WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AB Electrolux v. PrivacyProtect.org / Ugur Yirtici
Case No. D2011-1318
1. The Parties
The Complainant is AB Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by Melbourne IT Corporate Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is PrivacyProtect.org of Queensland, Australia and Ugur Yirtici of Ankara, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cankayaelectroluxservisi.com> is registered with Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 1, 2011. On August 1, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 2, 2011 the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on August 4, 2011 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant confirmed by email its choice not to accept the invitation to file an amendment to the Complaint on August 5, 20111.
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 August 5, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 25, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any formal response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 26, 2011.
The Center appointed Dilek Ustun Ekdial as the sole panelist in this matter on September 7, 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, AB Electrolux, is a Swedish joint stock company founded in 1901 and registered as a Swedish company in 1919. AB Electrolux is a world leading producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen and cleaning. Electrolux is also one of the largest producers in the world of similar equipment for professional users. In addition, they are the market leader in many of the individual product categories in which they compete.
Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and cookers sold under esteemed brands such as ELECTROLUX, AEG, AEG-ELECTROLUX, ZANUSSI, EUREKA and FRIGIDAIRE. In 2008, Electrolux had sales of SEK 105 billion and 55,150 employees.
The Complainant has registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a word and figure mark in several classes in more than 150 countries all over the world. The trademark ELECTROLUX was registered long before the registration of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has also registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a domain name under almost 700 gTLDs and ccTLDs worldwide.
5. Parties’ Contentions
According to the Complainant, the dominant part of the disputed domain name <cankayaelectroluxservisi.com> comprises the word “electrolux”, which is confusingly similar as well as identical to the registered trademark ELECTROLUX, which has been registered by the Complainant as a trademark and domain names in numerous countries all over the world. The prefix “cankaya” is the name of the central metropolitan district of Ankara,the capital of Turkey. Also, the addition of the top-level domain (TLD) “.com” does not have any impact on the overall impression of the dominant portion of the disputed domain name and is therefore irrelevant to determine the confusing similarity of the trademark.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has not found that the Respondent has any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the disputed domain name. It is also clear that no license or authorization of any other kind has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent to use the trademark.
The trademark ELECTROLUX belonging to the Complainant has the status of a well-known and reputed trademark with a substantial and widespread reputation throughout the whole Community and throughout the world. The awareness of the trademark is to be considered, in the whole Community in general, to be significant and substantial. The number of third party domain name registrations, comprising the trademark in combination with other words, has skyrocketed the last years, for examples see Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Jose Manuel, WIPO Case No. D2010-2031, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Domain ID Shield Service Co., LTD / Dorian Cosentino, Planeta Servidor, WIPO Case No. D2010-1277, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Nomad Marketing, Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2010-1205, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Michael Dieckmann, WIPO Case No. D2010-1203, AB Electrolux v. Kelli Cristina Coco Petrucci, WIPO Case No. D2010-0836, Aktiebolaget Electrolux AB v. Sun Qifeng, WIPO Case No. D2010-0633, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Sas Adrian, WIPO Case No. D2010-0336, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Mehmet Kirci , WIPO Case No. D2010-0305, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Domains by Proxy, Inc., DomainsByProxy.com, /My Co Dean, WIPO Case No. D2010-0135, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. DomainsByProxy.com / My Co Doan, WIPO Case No. D2010-0134, Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Globaltek International Mexico, SA DE C.V., WIPO Case No. D2009-1472. 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 Domain Name at issue here.
The Complainant first tried to contact the Respondent on April 20, 2011 through a cease and desist letter. No response was received so reminders were sent on May 2, 2011 and June 21, 2011.
The disputed domain name is currently connected to a website offering services and most likely sale of ELECTROLUX goods and displaying unrelated links to, for example, AEG Power tools. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the websites, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website.
