World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. v. David Waasdorp

Case No. D2012-1094

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Inter IKEA Systems B.V. of Delft, the Netherlands, represented by Studio Barbero, Italy.

The Respondent is David Waasdorp of Duarte, California, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <ikeacart.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 24, 2012. On May 25, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 28, 2012, 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. Additionally, on May 24, 2012, the Center received two email communications from the Respondent.

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 May 30, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 19, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 21, 2012.

The Center appointed Martin Michaus Romero as the sole panelist in this matter on June 27, 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 is the owner of over 1400 international and national IKEA trademark registrations worldwide, including several community trademark registrations, international registrations, as well as United States of America (“US”) trademark registrations, as appears in Annexes 4.1 to 4.8 to the Complaint.

In the early 1940’s the Complainant established a successful furniture company and formed a business recognized by consumers around the world under the IKEA trademark. Its business model is developed through a franchise system in which only approved and licensed retailers are authorized to participate in the exclusive distribution system and make use of the IKEA trademark.

According to the Complainant, the IKEA trademark has become one of the most recognized trademarks in the world, as Interbrand considered as a leading brand-metrics company. It is recognized as one of the top one hundred most valuable brands in the world. Likewise, Millward Brown Optimor, the brand valuation company, has recognized IKEA in 2011 as one of the 100 most valuable brands in the world and the 10th most valuable brand in the “Retail” sector.

The IKEA trademark has an important presence in the Internet, due to the Complainant utilizing the IKEA trademark in over 200 generic top-level (gTLD) and country-code top-level (ccTLD) domain names registrations, and operating its official website “www.ikea.com” as its primary presence on the Internet for global promotion, as it is demonstrated in Annex 10 to the Complaint.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant states in its Complaint:

- The Respondent registered the disputed domain name incorporating the IKEA trademark without the Complainant’s knowledge or authorization;

- As a consequence, the Complainant sent a cease and desist letter dated July 28, 2011 to the Respondent’s email address indicated in the WhoIs record, requesting that the Respondent transfer the disputed domain name to it;

- The Respondent failed to reply and comply with the Complainant’s demands;

- The Complainant sent several reminders. On March 1, 2012, the privacy service utilized by the Respondent replied to the Complainant stating that the registrant had failed to maintain valid contact information. Therefore, it disclosed the underlying registrant information it had on file. The Complainant sent a fourth reminder to the registrant directly at a newly disclosed email address;

- After a fifth cease and desist reminder, the Respondent replied stating that it was willing to cooperate and requesting further instructions. After the Complainant sent the Respondent instructions for securely transferring the disputed domain name, the Respondent responded on May 8, 2012 stating that it deleted the domain name. Consequently, on May 8, 2012, the Complainant wrote an email to the Registrar requesting instructions on how best to ensure successful registration;

- Considering that by filing a backorder would not guarantee the registration of the disputed domain name, the Complainant considered that the best option to protect and enforce its intellectual property rights was to file the present Complaint;

- In its Complaint, the Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its IKEA mark, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not formally reply to the Complainant’s contentions. However, on May 24, 2012, the Center received two email communications from the Respondent wherein it stated, inter alia, the following: “I canceled the domain in the Godaddy control panel but I don't know why it is now showing the site again. I deleted the content from the site. in the Godaddy control panel it says On Hold - Domain Dispute and I can't do anything to it. Is there anything else I can do? Dave”.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the IKEA trademark of the Complainant as demonstrated in Annexes 4.1 to 4.8 to the Complaint, as the IKEA trademark is reproduced in it, with only the addition of descriptive terms.

The Panel finds that the first element of the Policy has been met.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The uncontested evidence indicates to the Panel that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not received permission nor authorization to use the trademark IKEA. There is no evidence that the Respondent is (an individual, business or corporation) known by the name IKEA. Further, at the time of the filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name did not resolve to an active website offering any goods or services, due apparently to the Respondent’s own actions in response to the Complainant’s cease and desist letter. Likewise, the Respondent did not provide any evidence or arguments to prove any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Panel finds that the second element of the Policy has been met.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Based on the statements and documents submitted, the Panel considers that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith, as the Panel finds under the circumstances that the Respondent has intentionally traded on the goodwill of the Complainant’s mark. The Panel further finds that the Respondent’s attempt to delete the disputed domain name as stated in its email of May 24, 2012 suggests that the Respondent was acting in bad faith when registering and using the disputed domain name, and is further indicative of it having no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Thus, paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy is satisfied.

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 domain name <ikeacart.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Martin Michaus Romero
Sole Panelist
Dated: July 11, 2012

 

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