World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

LEGO Juris A/S v. Congjun Zhang

Case No. D2012-0614

1. The Parties

The Complainant is LEGO Juris A/S of Billund, Denmark, represented by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services, Sweden.

The Respondent is Congjun Zhang of Beijing, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <legoego.com> is registered with China Springboard, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 23, 2012. On March 23, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to China Springboard, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 26, 2012, China Springboard, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. On March 30, 2012, the Center transmitted an email to the parties in both Chinese and English language regarding the language of proceedings. On April 2, 2012, the Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of proceeding. The Respondent did not comment on the language of proceedings by the specified due date.

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 April 5, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 25, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 30, 2012.

The Center appointed Douglas Clark as the sole panelist in this matter on May 7, 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.

The language of the Registration Agreement is Chinese. The Complainant requested that the language of the proceedings be English or alternatively the Complainant be allowed to file its Complaint in English and the Respondent be allowed to file in Chinese if it so requested. The reasons given for this request were:

(a) The Complainant had sent warning letters in English which the Respondent had not responded to. The Complainant suggested that the Respondent should have at least responded that they do not understand the letter; and

(b) the disputed domain name comprises the trademark LEGO and the English word “ego” so the disputed domain name could be seen to target an English speaking audience.

The Respondent did not respond the language request, which in accordance with the Center’s practice was sent in Chinese and English. In many UDRP cases, panels have determined that this is sufficient to allow the Complaint to be filed in a language other than that of the registration agreement.

There are particular circumstances of this case which caused the Panel to consider that it was appropriate to order a translation of at least the Factual and Legal Grounds of the case. These were:

(a) there was no suggestion the Respondent was familiar with the English language. The website which the disputed domain name resolves to is written entirely in Chinese and clearly designed to do business in China;

(b) some of the factual assertions made by the Complainant did not appear to be supported by the evidence;

(c) there was a material mistranslation into English of the Chinese name use by Respondent; and

(d) the Complaint was essentially based on an argument that the Complainant’s mark Lego is entitled to protection as a well-known mark under article 6 (bis) of the Paris Convention and articles 16.2 and 16.3 of the TRIPS Agreement. One legal assertion made by the Complainant was not supported by the provisions cited.

The Panel therefore ordered that the Factual and Legal Grounds of the Complaint be translated into Chinese and that the Respondent have 14 days from service of the translation to file a response (if any).

On June 19, 2012, the Complainant submitted the Chinese translation of the Complaint. The Respondent filed a Response on July 3, 2012 within the time limit. The Complainant filed a short response by email to the Respondent’s Response. This was filed only in English and did not add anything to what had been said in the Complaint. In the interests of fairness to the Respondent, the Panel specifically states that it did not take this supplemental submission from the Complainant into account.

Given the issues raised in this case, the Panel considers it appropriate to issue its decision in both English and Chinese. The definitive text of the Panel’s decision has been rendered here in English. A Chinese language version of the Panel’s decision has also been produced, and is included herewith for convenience as Appendix 1 (Chinese Translation). In the event of any inconsistencies between the English language and Chinese language texts of the Panel’s published decision, the decision in the English language shall be the definitive text.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant, based in Denmark, is the owner of the mark LEGO, and other trademarks used in connection with the Lego brands of construction toys and other Lego branded products. The Complainant and its licensees, through their predecessors, commenced use of the LEGO mark in the United States of America (“United States”) during 1953, to identify construction toys made and sold by them.

Over the years, the business of making and selling LEGO branded toys has grown remarkably. By way of example, the revenue for the Lego Group in 2009, was more than USD 2.8 billion. The Complainant has subsidiaries and branches throughout the world, and Lego products are sold in more than 130 countries, including in China. The Complainant opened a flagship shop in Beijing in 2007.

The Trademark Lego was first registered in China in 1994.

The Complainant is also the owner of more than 2,400 domain names containing the term”lego”.

