World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Michael Dieckmann

Case No. D2010-1203

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Aktiebolaget Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Michael Dieckmann of Munich, Germany.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <electrolu.com> is registered with 1 API GmbH.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 21, 2010. On July 21, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to 1 API GmbH a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 22, 2010, 1 API GmbH 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 July 27, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 16, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any Response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 23, 2010.

The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on August 31, 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.

4. Factual Background

According to the documentary evidence and contentions submitted, the Complainant is a Swedish company founded in 1901 and registered as of 1910, and is one of the world’s largest producers of home appliances and equipment for kitchen, cleaning and outdoor use and of similar equipment for professional uses.

The trademark upon which the Complaint is based is ELECTROLUX. The Panel notes that the Complainant has produced a list of all trademark registrations around the world owned by the Complainant including a copy of a CTM-Online trademark registration search result. The Panel also notes that the Complainant’s ownership of the ELECTROLUX trademarks has been confirmed in many previous WIPO UDRP decisions.

The Panel accepts the Complainant’s contentions that Aktiebolaget Electrolux is a well-known company worldwide in the field of kitchen, cleaning and outdoor appliances and that the ELECTROLUX trademark is a well-known trademark worldwide.

The Complainant has registered various domain names containing the ELECTROLUX trademark, including <electrolux.com>.

The disputed domain name <electrolu.com> was registered on June 27, 2007 and is currently connected to a website with sponsored links.

The Complainant first sent a cease and desist letter to the Respondent by e-mail on April 20, 2010. The Respondent did not reply, and the Complainant sent a reminder on June 2, 2010.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

According to the Complainant (citing UDRP precedent to support its position), the disputed domain name is confusingly similar, in the sense of the Policy, to the Complainant’s mark, since the omission of the last letter "x" does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity.

Further, the Complainant contends that the Respondent does not have any license or authorization to use the Complainant’s mark.

The Complainant states that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to point to a website containing sponsored links. Such use is not a bona fide use under the Policy in the opinion of the Complainant. Consequently, the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the website at the disputed domain name, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website. The Complainant cites UDRP precedents to conclude that the Respondent has violated the Policy.

Furthermore, the Complainant points out that the number of third party domain name registrations comprising the Complainant's trademark in combination with other words has skyrocketed during the last years. In the Complainant's view, the considerable value and goodwill of the mark ELECTROLUX is most likely a large contribution to this and also what made the Respondent register the disputed domain name here.

The Complainant finally alleges that the Respondent has not replied to various communications from the Complainant, and that this is a further indication of the Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has produced substantial evidence of its extensive use of the mark ELECTROLUX. The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s registered mark except for the omission of the letter “x”.

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is thus confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights and that the Complainant has thus fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The use of the disputed domain name, which is a misspelling of the trademarks of the Complainant (i.e. a case of so-called typo-squatting), cannot be considered use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use. The Panel refers to National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Inc., d/b/a Minor League Baseball v. John Zuccarini, WIPO Case No. D2002-1011.

The Panel also notes that the website under the disputed domain name is a so-called “landing page”. Because the disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s trademarks, except for the omission of the letter “x”, this use cannot be considered as bona fide offering of goods or services, nor as a legitimate noncommercial or fair use (see Visible Technologies, Inc. v. Navigation Catalyst Systems, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2007-1141 and the cases cited therein).

Since the Complainant has shown that the Respondent does not have a right or a legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, the Complainant has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Under the circumstances of this case, it can be inferred that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademarks when registering the disputed domain name.

The Panel finds that there is sufficient evidence that the Respondent, by registering and using the disputed domain name, attempted to attract Internet users for commercial gain to his website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of his website or the products or services on his website, which demonstrates bad faith.

Furthermore, the Panel notes that the disputed domain name is an example of typo-squatting, which also demonstrates bad faith. The Panel refers in this respect to National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Inc., d/b/a Minor League Baseball v. John Zuccarini, supra.

In summary, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith, thus fulfilling paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <electrolu.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Tobias Zuberbühler
Sole Panelist
Dated: September 14, 2010

 

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