WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Arcelormittal v. Mesotek Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Case No. D2010-2049
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Arcelormittal of La Plaine Saint-Denis, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Mesotek Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. of Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <mittal-steel.com> is registered with Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 25, 2010. On November 25, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 26, 2010, Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com 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 December 3, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 23, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 28, 2010.
The Center appointed Pablo A. Palazzi as the sole panelist in this matter on January 11, 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.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a producer of steel with its headquarters in Luxembourg. The Complainant was formed out of a merger in 2006 between Arcelor and Mittal to become Arcelormittal.
As stated on its website, and reproduced in part in the Complaint, the Complainant is one of the world's leading steel companies, with operations in more than 60 countries. The Complainant provides steel for various markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging. In 2009, the Complainant had revenues of USD 65.1 billion and crude steel production of 73.2 million tonnes, representing approximately 8 per cent of world steel output.
The Complainant is the owner of registered marks for MITTAL, MITTAL (with design) and MITTAL STEEL registered in more than 70 jurisdictions, including the Respondent’s jurisdiction.
The Complainant has also registered domain names corresponding to its mark, including <mittalsteel.com> registered on August 29, 2001.
The Complainant has previously been successful in several proceedings under the Policy involving its ARCELOR and MITTAL trademarks.
The disputed domain name was registered on May 18, 2009.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant states that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its registered mark. The Complainant states that the term “mittal” is only known in relation to the Complainant. The Complainant adds that a Google search for the words “mittal steel” displays several results, all related to the Arcelormittal group.
The Complainant states that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests over the disputed domain name because it is not related in any way with the Arcelormittal business, and the Respondent is a web designer company, which develops websites for its customers.
The Complainant states that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith. The Respondent must have known of the Complainant's trademarks because it is a web designer company that develops and builds numerous web sites especially in the sector of “steel metal industries”.
The Complainant states that the Respondent registered the disputed domain to display false information about a company called “Mittal Steel”. Therefore, the Complainant contends the Respondent has intentionally attempted to create a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks.
The Respondent has failed to respond to the Complaint, and therefore is in default. In light of the default this Panel may draw such inferences from the default as it considers appropriate, paragraph 14(b) of the Rules. Nevertheless the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the Complaint, paragraph 14(a) of the Rules, based on the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the UDRP Policy and Rules. Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules.
6. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that each of the following three elements are present if the Complaint is to prevail:
(i) The Respondent’s 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 domain name; and
(iii) The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
There is seemingly no dispute that the Complainant has rights in its MITTAL and MITTAL STEEL marks for the purpose of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. As such, the remaining issue under this element is whether the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to that mark.
The disputed domain name <mittal-steel.com> incorporates the registered trademark of the Complainant MITTAL STEEL in full and the Panel finds that for the purpose of these proceedings that it shall considered to be identical to a trademark in which the Complainants have rights.
In assessing identity and confusing similarity for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the gTLD “.com” suffix can be ignored. In addition the “-” sign in the disputed domain name does not help to diminish confusion (see Banco Bradesco S/A. v. Joony Climber, WIPO Case No. D2010-1961).
The conditions in paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are therefore fulfilled.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name:
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your 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; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
According to the Complaint, the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use its trademarks, or to register any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s marks.
The Complainant further alleges that the Respondent has no relation with the Complainant nor has it any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not rebutted these allegations, and has provided no evidence demonstrating rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain names in accordance with paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. Since the Complainant’s marks to the best of the Panel’s knowledge have no specific meaning except as name and mark for the Complainant, it is unlikely that any such rights or legitimate interests exist. In addition, the Complainant has registered its mark in the Respondent’s jurisdiction before the registration of the disputed domain name was created.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the conditions in paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy are also fulfilled.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires the Complainant to prove both registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy provides an example of circumstances which shall be evidence of registration and use in bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Complainant’s marks MITTAL and MITTAL STEEL have been widely used and are well-known. It is in this Panel’s opinion that it is not credible that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, which incorporates the distinctive trademark of the Complainant, without knowledge of the Complainant (See e.g. Mittal Steel Technologies Limited, Mittal Steel Company NV and Arcelor SA v. Jean Frederic Serete, WIPO Case No. D2006-1353).
In addition the Panel notes that, as asserted by the Complainant and not rebutted by the Respondent, the Respondent must have known of the Complainant's trademarks because it appears to be a web designer that develops and builds numerous web sites especially in the sector of “steel Metal industries”. The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith.
At the date of this decision, the disputed domain name contains what seems to be an institutional website for the Complainant. The Complainant has not authorized the use of the domain name and the content included in the website associated with the disputed domain name. The Complainant states, and the Respondent has not rebutted, that the Respondent registered the disputed domain to display false information about the company “Mittal Steel”. In addition, Respondent has included in the content of the website the following text: “Copyright 2007, Mittal Steel, All rights reserved. Site design & developed by “www.mesotek.com”" with a hyperlink to the website “www.mesotek.com”. According to the Complainant the information included in the website associated with the disputed domain name is false.
Such use accordingly suggest’s an attempt by the Respondent to profit from the Internet traffic from Internet users seeking the official Complainant’s website by the incorporation of the MITTAL mark in the disputed domain name (Microsoft Corporation v. MindKind, WIPO Case No. D2001-0193).
Based upon such findings and evidence, the Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its own site and to other online location by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark, as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its site or of the products and services offered on its website (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used 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 <mittal-steel.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Pablo A. Palazzi
Dated: January 17, 2011