The disputed domain name <legoego.com> was registered in June 17, 2011. The disputed domain name resolves to an online shop trading under the name “乐易购”. This is pronounced in Chinese (Mandarin) “Le-Yi-Gou”, and translated as “Happy Easy Shopping”. The online shop sells a variety of products including clothing and electronic products. The online shop appears to be a legitimate business. No evidence was filed suggesting otherwise. For the purposes of this decision, the Panel will proceed on the basis it is a legitimate business.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <legoego.com> is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainants trademark Lego, being made up of the trademark Lego and the English word “ego”.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name on the following grounds:

(a) The Respondent has no trademarks relating to the disputed domain name;

(b) The Respondent has not been using the disputed domain name in any way that would suggest it has any rights or legitimate interests;

(c) The Complainant has never licensed or authorized the Respondent to use a domain name incorporating the term “Lego”;

(d) The Respondent must have known of the Complainant’s rights in “LEGO” when registering the domain name;

(e) The Respondent is using the domain name to provide links to third party sites, such as “Zippo” “Homes” and “Thinkpad”;

(f) The Respondent is not a reseller of the Complainant’s goods;

(g) “[A]t the bottom of the website the following text is inserted ‘((C) 2005-2011 Beijing ICP prepared 10,021,997 Lok Tesco - a leading professional online shopping mall, Copyright and All rights reserved.)” (The reference to ‘Lok Tesco’ is to the Chinese characters ‘乐易购’. ‘Lok’ is the Cantonese pronunciation of ‘乐’ (Le). ‘易购’ (Yigou) is the name of a convenience store chain in China. ‘乐购’ (Legou) is, in fact, the translation of ‘Tesco’ in Chinese.)” The Complainant submitted that if the Respondent was relying on the use of “乐购”, to justify using “Lego” they should have used the pinyin “Legou”; and

(h) No evidence has been found that the Respondent used “Lego” as a company name or has any other legal rights in the name Lego.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain in bad faith on the following grounds:

(a) LEGO is a well-known trade mark;

(b) the Respondent has failed to respond to correspondence from the Complainant;

(c) the Respondent is not a reseller of the Complainant;

(d) the use of sponsored links on the website at the disputed domain name could be a factor indicating bad faith; and

(e) the Respondent must have registered and have been using the disputed domain name while being aware of the Complainant’s rights.

B. Respondent

The Respondent responded as follows:

(a) the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark are not related. The Complainant cannot say that just because the disputed domain name includes “lego” it infringes the Complainant’s intellectual property rights. The Complainant’s Lego products are construction toys for children. The disputed domain name is for the online sale of products. Therefore, the Complainant is in the producing industry, while the Respondent is in the online sale channel field, which is not related to the Complainant.

(b) The Respondent has all the rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The domain name registration rules provides for a “first to register” policy. After registration of the disputed domain name, the Respondent has legally obtained the ICP license and promoted the website.

(c) The fact there are many brands on the Respondent’s website is normal, because it is a B2C online shop.

(d) The Respondent’s Chinese name is “乐易购 “。 “Legoego” is a transliteration not a specific Pinyin translation. For instance, “Google” in Chinese is “谷歌” (“Guge” in Pinyin), which is a transliteration not a Pinyin translation. There are many other examples of such transliteration.

(e) The disputed domain name is not being used in bad faith. Since legally registering the disputed domain name, the Respondent has used it legitimately. The fact there are links to other sites on the website is normal. It is designed to increase traffic to the site.

(f) The Complaint claims it has tried to contact the Respondent in various emails. The Respondent admits he/she has indeed received those emails, but because the Respondent did not understand, he/she did not respond.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name is made up of “lego” and the word “ego”. The first part is identical to the Complainant’s trademark. The second part is similar to the Complainant’s trademark save for the removal of the letter “l”.

The first element of the UDRP is generally considered a standing issue. (See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overiew 2.0”, para 1.1). The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark LEGO.

B&C. Rights or Legitimate Interests/Registered and Used in Bad Faith

In this case, whether the Respondent has rights and legitimate interests and whether he has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith are tied together.

The Complainant does not have a trademark registration in China for “Lego” for online sales1. There is no evidence of any sales by the Respondent outside China. There are no sales of the Complainant’s core products namely toys and related products on the Respondent’s website. The Panel also notes from visiting the Respondent’s website that the links identified by the Complainant that are alleged to be sponsored links are in fact links to pages on the website selling the products in question. The Panel also accepts that in appropriate cases, a domain name registrant may choose a fanciful transliteration of Chinese characters and a registrant is not obliged strictly to follow Pinyin spelling.

