World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Swarovski Aktiengesellschaftv. Hopper Dirt

Case No. D2011-1525

1. The Parties

Complainant is Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft of Triesen, Liechtenstein, represented by LegalBase (Pvt) Limited, Sri Lanka.

Respondent is Hopper Dirt of Arvada, Colorado, the United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <swarovskibijoux.info> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 9, 2011. On the same day, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name and GoDaddy.com, Inc transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.

On September 20, 2011, Complainant requested information to the Center regarding the status of the administrative proceeding, which was replied by the Center on September 23, 2011.

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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 23, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 13, 2011. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on October 14, 2011.

The Center appointed Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira as the sole panelist in this matter on November 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

Complainant, Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft, is a company based in Liechtenstein and uses the SWAROVSKI trademark to identify crystal jewelry, home accessories, and collectibles. Complainant sells those goods worldwide in more than 1,000 own stores, besides an almost identical number of partner-operated boutiques.

The SWAROSVSKI trademark is registered all over the globe, including United States, country where Respondent is based. Proofs of these registrations were presented as Annex B by Complainant. As evidence shown in the documents attached to the Complaint, Complainant's trademark SWAROVSKI was extensively promoted, without limitation, in print advertisements, promotional materials, advertising and direct mailings.

The trademark SWAROVSKI has acquired fame and celebrity, symbolizing the goodwill that Complainant has created in its trademark. Evidence of such reputation was duly presented.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The international renown of the trademark SWAROVSKI was duly produced by Complainant, as well as proof of the registrations owned throughout the world for that trademark. It is also to note that Complainant’s own website provides all information on the goods sold under the trademark SWAROVSKI.

The disputed domain name <swarovskibijoux.info> leads to a website that misleads the consumers by inducing them to believe it to be an authentic and authorized dealer of the SWAROVSKI products. The website, in fact, offers for sale several goods that are similar to the Swarovski ones.

It is to be noted that, besides the disputed domain name <swarovskibijoux.info>, one can reach the same website by typing “www.swarovskibijoux.net”. Both domain names, though, were not registered by the same person. This, in addition to the fact that the website is all written in French, leads to the conclusion that there is a collaboration of different parties in an attempt to deviate regular Swarovski costumers.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name <swarovskibijoux.info> is, indeed, confusingly similar to the SWAROVSKI trademark.

Complainant has submitted consistent evidence of use and ownership of the trademark SWAROVSKI in the world, with special attention to the United States and France, besides enough evidence of the international renown of the SWAROVSKI trademark. The addition of the generic term “bijoux” and of the suffix “.info” do not lessen the confusing similarity of the disputed domain name with Complainant’s trademark.

Given the above, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the registered trademark of Complainant.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Given the evidence provided by Complainant and the fact that the SWAROVSKI trademark is widely known as identifying Complainant’s products throughout the world, the Panel finds that Complainant has established prima facie that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Hence, Respondent cannot claim to have been using Complainant’s trademark without knowing Complainant’s rights to it.

Besides, a visit to the disputed domain name <swarovskibijoux.info> leads to a website selling products that are advertised as original Swarovski products, manufactured by Complainant. Complainant has asserted that it is no the case. In addition, the disputed domain name leads the visitor to conclude that the disputed domain name registrant or the person in charge of the website is based in France, whilst Respondent is based in the United States. This, among other facts, proves that Respondent’s interests cannot have been legitimate.

The Panel, thus, finds for Complainant under the second element of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The facts outlined in paragraphs A and B above can evidence Respondent’s bad faith in obtaining the disputed domain name.

As mentioned, Respondent‘s website, to which the disputed domain name redirects, sells products advertised as original Swarovski ones, whilst Complainant has asserted that it is no the case. Said website shows extensive comments on Complainant’s products, even offering new collections for sale. The website clearly intends to pass as an official one, or at least one that has been authorized by the trademark owner, that is, Complainant.

This can be seen as clear evidence that Respondent wishes to give an overall impression that the disputed domain name leads to an official website, which is not true. This attempt to mislead consumers is also evidence of bad faith from Respondent.

All the points above lead to the conclusion by this Panel that Respondent must have been fully aware of Complainant and that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

The Panel finds that Complainant has also proved the third element of the Policy.

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name, <swarovskibijoux.info>, be transferred to Complainant.

Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira
SolePanelist
Dated: December 5, 2011

 

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