reply to the Complainant’s Complaint or otherwise take part in these proceedings, in the view of the Panel, also indicates bad faith on the part of the Respondent.
Therefore, for all the above reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name 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 <central-electrolux.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
José Mota Maia
Dated: August 6, 2010