On the other hand, the Respondent has not provided a completely satisfactory explanation for the choice of the domain name. To this panel, “Legoego” is not the most obvious choice for an online shop trading under the name “Le-Yi-Gou”. It does not seem to the Panel to be a transliteration as submitted by the Respondent. If the Respondent’s transliteration submission was correct, it seems to this Panel that, “乐易购” should be “le-e-go”, but not “le-go-e-go”. There is the addition of an additional syllable “go”. The Respondent stated it did not respond to correspondence from the Complainant because it did not understand the correspondence. This may be true, but the correspondence from the Centre was sent to the Respondent in Chinese and English.

The Panel accepts on the basis of the evidence filed that the Complainant’s trade mark LEGO is well known and entitled to protection under Article 6bis of the Paris Convention.

This Panel finds the question to be determined in the particular circumstances of this case therefore to be: what level of protection should be given to a well known mark when it is being used (as presently) as part of a domain name for unrelated goods or services?

The Panel finds this requires consideration of Article 6(bis) of the Paris Convention and Article 16(3) of the TRIPS Agreement. Denmark and China are both members of the Paris Convention and the WTO, so it is appropriate to refer to these international agreements.

Article 6bis(1) of the Paris Convention provides:

“The countries of the Union undertake, ex officio if their legislation so permits, or at the request of an interested party, to refuse or to cancel the registration, and to prohibit the use, of a trademark which constitutes a reproduction, an imitation, or a translation, liable to create confusion, of a mark considered by the competent authority of the country of registration or use to be well known in that country as being already the mark of a person entitled to the benefits of this Convention and used for identical or similar goods. These provisions shall also apply when the essential part of the mark constitutes a reproduction of any such well-known mark or an imitation liable to create confusion therewith.”

Article 16(3) of TRIPS provides:

“Article 6bis of the Paris Convention (1967) shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to goods or services which are not similar to those in respect of which a trademark is registered, provided that use of that trademark in relation to those goods or services would indicate a connection between those goods or services and the owner of the registered trademark and provided that the interests of the owner of the registered trademark are likely to be damaged by such use.”

Article 16(3) gives protection to a well-known mark when it is used in relation to goods or services that are not similar to those for which the mark is registered. This article sets two factors that need to be present to give cross-class protection to a well-known mark:

1. The use indicates a connection between the goods or services and the owner of the registered trademark (this effectively covers and expands the test of likelihood of confusion in Article 6(bis) of the Paris Convention); and

2. The interests of the owner of the registered trademark are likely to be damaged by such use.

The Complainant’s submissions in this regard were:

“According to the provisions of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for protection of Industrial Property, confirmed and extended by Article 16.2 and Article 16.3 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS Agreement”), the statute of a well-known trademark provides the owner of such a trademark with the right to prevent any use of the well-known trademark or a confusingly similar denomination in connection with any products or services (i.e. regardless of the list of the products and services for which the trademark is registered). Thus, the protection for LEGO goes far beyond toys and goods similar to toys.” [Emphasis in the original Complaint]

“Anyone who sees the Domain Name is bound to mistake it for a name related to the Complainant. The likelihood of confusion includes an obvious association with the trademark of the Complainant. With reference to the reputation of the trademark LEGO there is a considerable risk that the trade public will perceive the Respondent’s Domain Name either as a domain name owned by the Complainant or that there is some kind of commercial relation with the Complainant. The trademark also risk being tarnished by being connected to a website. By using the trademark as a dominant part of the Domain Name, the Respondent exploits the goodwill and the image of the trademark, which may result in dilution and other damage for the Complainant’s trademark. Persons seeing the Domain Name at issue, even without being aware of the content, are likely to think that the Domain Name is in some way connected to the Complainant, (‘initial interest confusion’).”

The Panel finds, however, that the Paris Convention and TRIPS do not give blanket protection to well-known marks as submitted by the Complainant. A connection between the mark and the goods or services must be formed and the interests of the owner must be likely to be damaged by the use.

