World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Nigel Cosans

Case No. D2012-0231

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Aktiebolaget Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services, Sweden.

The Respondent is Nigel Cosans of Florida, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <electroluxblender.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 9, 2012. On February 9, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same date, GoDaddy.com, LLC 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 February 15, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 6, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 7, 2012.

The Center appointed Jane Lambert as the sole panelist in this matter on March 12, 2012. 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, a public company incorporated in Sweden with limited liability, is one of the largest manufacturers of white goods, household and industrial kitchen and cleaning appliances in the world. In 2009, its 51,000 employees sold more than 40 million products, among them blenders, cookers, dishwashers, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and others, to customers around the world generating revenues of SEK 109 billion.

The company has registered ELECTROLUX as a trade mark in over 150 countries including the United States of America. One of those registrations is number 0908002 under which ELECTROLUX has been registered as a trade mark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in class 21 with a filing date of November 10, 1969.

Very little is known of the Respondent other than that he resides at Palm Beach in the United States of America. He has parked the disputed domain name with GoDaddy. The Panel visited the website at the disputed domain name on March 21, 2012. The holding page carries a number of click-through advertisements, some of which are for products that compete with the Complainant’s. In a letter before the filing of the Complaint with the Center, dated November 10, 2011, and a number of reminders, the Complainant invited the Respondent to transfer the disputed domain name to it in return for his out of pocket expenses but no reply was received.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant claims the transfer of the disputed domain name on the following grounds:

(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.

(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

(iii) The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

As to the first ground, the Complainant points to its registration of ELECTROLUX in 150 countries as a trade mark in which it has rights and to the combination of the word “electrolux” with the noun “blender” which is one of the products that the Complainant supplies. The Complainant submits that anyone seeing the disputed domain name will suppose it to belong to the Complainant. If and in so far as authority is needed for that proposition, the Complainant relies on Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG v. Rojeen Rayaneh, WIPO Case No. D2004-0488, where the panel held that confusing similarity is generally recognized when well-known trade marks are paired up with different kinds of prefixes and suffixes.

As to the second ground, the Complainant made clear that it had granted no license or other authority to use its trade mark. It considered the circumstances listed in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy that might demonstrate that the Respondent had rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and contends that none of them apply. There was no evidence that the Respondent was using or preparing to use the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Nor was there any evidence that the Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the disputed domain name. The use of the disputed domain name of a parking site with click-through advertisements to the Complainant’s competitors did not constitute legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain.

As to the third ground, the Complainant contends that the registration of a domain name that incorporates a mark as well-known as ELECTROLUX is of itself an indication of bad faith. So, too, it argues is the Respondent’s failure to reply to the Complainant’s correspondence. Finally, it submits that the use of the site as a URL for a page that carries click-through advertising falls within the prohibition in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. When taken together, those factors evidence registration and use in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to succeed, the Complainant has to satisfy the Panel that:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

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

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

In the administrative proceeding, the Complainant must prove that each of these three elements is present.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel is satisfied that the first element is present.

The disputed domain name incorporates the word “electrolux”, which the Complainant has registered as a trade mark in the United States of America and other countries, in its entirety. It combines that word mark with the noun “blender”, which is a product that the Complainant and its subsidiaries make and sell in vast quantities. The obvious inference to be drawn from such a domain name is that it will identify a site selling or containing information about ELECTROLUX blenders. In the Panel’s opinion, it is hard to think of a better example of a domain name that is confusingly similar to a trade mark in which a complainant has rights.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel is also satisfied that the second element is present.

There is no evidence that the Respondent has a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. None of the circumstances listed in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy applies and there is no other reason to suppose that the Respondent has a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Finally, the Panel is satisfied that the third element is present.

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists a number of circumstances that evidence registration and use of a domain name in bad faith. They include at sub-paragraph (iv):

“by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”

The Respondent has used the disputed domain name for a web page containing advertisements with click-through links. Revenue is likely to be generated every time one of those links is clicked. Such revenue constitutes “commercial gain”. The Panel has already found the disputed domain name to be confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark. It is likely to attract to its web page Internet users who are looking for information on blenders supplied by the Complainant. Thus, there is created “a likelihood of confusion as to […] a product or service on the Respondent’s web site or [on-line] location.” Accordingly, all the requirements of paragraph 4(b)(iv) are satisfied.

The satisfaction of the requirements of any of the sub-paragraphs of paragraph 4(b) constitutes evidence of registration and use in bad faith.

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 <electroluxblender.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Jane Lambert
Sole Panelist
Dated: March 21, 2012

 

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