WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
LG CORP. v. ozgur danisman, ssss / PrivacyProtect.org
Case No. D2011-1148
1. The Parties
The Complainant is LG CORP., of Seoul, Republic of Korea, represented by Dericioğlu & Yaşar Law Office, Turkey.
The Respondent is ozgur danisman, ssss, of Ankara, Turkey / PrivacyProtect.org of Queensland, Australia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <lgturkiye.com> (the “Domain Name”) 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 July 7, 2011. On July 7, 2011, 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 Domain Name. On July 8, 2011, Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on July 14, 2011 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed the Amended Complaint on July 15, 2011.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the Amended 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 18, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 7, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 8, 2011.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on August 19, 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 issued an Administrative Panel Procedural Order No. 1 on August 24, 2011 requesting evidence of the material attached to the Domain Name by the Respondent and English translation of Turkish annexes to the Complaint. The Complainant submitted evidence in response on September 16, 2011.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is an international consumer electronics company established in 1958 and owns many trade mark registrations containing LG internationally, including, but not limited, to the European Community and Turkey where the Respondent is based. The Respondent has used the Domain Name to attach to a website using the Complainant's logo, slogan and name in a prominent fashion to sell electronic goods.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant's submissions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is a leading consumer electronics company established in 1958. It employs more than 93,000 people in over 120 operations around the world. It had global sales in 2010 of USD 48.2 billion.
As well as the LG name it uses a “Life’s good” slogan and a logo in red and grey comprising the letters LG positioned inside a circle and depicting the stylized image of a human face symbolising the world, future, youth, humanity and technology. The Complainant has had trade mark registrations for its logo since 1995 and owns more than 4,000 trade mark registrations and applications around the world that consist of or contain the letters LG including registrations in Turkey.
The domain name <lg.com> has been registered since 1995.
The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. Adding the word “Turkiye” (Turkey) and the generic top level domain “.com” does not avoid the similarity of the Domain Name with the Complainant’s trade mark, especially as the Complainant does business in Turkey. It suggests the Respondent is an authorised distributor in Turkey.
The Respondent has no rights in the mark LG registered or unregistered. The Domain Name is not being used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name and the Respondent is not making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the Domain Name.
The Respondent’s website welcomes the user with the statement in Turkish “LG Turkiye Authorised Online shop” which is false. The Respondent intends to take unfair advantage of the reputation of the Complainant with its website. Customers will be confused into thinking they can shop there safely in the belief that the website belongs to the Complainant.
The Respondent is using the LG trade mark with the original logo and slogan without any permission or licence agreement. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
The use of the Complainant’s name, slogan and logo in relation to electronic products manufactured by the Complainant and the statement that the site is authorised shows the Respondent knew the Complainant and is attempting to confuse customers by using the Complainant’s trade mark to attract Internet users looking for the Complainant with the intention of taking unfair advantage of a well-known name and its reputation
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark 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 Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or confusing similarity
The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark consisting of the Complainant’s LG registered trade mark and the geographical term “Turkiye”, Turkey being a place where the Complainant does business. The distinctive part of the Domain Name is the LG name. The addition of the non- distinctive text “Turkiye” does nothing to prevent the confusing similarity of the Domain Name with the Complainant’s LG trade mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interest of the Respondent
The Respondent has not filed a Response and does not appear to have any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. It has no consent from the Complainant, has not used the Domain Name for a bona fide offering of goods and services given its confusing use, as discussed below, and is not commonly known by the Domain Name. Nor is it making non commercial fair use of it. In the circumstances of this case, and in view of the Panel’s discussion below, the Panel finds that the second element of the Policy has been established.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Rules sets out four non-exclusive criteria which shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith including:
“by using the domain name [the Respondent] has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, 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, affiliation or endorsement of [its] website or location or of a product or service on [its] website or location.”
The Respondent has not provided any explanation why it would be entitled to register the Domain Name equivalent to the Complainant’s trade mark with only a geographical term added which reflects a region in which the Complainant operates. The Complainant was unable to produce evidence of its claim that the website stated as an opening line that it was an official site, but the Complainant was able to show that the Respondent’s site once held prominent masthead style use of the Complainant’s name, logo and slogan. As a result of viewing this evidence the Panel is of the view that the site which was attached to the Domain Name using the Complainant’s trade mark was confusing and gave the appearance that it was the official Turkish site of the Complainant. This use shows that the Respondent is well aware of the Complainant, its trade mark and its goods. In the absence of a Response from the Respondent, considering the fame of the Complainant and the material which was attached to the Domain Name the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has shown that the Respondent registered the Domain Name in bad faith and has used the Domain Name to attract Internet traffic to its site for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion that its website is connected to the Complainant. As such the Domain Name has been registered and used in bad faith.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <lgturkiye.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: September 20, 2011