The Complainant argues that the requisite connection and damage will be caused by “initial interest confusion”. “Initial interest confusion” is a doctrine that was developed in the United States of America and has now been accepted in some other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It has not been properly defined and raises numerous difficult questions as to its scope and application2.

This Panel does not consider that it is necessary in the circumstances of UDRP domain name disputes to make use of the “initial interest confusion” doctrine. Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the UDRP, which sets out evidence of what can be used to show registration and use in bad faith, effectively covers the doctrine. This Panel finds no need to add another doctrine to domain name decision making to solve the merits as this particular case, as the existing provisions of the Policy provide adequate guidance. Paragraph 4(b)(iv) provides:

“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.”

An intentional attempt to attract users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion as to source or affiliation is effectively what is meant by “initial interest confusion.” In the case of a well known mark, there is a greater likelihood of confusion as to source or affiliation. There will be many cases, when the requirements of Article 16(3) of the TRIPS Agreement are clearly made out, or can be clearly inferred, by the mere nature of the disputed domain name.

However, in the Panel’s view based on the available evidence, this is not the case with the disputed domain name <legoego.com>. The disputed domain name does not by its mere nature, to this panel, suggest the domain name is connected or affiliated in some way with the Complainant, even when taking into account that LEGO is a well known mark. “Ego” has no meaning in English that suggests a link with the Complainant. This Panel is not satisfied that an Internet user will necessarily look at the disputed domain name and consider there is an affiliation or connection with the Complainant, its products or services: It is certainly possible, but does not strike the Panel as more likely than not based on the evidence of filed in this case.

This is not the end of the matter however, as paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy does allow a panel to consider the content of the website to determine if there is a likelihood of confusion as to the products or services being offered.

In this case, on the evidence before the Panel it appears the Respondent is running a legitimate business and not selling any products which compete with the Complainant or are likely to damage the Complainant’s brand; there is no use of the trademark LEGO by itself on the website; and there is no other evidence of any likely damage to the interests of the Complainant or to its trademark LEGO.

The Panel therefore finds that, on the evidence before it, it cannot conclude that the Respondent has been using the disputed domain name <legoego.com> in bad faith. Having reached its conclusion, the Panel does not need to decide if the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith or has rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Accordingly, somewhat reluctantly, the Panel has determined to deny the Complaint.

This determination is made without prejudice to the Complainant filing a new complaint with additional evidence (or bringing a complaint in the national courts).

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, the Complaint is denied.

Douglas Clark
Sole Panelist
Dated: September 20, 2012


Appendix 1 (Chinese Translation)

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

行政专家组裁决

LEGO Juris A/S 诉 Congjun Zhang

案件编号:D2012-0614

1. 当事人双方

本案投诉人是LEGOJuris A/S,其位于丹麦Billund。投诉人的授权代理人是瑞典的Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services。

本案被投诉人是CongjunZhang,其位于中国北京。

2.争议域名及注册机构

本案所争议的域名是<legoego.com>(“争议域名”)。上述域名的注册机构是China Springboard, Inc.。

3. 案件程序

世界知识产权组织(WIPO)仲裁与调解中心(下称“中心” )于2012年3月23日收到投诉书。2012年3月23日,中心向争议域名注册机构China Springboard, Inc.发出电子邮件,请其对争议域名所涉及的有关注册事项予以确认。2012年年3月26日,China Springboard, Inc.通过电子邮件发出确认答覆。注册机构确认被投诉人是该域名的注册人,并提供其详细联系办法。2012年3月30日,中心用中文和英文向双方当事人发送了关于行政程序语言的电子邮件。2012年4月2日,投诉人确认其请求用英文作为行政程序语言。被投诉人于截至日期前没有对行政程序语言作出评论。

中心确认,投诉书符合《统一域名争议解决政策》(下称“政策” 或”UDRP”)、《统一域名争议解决政策规则》(下称“规则” )及《世界知识产权组织统一域名争议解决政策补充规则》(下称“补充规则” )规定的形式要求。

