World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Hawaii Furnishing Pte Ltd d/b/a Scanteak v. Peter Kenson

Case No. D2011-2000

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Hawaii Furnishing Pte Ltd d/b/a Scanteak of Singapore, represented by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, United States of America (“United States”).

The Respondent is Peter Kenson of Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, California, United States.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <scanteak.com> and <scanteak.net> are registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 15, 2011. On November 15, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On November 15, 2011, GoDaddy.com, Inc. 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 November 25, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 15, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 16, 2011.

The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on December 22, 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 an international furniture company. It is the legal owner of a Singapore trademark registration for SCANTEAK, number T9409842Z, registered on November 12, 1994 and a United States trademark registration for the same name, number 3164970 registered on October 31, 2006. The disputed domain names were registered by the Respondent on June 26, 2004.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

This section sets out the Complainant’s contentions with which the Panel may or may not agree.

The Complainant registered its first SCANTEAK trademark more than nine years before the Respondent registered the disputed domain names. Since 1984, the Complainant and its affiliated entities have continuously used the SCANTEAK trademark in connection with a wide variety of furniture, accessories and other related products.

The disputed domain names are identical to the Complainant’s SCANTEAK mark. That mark is not a generic word but the unique combination of words that reflect the Complainant’s Scandinavian inspired teak wood product designs. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names or the Complainant’s SCANTEAK trademark.

Since their initial registration, the disputed domain names have been continually parked and have not been used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The landing pages for the disputed domain names clearly provide advertising links to other commercial websites not affiliated with the Complainant, some of which when clicked redirect the visitor to websites of direct and indirect competitors of the Complainant. The Respondent attracts for commercial gain Internet users to the disputed domain names by creating confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent’s passive holding of the disputed domain names demonstrates bad faith registration and use of those domain names.

The Respondent also provided inaccurate contact information at the time of registration. The Respondent’s provided mailing address is not a proper United States mailing address.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Under the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:

(i) the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it has rights; and

(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names; and

(iii) the disputed domain names have been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns trademark registrations for SCANTEAK in Singapore and the United States. The Singapore registration pre-dates the registration of the disputed domain names. The Complainant’s trademark is a coined term which has no independent meaning. The disputed domain names consist of this trademark and the standard suffixes “.com” and “.net”. They are clearly at least confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent is not called “Scanteak” or anything similar and does not appear to trade under that or any related name. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use its SCANTEAK trademark. The Respondent has never asserted any rights or legitimate interests in that name. For these reasons, on the basis of the available record, notably the absence of a Response, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant’s trademark, SCANTEAK, has no independent meaning. The trademark was first registered in 1994, nine years before the disputed domain names were registered. The expression “scanteak” has no meaning other than as a possible suggestion of something connected to the Complainant’s trademarks. Currently, the disputed domain names are not being actively used except as parking websites with links to other websites.

In this Panel’s view, it is impossible, in the circumstances, at least without a Response to the Complaint, to identify a reason why the Respondent registered the disputed domain names other than to attract business or Internet users to its websites who were looking for a website connected to the Complainant’s trademark or business.

The only reasonable explanation of what has happened is that the Respondent’s motive in registering and using the disputed domain names seems to be one or more of the following: to disrupt the Complainant’s relationship with its customers or potential customers, attempt to attract Internet users for potential gain through click-through revenue or persuade the Complainant to buy the disputed domain names from the Respondent for an amount in excess of its out-of-pocket expenses. These each constitute evidence of registration and use in bad faith.

For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith. As a result, it is unnecessary to deal with the Complainant’s other contentions.

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 names <scanteak.com> and <scanteak.net> be transferred to the Complainant.

Adam Samuel
Sole Panelist
Dated: December 28, 2011

 

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