WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
VKR Holding A/S v. Antonio Murrell
Case No. D2011-2042
1. The Parties
The Complainant is VKR Holding A/S of Hørsholm, Denmark, represented internally.
The Respondent is Antonio Murrell, of Doral, Florida, United States of America.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <velluxamerica.com>, <velluxamericas.com>, <velluxlocator.com>, <velluxpager.com>, <velluxpagers.com>, <velluxstore.com>, <velluxstores.com>, and <velluxwireless.com> (the “Domain Names”) are registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 18, 2011. The Center transmitted its request for registrar verification to the Registrar on November 18, 2011. The Registrar responded the same day, confirming that the Domain Names were registered with it in the name of the Respondent as registrant, that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”) applied to them, that they would remain locked during this proceeding subject to expiry and that the language of the registration agreement was English.
The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the 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 paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a) of the Rules, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint and the proceedings commenced on November 25, 2011. The courier confirmed delivery of the Written Notice of the Complaint to the Respondent’s postal address stated in the Registrar’s WhoIs database. In accordance with paragraph 5(a) of the Rules, 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 Jonathan Turner as the sole panelist in this matter on January 3, 2012. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with paragraph 7 of the Rules. Having reviewed the file, the Panel is satisfied that the Complaint complied with applicable formal requirements, was duly notified to the Respondent and has been submitted to a properly constituted Panel in accordance with the UDRP, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant owns a worldwide group which makes and sells roof windows under the mark VELUX. The mark has been used by this business since 1941 and was registered as a trademark in Denmark in 1942. The Complainant is now registered as the proprietor of the mark in numerous countries.
The Domain Names were registered by the Respondent on October 12, 2009, and have been directed to web pages displaying links to websites promoting products competing with the Complainants group’s products.
The Complainant sent letters to the Respondent objecting to his registration and use of the Domain Names on January 29, 2010, July 5, 2010, December 10, 2010, August 17, 2011, and August 22, 2011. The Respondent did not reply.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to its registered trademark VELUX, pointing out that they each consist of a misspelling of the mark and generic elements.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names, since he has never used or intended to use them for any genuine business.
The Complainant alleges that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Names in bad faith, in that by using them he is intentionally attempting to attract Internet users to his websites for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s marks. According to the Complainant the Respondent is hijacking part of the natural traffic to the Complainant’s websites in order to generate revenue for the Respondent through sponsored links. The Complainant adds that this disrupts its business and infers that the Respondent may be hoping thereby to induce the Complainant to offer a ransom for the Domain Names.
The Complainant requests a decision that the Domain Names be transferred to it.
As stated above, the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed in this proceeding, the Complainant must prove (i) that the Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which it has rights; (ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names; and (iii) that the Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.
It is appropriate to consider each of these requirements in turn.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that all of the Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark VELUX. The Domain Names all comprise a misspelling of this mark and generic or descriptive elements. Many Internet users would expect the Domain Names to locate a website of the Complainant. The first requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the Respondent has not used or made preparations to use the Domain Names for any bona fide offering of goods or services. The Respondent’s only use of the Domain Names has been for web pages containing sponsored links to other websites, at least some of which promote products competing with the Complainant’s products. The Panel does not regard this as a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The Panel also finds that the Respondent is not commonly known by any of the Domain Names and that he is not making any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of them.
On the record before the Panel, there is no other basis on which the Respondent could claim any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names. The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in them and that the second requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds on the undisputed evidence that, by its use of the Domain Names, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its web pages by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s VELUX trademark as to the source of these web pages, for commercial gain in the form of click-through commissions on sponsored links provided on these pages to websites of the Complainant’s competitors.
In accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the UDRP, this constitutes evidence of registration and use of the Domain Names in bad faith.
There is no material in the record before the Panel which displaces this presumption. Accordingly the Panel finds that the Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith. The third requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Names, <velluxamerica.com>, <velluxamericas.com>, <velluxlocator.com>, <velluxpager.com>, <velluxpagers.com>, <velluxstore.com>, <velluxstores.com>, and <velluxwireless.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: January 19, 2012