根据规则第2条(a)项与第4条(a)项,中心于2012年4月5日正式向被投诉人发出投诉书通知,行政程序于2012年4月5日开始。根据规则第5条(a)项,提交答辩书的截止日期是2012年4月25日。被投诉人没有作出任何答辩。中心于2012年4月30日寄出被投诉人缺席的通知。

2012年5月7日,中心指定Douglas Clark为独任专家审理本案。专家组认为其己适当成立。专家组按中心为确保规则第7条得到遵守所规定的要求,提交了《接受书和公正独立声明》。

注册协议所用的语言是中文。投诉人申请用英语为行政程序的语言或请求允许投诉人用英文去提交投诉书以及若被投诉人请求,允许被投诉人使用中文提交其答辩书。申请原因如下:

a)投诉人曾向被投诉人寄出英文的警告信而被投诉人并没有作出回应。投诉人认为被投诉人应该至少向投诉人回复其不懂英文;和

b)争议域名包括商标LEGO和英文单词"ego",因此争议域名可认为是以会英语的人为目标。

被投诉人没有就行政程序语言作出任何回应,按照中心的程序该行政程序语言的通知是以中文和英文寄出的。在许多UDRP案件中,专家组裁定这足以准许投诉人使用非注册协议语言提交其投诉书。

本案的某些特定情况令专家组认为要求投诉人翻译至少事实上及法律上的原因是适当的,理由如下:

(a) 没有任何证据表明被投诉人熟悉英文。争议域名的整个网站是中文的,并清楚地表明是用于在中国做生意的;

(b) 投诉人的一些事实主张似乎没有相关证据支持;

(c) 投诉人没有准确地将被投诉人的中文名称翻译成英文;及

(d) 投诉人的基本主张是根据《巴黎公》第6条和《与贸易有关的知识产权协议》第16.2和16.3条, 投诉人的商标LEGO应该享受驰名商标保护。投诉人提出的一项法律主张并不受其援引的相关法条的支持。

专家组因而要求投诉人将投诉书的事实及法律部分翻译成中文,被投诉人应于翻译本送达后十四日内作出答辩(如有)。

投诉人在2012年6月19日提交了投诉书的中文译本。被投诉人在时限内,即2012年7月3日作出了答辩。投诉人用电子邮件对被投诉人的答辩作出了简短的回应。该回应只用英文且没有对投诉书中提到的事项作任何补充。基于对被投诉人的公平,专家组特别说明将不会考虑投诉人的此份补充材料。

鉴于本案所涉及的问题,专家组认为用英文和中文作出裁决是适当的。裁决的作准文本将以英文作出。并且专家组将作出中文译本,并将列为附录1(中文翻译)以便参阅。如在任何情况下英文裁决和中文译本有任何不一致,应以英文裁决作为作准文本。

4. 基本事实

投诉人,总部设于丹麦,是商标LEGO和其他与LEGO品牌有关的商标的玩具产品和其他LEGO品牌产品的所有人。投诉人和它的授权人,通过他们的前任者,在1953年于美利坚合众国(美国)使用商标LEGO,以识别它们制造及售卖的建筑玩具。

多年来,LEGO品牌玩具的生产和销售业务有显著增长。例如,在2009年,LEGO集团的收入超过28亿美元。投诉人的子公司和分支机构遍布世界各地,LEGO的产品销往超过130个国家和地区,包括中国。投诉人于2007年在北京开设了一家旗舰店。

LEGO商标于1994年首次在中国注册。

投诉人还拥有超过2400个包含“Lego”的域名。

争议域名<legoego.com>于2011年6月17日注册。争议域名指向一个名为“乐易购”的购物网站。“乐易购”的中文(普通话)发音是"Le-Yi-Gou",译为"快乐容易地购物"。该购物网站售卖各种产品包括服装和电子产品。该购物网站似乎是合法的业务。没有任何证据证明它是不合法的。基于此裁决的目的,专家组将以它为一个合法的企业为基础来进行裁决.

