World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Indian Oil Corporation Limited v. Nitin Jindal

Case No. D2010-2003

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Indian Oil Corporation Limited of New Delhi, India, represented by Scriboard Advocates & Legal Consultants, India.

The Respondent is Nitin Jindal of Long Beach, California, United States of America, represented by Kalara Law Firm, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <indianoil.org> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 22, 2010. On November 22, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 22, 2010, GoDaddy.com, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on December 1, 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 December 2, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 22, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any formal response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 23, 2010.

On December 27, 2010, the Complainant filed a Supplemental Filing. The Respondent filed an Objection to the Supplemental Filing from the Complainant. The Complainant’s Supplemental Filing was not considered in the preparation of the Decision, because there were no exceptional circumstances that would permit the acceptance of the additional filing under the Policy.

The Center appointed Christopher J. Pibus as the sole panelist in this matter on January 6, 2011. 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 Panel notes the communications between the parties with regard to possible settlement negotiations. However, no agreement was reached between the parties and accordingly the Center continued the proceedings.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a public-sector petroleum company located in India. It is India’s largest commercial enterprise, ranking 105th on the Fortune Globe 500 List in 2009. Indian Oil and its subsidiaries account for a 47% share in the petroleum products market, a 40% share in refining capacity and 67% downstream sector pipelines capacity in India. The Complainant owns and operates 10 of India’s 19 refineries. The Complainant began operating in 1959 as Indian Oil Company Ltd., and the Indian Oil Corporation was formed in 1964, as a result of a merger of Indian Refineries Ltd.

The Complainant has spent significant amount of money promoting and advertising its services and products under the INDIAN OIL trademark. The Complainant is the owner inter alia, of the following trademark:

INDIAN OIL – Indian Trademark Registration No. 454371 registered May 20, 1986.

The Respondent registered the domain name <indianoil.org> on August 13, 2005. At the time the Complaint was filed the disputed domain name reverted to a website that provided links to websites of other businesses.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns the trademark INDIAN OIL. The Respondent has registered the domain name <indianoil.org> which is identical to the Complainant’s registered trademark.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant submits that the Respondent is not commonly known by the words “indian oil”. The Complainant further submits that the Respondent is not making a bona fide use of the disputed domain name, and has used the domain name in connection with a website which provides links to websites of other businesses, some of which are direct competitors of the Complainant. Further, the Complainant submits that it never licensed or authorized the Complainant to use its INDIAN OIL trademark.

Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith for the following reasons: (i) the Respondent is using the confusingly similar domain name in association with the operation of a website which provides links to websites of other businesses, of which some are direct competitors of the Complainant; and (ii) the Respondent is thereby preventing the registered trademark owner from obtaining and using the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

Apart from communications between the parties with regard to possible settlement negotiations, and the Respondent’s Objection to the Supplemental Filing from the Complainant the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, the Complainant must establish each of the following elements:

(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the Complainant does have trademark rights in the mark INDIAN OIL by virtue of Indian Trademark Registration No. 454371.

The Panel further finds that the disputed domain name <indianoil.org> is identical to the Complainant’s registered trademark INDIAN OIL, except for the addition of the “.org” designation. The addition of a “.org” designation or other type of designation do not serve to distinguish a domain name from a registered trademark.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel notes that the Respondent did not file any response to the Complaint and accordingly did not contest any of the facts stated in the Complaint. The Panel is therefore prepared to accept the Complainant’s contention that its INDIAN OIL trademark and corresponding business is well-known and has developed a significant reputation.

Therefore, the Panel is prepared to infer that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s business and was aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights in the mark INDIAN OIL when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in 2005.

The Panel finds no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the name INDIAN OIL, was not licensed or authorized by the Complainant to use the trademark INDIAN OIL, or has any other form of legitimate interest in the INDIAN OIL name.

The Complainant has therefore satisfied the requirements under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy.

Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel, upon review of the evidence filed in the Complaint, and taking into consideration that the Respondent did not file any response contesting the facts contained therein, finds that the Respondent registered and has used the dispute domain name in bad faith.

The Panel is prepared to find that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights when it registered a confusingly similar domain name, and when it began operating a website in connection with that confusingly similar domain name which provides links to websites of other companies, of which some are direct competitors of the Complainant.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements under paragraph 4(c) under 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, <indianoil.org> be transferred to the Complainant.

Christopher J. Pibus
Sole Panelist
Dated: January 20, 2011

 

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