World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

AB Electrolux v. Purple Bucquet / PrivacyProtect.org

Case No. D2010-1853

1. The Parties

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

The Respondent is Purple Bucquet of Ciudad de Panama, Province Panamá, Republic of Panama and PrivacyProtect.org, Domain Admin of Moergestel, Null, Netherlands.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <electolux.com> is registered with Power Brand Center LLC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 2, 2010. On November 2, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Power Brand Centre LLC. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 4, 2010 Power Brand Center LLC. 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 sent an email communication to the Complainant on November 4, 2010 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant submitted an amendment to the Complaint on November 4, 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 5, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 25, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 26, 2010.

The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on December 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.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a well known producer of appliances and equipment for kitchens and cleaning. The Complainant is the owner of a large number of trademarks in a variety of countries for ELECTROLUX. One example is the United States trademarks no. 0908002, registered on February 16, 1971 and 0933368, registered on May 2, 1972. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on August 24, 2000.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

This section sets out the Complainant’s contentions with which the Panel may or may not agree.

The Complainant has registered the trademark ELECTROLUX in more than 150 countries. It first did so long before the registration of the disputed domain name. It has also registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a domain name under almost 700 gTLDs and ccTLDs worldwide, including <electrolux.com> and <electrolux.net>.

The disputed domain name comprises the word “electolux” which only differs from the registered trademark ELECTROLUX by the omission of one letter, “r”. The addition of the top-level domain (Tld) “com” does not have any impact on the overall impression of the dominant portion of the domain name and is therefore irrelevant for the purposes of determining the confusing similarity of the domain name with the trademark. Anyone who sees the disputed domain name is bound to mistake it for a name related to the Complainant. The likelihood of confusion includes an obvious association with the Complainant’s trademark. By using a misspelling of the trademark ELECTROLUX as a dominant part of the disputed domain name, the Respondent is exploiting the goodwill and image of the trademark.

The Complainant has not found any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the disputed domain name. No license or authorization of any kind has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent to use its trademark. The mere registration of a domain name does not give the owner a right or a legitimate interest in respect of the domain name.

The Respondent has intentionally chosen a domain name based on a registered trademark in order to generate traffic to a web site where sponsored links are displayed. By doing this, the Respondent is misleading Internet users. The Respondent does not use the name as a company or have any other legal right in the name “electrolux”.

The Respondent is currently using the disputed domain name to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its website by create a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the websites. Whether not the Respondent has influenced what links should be included on the sites is irrelevant as to whether bad faith exists in this case. The Respondent has at all times been able to remove the parking page.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Under the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it 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 and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns rights in the trademark ELECTROLUX. The omission of the letter ‘r’ after the ‘t’ in the disputed domain name appears to be a classic example of typo-squatting, where a domain name attracts Internet users who make a small typing error. The domain name without the generic top level domain ‘.com’ both sounds and looks almost identical to the Complainant’s trademark. The word ‘electolux’ has no independent meaning except as a misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark.

In Sierra HealthStyles LLC v. Modern Limited - Cayman Web Development, WIPO Case No. D2006-0020, the panel said on this subject:

“Here, the domain name has two differences from Registration No. 2152729 and the key element of the other two registrations: the addition of the .com suffix and the substitution of ‘i’ for the first ‘a’ in the trademark.

The substitution of the ‘i’ for the first ‘a’ is visually apparent on close inspection. The domain name and the trademark, MIRAVAL, however, are phonetically similar. There are various ways that both versions of the word may be pronounced and some of these will or may sound the same or similar. The word element of the domain name created by the substitution of the ‘i’ for the ‘a’ is not a plain English word or otherwise generic. There are likely to be circumstances where a person might unintentionally type in the domain name instead of the trademark term, particularly having regard to imperfect recollection and the potential for persons using the Internet to ‘guess’ at domain names. In these circumstances a finding of confusing similarity in line with the ‘typosquatting’ cases is appropriate. See e.g. AltaVista Company v. Saeid Yomtobian, WIPO Case No. D2000-0937; America Online, Inc. v. Johuathan Investments, Inc. and AOLLNEWS.COM, WIPO Case No. D2001-0918; and Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case No. D2002-0775.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is at least confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark rights.”

For similar reasons, the Panel concludes here that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent is not called “Electolux” or anything similar and does not appear to trade under that or any related name. The website with the disputed domain name appears never to have been active except as a parking page. There is no evidence that the Complainant has authorized the Respondent to use its trademark. The Respondent has never asserted any rights or legitimate interests in that name or replied to the Complainant’s correspondence on the subject. For these reasons, on the basis of the available record, notably the absence of a Response, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The name, “electolux”, has no independent significance or meaning except as a misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark. This was registered many years before the domain name was registered. In this Panel’s view, it is impossible, at least without a Response to the Complaint, to identify a reason why the Respondent registered the disputed domain name other than to attract business or Internet users to its site who were looking for a site connected to the Complainant’s trademark or business. Currently, the domain name is not being actively used except as a parking site.

The only explanation of what has happened is that the Respondent’s motive in registering and using the sites seems to be, as the Complainant says, simply to disrupt the Complainant’s relationship with its customers or potential customers, attempt to attract Internet users for potential gain or persuade the Complainant to buy the domain name from it for an amount in excess of the Respondent’s out-of-pocket expenses. These all constitute evidence of registration and use in bad faith.

This conclusion is supported by the view expressed in Go Daddy Software, Inc. v. Daniel Hadani, WIPO Case No. D2002-0568:

“Typosquatting is virtually per se registration and use in bad faith. It is difficult to conceive of circumstances that would overcome the inference that the typosquatter “intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source” of the website. Here such conduct was undertaken to send Complainant’s customers to a site that promoted directly competing services.”

For all these reasons, the Panel concludes that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

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, <electolux.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Adam Samuel
Sole Panelist
Dated: December 8, 2010

 

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