5. 当事人双方主张

A. 投诉人

投诉人声称,争议域名<legoego.com>与投诉人商标相同或混淆性相似,因为争议域名是由投诉人商标LEGO 和英文单词"Ego"所组成的。

投诉人声称,被投诉人对争议域名不享有权利或合法利益,理由如下;

(a) 被投诉人没有任何与争议域名有关的商标;

(b) 被投诉人没有以任何能够表明它具有任何权利或合法利益的方式使用争议域名;

(c) 投诉人从来没有授权或许可被投诉人使用包括"Lego"的域名;

(d) 被投诉人在注册争议域名时必定知道投诉人对LEGO享有权利;

(e) 被投诉人使用争议域名提供“Zippo”、“Homes”“Thinkpad”等第三方网站的链接;

(f) 被投诉人不是投诉人产品的授权经销商;

(g) 在其网页的底部,被投诉人插入了以下文字((C) 2005-2011 京 ICP 备 10,021,997 号乐易购–领先的专业网上购物商城版权所有,并保留所有权利)。-( "Lok Tesco"的中文意思是"乐易购"。"Lok"是广东话"乐"的发音。"易购"(Yigou)是一所中国连锁便利店的名字。"乐购" (Legou)其实是英文"Tesco "的中文翻译。) 投诉人认为如果被投诉人是要依靠"乐购"来辩解"Lego"的使用,他们应用拼音"Legou";及

(h) 没有任何证据表明被投诉人将争议域名用作公司名称,或享有 Lego名称 下的任何合法权利。

投诉人声称被投诉人因为以下的原因恶意注册及使用争议域名:

(a) LEGO是一个驰名商标;

(b) 被投诉人没有回应的投诉人的信函;

(c) 被投诉人不是投诉人产品的授权经销商;

(d) 在争议域名指向的网站上,赞助商的链接可以是一个表明恶意的因素;及

(e) 被投诉人在注册和使用争议域名时,必定知悉投诉人的权利。

B. 被投诉人

被投诉人的回应如下:

(a) 被投诉人的争议域名和投诉人的商标没有关联。投诉人不能因为争议域名包含了lego就主张被投诉人侵犯了投诉人的知识产权。投诉人的产品是儿童建筑玩具。 争议域名是做购物网站使用。因此,投诉人是做产品生产的,被投诉人是做网络购物渠道的,跟投诉人没有任何关系。

(b) 被投诉人享有争议域名的全部权利和合法利益。根据域名注册规则,谁先注册,谁先拥有。注册该争议域名之后,被投诉人是合法地拥有ICP牌照从而进行网站推广。

(c) 由于被投诉人是一个B2C购物网站,被投诉人网站有很多知名商品是很正常的事。

(d) 被投诉人网站的中文名字叫"乐易购"。 "Legoego" 是一个"音译"而不是一个"拼音词"。例如,"Google" 的中文是"谷歌"(拼音:Guge),是一个"音译"而不是一个"拼音词"。这种"音译"还有很多例子。

(e) 争议域名没有任何恶意使用。被投诉人合法注册了争议域名之后,一直在合法使用。网站上有链接是正常的,其目的是增加网站的访问量。

(f) 投诉人主张一直在联系被投诉人。被投诉人承认他/她的确曾经收到那些电邮,但是被投诉人没有看懂是什么内容,所以一直没有答复。

6. 分析与认定

A. 相同或混淆性相似

争议域名是由"lego"和"ego"所组成的。第一部分与投诉人的商标相同。第二部分与投诉人的商标相似,只是将字母"I"除去。

UDRP的第一要素通常都被认为是关于投诉的基础的问题。 (参考WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overiew 2.0”), 第1.1段)。因此专家组认为该争议域名与投诉人的注册商标LEGO混淆性相似。

B.&C. 权利或合法利益&恶意注册和使用域名

在本案情况下,被投诉人是否拥有权利和合法利益,以及他是否恶意注册和使用争议域名是连系在一起的。

投诉人并没有在中国注册“Lego”商标用于网上销售3。没有证据证明被投诉人在中国以外的地方进行售卖。被投诉人的网站上并没有出售投诉人的主要产品,即玩具和相关产品。该专家组亦从访问被投诉人的网站发现那些被投诉人认为是赞助商的链接其实是指向被投诉人网站销售的相关的产品的链接。该专家组亦接受在适当的情况下,一个域名的登记人可以选择一个设想出来的中文音译,且他/她不需要严格地遵循拼音的拼法。

