World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

KSB Aktiengesellschaft v. Kedhar Ramanathan

Case No. D2011-1605

1. The Parties

The Complainant is KSB Aktiengesellschaft of Frankenthal, Germany, represented by Bettinger Schneider Schramm Patent - und Rechtsanwälte, Germany.

The Respondent is Kedhar Ramanathan of Ohio, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <ksbgroup.com> is registered with Nom Infinitum, Incorporated (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 22, 2011. On September 22, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same date, the Registrar 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 October 4, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 24, 2011. The Response was filed with the Center on October 24, 2011.

The Center appointed Miguel B. O'Farrell as the sole panelist in this matter on November 10, 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.

Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11(a), the language of the proceedings is English.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is KSB Aktiengesellschaft, a public limited company incorporated under the laws of Germany.

The Complainant specializes in the development and production of transport mechanisms, used worldwide in a variety of industries.

The Complainant and its subsidiary companies are identified as the “KSB Group”.

The Complainant owns several trademark registrations for KSB. Particularly:

European Registration No. 407021, KSB, in classes 6, 7, 11 and 17;

European Registration No. 452821, KSB, in classes 35, 37 and 42;

European Registration No. 679050, KSB B, in classes 6, 7, 9, 11, 37, 41 and 42;

European Registration No. 809284, KSB, in classes 6, 7, 9, 11, 37, 41 and 42;

European Registration No. 722153, KSB FLUID SYSTEMS, in classes 6, 7, 9, 11, 36, 37, 41 and 42;

European Registration No. 668571, PUMPEN ARMATUREN KSB, in classes 6, 7, 9, 11, 37, 41 and 42;

United States registration No. 2,337,081, KSB, in classes 6, 7, 9, 11, 37, 41 and 42;

United States registration No. 1,067,566, KSB, in classes 7 and 11;

United States registration No. 2,221,113, KSB, in classes 6, 7, 9, 11, 35, 37, 41 and 42;

The Respondent is Kedhar Ramanathan, located in the United States of America.

The disputed domain name <ksbgroup.com> was registered by the Respondent on June 21, 2011.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant asserts to be one of the world’s leading suppliers of pumps, valves and related liquid transportation systems, with an annual revenue of nearly 2 billion Euros and having over 14,600 employees worldwide.

The Complainant also averts to have been using its KSB trade name in commerce since 1887 and to have several trademark registrations for KSB in different countries.

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name <ksbgroup.com> was previously owned by the Complainant, having registered it in 1998. Moreover, the Complainant explains that due to a mistake, the Complainant did not renew the registration in due time, which caused such registration to lapse on June 16, 2011.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name shortly after its elapsing (on June 21, 2011) for the mere purpose of resale.

Furthermore, the Complainant asserts to have received an email from an individual called “Alexander”, indicating that the disputed domain name would shortly be for sale and inquiring whether the Complainant was interested in purchasing such domain name.

The Complainant also asserts that the Respondent continued communicating with the Complainant through several emails using as an alias the name “Phillip Pattersons”, and that the Respondent asked the Complainant for a “one time fee” of EUR 8,500.

The Complainant asserts to have exchanged subsequent emails with the Respondent without reaching any agreement.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent was clearly aware of the Complainant and its world-famous KSB marks at the time it registered the disputed domain name, and that the Respondent’s sole intention was to profit from its resale.

Moreover, the Complainant states that the Respondent has never made any legitimate use of the domain name, which redirects to an aftermarket website at “www.escrow.com”.

The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name <ksbgroup.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s KSB trademarks for which the Complainant has pre-existing rights.

The Complainant also states that the disputed domain name is comprised of the Complainant’s KSB trademark in conjunction with the dictionary term “group”, and followed by the top level domain suffix “.com”, all of which does not widen the similarity between the disputed domain name and the Respondent’s trademarks.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

In that connection, the Complainant denies having licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use any of the KSB trademarks, or even having permitted the Respondent to register or use any domain name incorporating such marks.

Moreover, the Complainant averts there is no evidence showing that the Respondent has ever used the disputed domain name, nor made any 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. On the contrary, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent’s only use of the disputed domain name has been to redirect it to the aftermarket website at “www.escrow.com”, and even to force a purchase offer from the Complainant.

On the other hand, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

In that sense, the Complainant contends that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant’s business and its trademarks at the time it registered the disputed domain name.

The Complainant also states that the Respondent’s bad faith in registering the disputed domain name is manifest since the Respondent has held it for ransom and offered it for sale to the Complainant only a few days after such registration.

Furthermore, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent has obscured the history of the disputed domain name by enabling “robots.txt”, and thus blocking the Internet Archive from displaying the previous content available on the website.

Finally, the Complainant averts that the Respondent’s bad faith is further demonstrated by the fact that the Respondent has concealed his identity through the use of multiple aliases.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not answer any of the Complainant’s contentions, but merely consented to the remedy sought by the Complainant.

6. Discussion and Findings

The Panel finds that the Respondent’s genuine, unilateral and unambiguous consent on the record to the remedy sought by the Complainant provides a basis for an immediate order for transfer without further analysis of the three elements required under paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP. (Williams-Sonoma, Inc. v. EZ-Port, WIPO Case No. D2000-0207; The Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. Mike Morgan, WIPO Case No. D2005-1132; Infonxx.Inc v. Lou Kerner, WildSites.com, WIPO Case No. D2008-0434, among others. See also paragraph 4.13 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”)).

7. Decision

In accordance with paragraph 15(a) of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <ksbgroup.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Miguel B. O'Farrell
Sole Panelist
Dated: November 24, 2011

 

Explore WIPO