Consequently by referring to the above-mentioned the Respondent must be considered to have registered and be using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. The Respondent Ugur Yirtici sent an e-mail on August 26, 2011 (after the date of the notification of the Respondent’s default) and said in Turkish:
“Sayın, Shana Don [...]
cankayaelectroluxservisi.com konusunda mailler alıyorum. Ama İngilizcem yeterli olmadığı için anlayamıyorum.
Lütfen Türkçe tercüme edilmiş halinde gönderiniz.
Dear, Shana Don [...]
I am receiving e-mails about cankayaelectroluxservisi.com. However; my English is not enough to understand. Please send them their Turkish translations.
On August 29, 2011, the Center acknowledged receipt of the Respondent Ugur Yirtici’s email and informed the parties that the language of the proceedings was English, which is also the language of the Registration Agreement in this case.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules requires the Panel to decide a Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant bears the burden of showing:
(i) that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a word and figure mark in several classes in more than 150 countries all over the world. The trademark ELECTROLUX was registered long before the registration of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has also registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a domain name under almost 700 gTLDs and ccTLDs worldwide, among these; <electrolux.com.tr> (registered by Electrolux Turkey), <electrolux.com> and <electrolux.co.uk>.
The Panel concurs with the opinion of several prior UDRP panels which have held that, when a domain name wholly incorporates a complainant’s registered mark that may be sufficient to establish confusing similarity for purposes of the Policy. See, e.g., Kabushiki Kaisha Hitachi Seisakusho (d/b/a Hitachi Ltd) v. Arthur Wrangle, WIPO Case No. D2005-1105; Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903; Magnum Piering, Inc. v. The Mudjackers and Garwood S. Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525; EAuto, L.L.C. v. Triple S. Auto Parts d/b/a Kung Fu Yea Enterprises, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0047; Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. bmwcar.com, WIPO Case No. D2002-0615. In this Panel’s view, the addition of the term “cankaya” does not sufficiently distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trademark.
As other panels have held, the use of a mark in its entirety together with a geographic term in a domain name creates a domain name that is confusingly similar to the mark. See e.g., Playboy Enterprises International Inc. v. Joao Melancia, WIPO Case No. D2006-1106; AT&T Corp. v. WorldclassMedia.com, WIPO Case No. D2000-0553; Six Continents Hotels, Inc. v. CredoNIC.com / Domain For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2005-0755; Six Continents Hotels, Inc. v. Midas Search Limited, WIPO Case No. D2004-0986; Six Continents Hotels, Inc., Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation. v. South East Asia Tours, WIPO Case No. D2004-0388.
Additionally the Respondent has brought no argument in support of its contention that the disputed domain name is not identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not provided any evidence of the type specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or any other circumstances giving rise to a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. It is clear that the Respondent has not demonstrated any bona fide offering of goods and services by its using the disputed domain name. Nor has the Respondent shown that it has been commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Complainant showed, inter alia¸ that the Respondent has neither a license nor any other permission to use the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks right or legitimate interests, and the Respondent has failed to demonstrate such rights or legitimate interests. The Panel finds that given the use formerly made of the disputed domain name (reverting to a website displaying links to products similar to the Complainant’s as well as unrelated links), when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name it must have known that ELECTROLUX was the trademark of the Complainant, and that it registered the disputed domain name because it would be recognized as such.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
It is obvious to this Panel that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website. In view of the above, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith, in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
There is no suggestion that the Respondent had any intention of legitimate use, that it enjoys a connection to the disputed domain name or that there is conceivable good faith use for the disputed domain name. After examining all circumstances surrounding the registration and use of the domain name, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Accordingly the Panel finds in favour of the Complainant on the third element of the Policy.
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 <cankayaelectroluxservisi.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dilek Ustun Ekdial
Dated: September 21, 2011
1 The Respondent Ugur Yirtici sent an email communication to the Center on August 26, 2011, regarding this matter. “[U]ltimately the panel has discretion to determine the identity of the proper respondent.” WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0"), paragraph 4.9. Accordingly the Panel finds both the privacy service, PrivacyProtect.org and the underlying registrant Ugur Yirtici, to be the singular Respondent in this case.<