另一方面,被投诉人没有就争议域名的选择提供一个另人完全满意的解释。本案专家组认为,"Legoego"不是对于在"乐易购"名下交易的网上商店的名称的最明显的选择。对该专家组来说,这不是被投诉人所声称的一种音译。如果被投诉人所声称的音译是正确的话,对该专家组来说,"乐易购"应该是"le-e-go"而并非"le-go-e-go"。在这里有添加一个额外的音节"go"。被投诉人声称他/她因为不明白投诉人的信函所以没有回应该信函。这也许是真实的,但是由中心发送的信函是中文和英文的。

专家组基于已提交的证据认为投诉人的商标LEGO是一个驰名商标,应受到《巴黎公约》第6bis(1)条的保护。

专家组认为在本案特定情况下需要解决的问题是:当一个驰名商标被用于与它不相关的商品或服务的域名的一部分时,应给予怎样的保护?

专家组认为这需要考虑《巴黎公约》第6(2)条及《与贸易有关的知识产权协议》第16(3)条。丹麦及中国都是《巴黎公约》和世界贸易组织的成员,所以参考这些国际协议是适当的。

《巴黎公约》第6bis(1)条提及:

• 本联盟各国承诺,如本国法律允许,应依职权,或依有关当事人的请求,对商标注册或使用国主管机关认为在该国已经属于有权享受本公约利益的人所有而驰名、并且用于相同或类似商品的商标构成复制、仿制或翻译,易于产生混淆的商标,拒绝或取消注册,并禁止使用。这些规定,在商标的主要部分构成对上述驰名商标的复制或仿制,易于产生混淆时,也应运用。

《与贸易有关的知识产权协议》第16(3)条提到:

• (一九六七年)巴黎公约第6bis条之规定于使用他人注册商标于不同于该商标所指定使用之商品和服务时准用之,但该商标于不同商品或服务之使用造成与注册商标专用权人间之联系,致商标专用权人之利益有因该使用受到侵害之虞者为限。

第16(3)条针对驰名商标在被用于与该商标注册时所保护的的商品或服务不同的产品或服务给予保护。该条给予驰名商标跨类保护设置了两个必须存在的因素:

1. 该商标的使用表明商品或服务与注册商标的拥有者之间有联系(这有效地覆盖和扩大了《巴黎公约》第6bis条之混淆的可能性的判断标准);及

2. 注册商标所有人的利益可能会受到损害。

投诉人在这方面的主场为:

"根据《保护工业产权的巴黎公约》(“PC”)第6bis 条的规定,及对此加以论证及延伸的《与贸易有关的知识产权协议》(“TRIPS 协议”)第16.2和 16.3条的规定,驰名商标的法律规则赋予此类商标持有者阻止他人以任意形式使用此驰名商标或在任意产品或服务(即不论该商标注册时所限的产品和服务名录)上采用与驰名商标具有混淆性相似名称的权利。因此,LEGO的受保护范围不限于玩具以及与玩具相似的商品。”[重点标注同原本]

“任何人看到本域名都会不可避免地将其误认为是与投诉人相关的名称。其混淆可能性包括与投诉人所持有商标的明显关联。鉴于商标LEGO 所拥有的知名度,公众极有可能将被投诉人的域名理解为投诉人持有的域名,或是与投诉人存在某种商业关系。LEGO商标也存在因与争议域名网站有关而被损害的危险。通过将本商标用作本域名的主要部分,被投诉人利用了本商标的商誉以及形象,这有可能会给投诉人的商标造成淡化以及其他危害。人们看到争议中的本域名时,即使不知道内容,也很可能会认为本域名在某些方面与原告存在联系。("初始兴趣混淆")

但是,专家组认为《巴黎公约》和《与贸易有关的知识产权协议》规定的不是如投诉人上述的对驰名商标的完全性保护。驰名商标和被用于的商品或服务必须有关联及驰名商标所有人的利益必须是很可能因为该使用而受到损害。

投诉人主张"初始兴趣混淆"将会构成需要的关联及损害。 "初始兴趣混淆"是一个由美国发展的原则,现已被其他司法管辖区例如英国所接纳。该原则并没有适当的解释且衍生出了许多关于其范围和应用的棘手问题4

本案专家组不认为在政策下的域名争议需要应用"初始兴趣混淆"学说。政策的第4(b)(iv)段说明了什么证据可能用来证明恶意注册和使用,实际上包含了该学说。本案专家组认为为裁决本案,现有的政策规定足以提供指导,不需要为政策已有的规定添加另一学说。

政策的第4(b)(iv)段规定:

"你方使用该域名是企图故意吸引互联网用户访问你方网站或其他在线网址以获得商业利益,方法是使你方网站或网址或者该网站或网址上的产品或服务的来源、赞助商、从属关系或认可与投诉人的标记具有相似性从而使人产生混淆。"

"初始兴趣混淆"是故意试图利用用户对来源或从属产生混淆的可能性而吸引一些用户到一个网站。在一个涉及驰名商标的案件里会有更大的对来源或从属产生混淆的可能性。有很多案件是争议域名本身的性质满足《与贸易有关的知识产权协议》第16(3)条的要求,或可以清楚明确地推断出此结论,。

不过,本专家组根据现有的证据认为,争议域名<legoego.com>不是这种情况。该争议域名,对本专家组来说,并不因为它本身的性质而产生该争议域名与投诉人有任何联系或从属关系,即使考虑到LEGO是一个驰名商标。"Ego"在英文中并没有影射与投诉人的任何联系。本专家组并不认可互联网用户看到争议域名时一定会考虑其与投诉人及其产品或服务有隶属关系或联系的说法。毫无疑问这种可能性存在,但根据本案所提供的证据,本专家组并不认为这是更有可能的。

然而,这不代表所有问题已解决,政策第4(b)(iv)条允许专家组考虑网站的内容来判网站所提供的有关产品或服务所混淆的可能性大小。

本案中,根据现有的证据,专家组认为被投诉人似乎是合法地经营其业务,且没有出售任何与投诉人竞争或可能损害投诉人品牌的产品。网站上并没有使用LEGO商标本身;以及没有任何证明对投诉人的权利或它的商标LEGO可能产生损害的证据。

因此,专家组根据现有的证据,认为不能推断出被投诉人恶意地使用争议域名<legoego.com>。作出该结论后,该专家组不需要决定被投诉人有否恶意地注册争议域名或就争议域名享有权利和合法利益。

因此,虽然仍有一些犹豫,专家组决定驳回投诉。

该裁决并不影响投诉人在提出新证据的情况提起新的投诉(或在国内法院起诉)。

7. 裁决

鉴于上述所有理由,投诉被予以驳回。

Douglas Clark
独任专家
日期: 2012 年9月20日


1 The Complainant does have a Class 35 registration in China, however, it does not cover online sales.

2 See, the decision of Arnold J in the English High Court in Och-Ziff Management Europe Ltd & Anor v Och Capital LLP & Anor [2010] EWHC 2599 (Ch), paras 79 to 1010. He reviews the US cases on initial interest confusion and then considered whether it applies in English law. See also, 1) the dissenting panelist’s decision in Aspis Liv Försäkrings AB v. Neon Network, LLC, WIPO Case No. D2008-0387 and 2) the recent American decision of Dwyer Instruments, Inc. v. Sensocon, Inc., 2012 WL 2049921 (N.D. Ind. June 5, 2012) which criticized the overclaiming of initial interest confusion in Internet search cases.

3 投诉人在中国有第35类有注册商标,但不包括网上销售。

4 见英国高等法院Arnold法官在Och-Ziff Management Europe Ltd &Anor v Och Capital LLP &Anor [2010] EWHC 2599 (Ch), 第79至 110段的判决. 他分析美国法院对初始兴趣混淆的判例,考虑它在英国法律是否适用。另见, 1) 在A spisLivFörsäkrings AB v. Neon Network, LLC WIPO 案件编号 D2008-0387持反对意见的专家组成员意见及 2)最近美国的判决 Dwyer Instruments, Inc. v. Sensocon, Inc., 2012 WL 2049921 (N.D. Ind. June 5, 2012)。它批评在因特网检索案件对初始兴趣混淆的过分要求。

 

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