World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, DomainsByProxy.com and Kriengsak Vadpanich

Case No. D2012-1132

1. The Parties

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

The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, DomainsByProxy.com of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America and Kriengsak Vadpanich of Bangkok, Thailand.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <electroluxcordlessvacuums.info> and <electrolux-vacuums.info> are registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”)

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 1, 2012. On June 1, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On June 5, 2012, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent “Kriengsak Vadpanich” 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 June 6, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 26, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 27, 2012.

The Center appointed Young Kim as the sole panelist in this matter on July 6, 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 has registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a word and figure mark in several classes in more than 150 countries all over the world. The Complainant has also registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as domain names under almost 700 generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) worldwide, including <electrolux.com>, <electrolux.net>, <electrolux.info> and <electrolux.org>.

The disputed domain names <electroluxcordlessvacuums.info> and <electrolux-vacuums.info> were registered on February 4, 2012 and February 8, 2012, respectively.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant avers that the Complainant, AB Electrolux, is a Swedish joint stock company founded in 1901 and registered as a Swedish company in 1919. The Complainant avers that it is a leading producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen, cleaning and outdoor use.

The Complainant alleges that its ELECTROLUX trademarks and the products and services designated by this trademark are connected with good reputation and international recognition.

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the trademark ELECTROLUX. The Complainant alleges that the addition of the suffixes “-vacuums” and “cordlessvacuums” is not relevant and will not have any impact on the overall impression of the dominant part of the name, ELECTROLUX, instantly recognizable as a world famous trademark. The Complainant also alleges that the addition of the top-level domain (TLD) “info” does not have any impact on the overall impression of the dominant portion of the disputed domain names and is therefore irrelevant to determine the confusing similarity of the trademark.

The Complainant contends that it has not found that the Respondent has any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the disputed domain names. The Complainant also contends that no license or authorization of any other kind, has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent, to use the Complainant’s trademark.

The Complainant contends that the mere registration of a domain name does not give the owner a right or a legitimate interest in respect of a domain name.

The Complainant also contends that it has not found anything that would suggest that the Respondent has been using ELECTROLUX in any other way that would give him any legitimate rights in the name.

The Complainant alleges that the trademark ELECTROLUX belonging to the Complainant has the status of a well-known and reputed trademark with a substantial and widespread reputation throughout the whole European Community and throughout the world. The Complainant further alleges that the considerable value and goodwill of the mark ELECTROLUX is most likely a large contribution to this and also what made the Respondent register the disputed domain names.

The Complainant contends that it obtained from Domainsbyproxy.com the contact details of the registrant on April 9, 2012, and then tried to contact the Respondent on April 17, 2012 through a cease and desist letter, sent by email. The Complainant further contends that no response was received so two reminders were sent on May 9 and May 11, 2012, respectively.

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain names are currently connected to websites containing links to “www.amazon.com” where products both related and non-related to the Complainant are offered, and that the Respondent derives income once a visitor clicks on the links and is redirected to “www.amazon.com”. The Complainant alleges that the Respondent has not implied in any means, through letters or through its website that they have any other intentions with the registration of the disputed domain names other than to profit from it.

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain names are used to attract visitors by including the trademark ELECTROLUX. The Complainant also alleges that the Respondent knew of the trademark ELECTROLUX at the time of registration and therefore the Respondent has entered the registration agreement knowing that they registered the disputed domain names infringing on a third party right.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain names is in bad faith since the disputed domain names are designed to attract Internet users who are looking for the Complainant’s products and cause confusion with the Complainant’s marks and websites and disrupt the Complainant’s business by diverting consumers away from the Complainant’s official website “www.electrolux.com”.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires the Complainant to prove that:

(i) the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark to which the Complainant has rights;

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

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

Each of these three elements is discussed below.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel agrees with the Complainant that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark ELECTROLUX.

The disputed domain names <electrolux-vacuums.info> and <electroluxcordlessvacuums.info> contain the word “electrolux”, which is identical or almost identical to the registered trademark ELECTROLUX.

In view of the evidence submitted by the Complainant, the Panel agrees with the Complainant that the trademark ELECTROLUX is a well-known trademark. The trademark has been registered and used in more than 150 countries for appliances and equipment for kitchen, cleaning and outdoor use for a long time.

Further, the Panel agrees with the Complainant that the addition of the suffixes “-vacuums” and “cordlessvacuums” is not relevant and will not have any impact on the overall impression of the dominant part of the name, ELECTROLUX, instantly recognizable as a world famous trademark. The Panel notes that the suffixes “-vacuums” and “cordlessvacuums” are generic and descriptive terms of the appliances or equipment for which the Complainant’s trademark ELECTROLUX is used.

The Panel disregards the top-level domain (TLD) “info” in determining the confusing similarity of the trademark.

Thus, the Panel finds that paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant contends that it has not found that the Respondent has any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the disputed domain names. The Complainant also contends that no license or authorization of any other kind, has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent, to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain names are connected to commercial websites linking to “www.amazon.com” where the Complainant’s as well as its competitors’ products are offered. The Complainant alleges that this is not a bona fide offering of goods or services.

On the other hand, the Respondent did not submit any response or argument to the Complaint. There was no explanation or assertion from the Respondent that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain names.

Thus, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has established that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is met.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel agrees with the Complainant that the Respondent knew of the trademark ELECTROLUX at the time of registration of the disputed domain names since the trademark was very well-known well before the registration of the disputed domain names.

The Complainant contends that although it tried to contact the Respondent through a cease and desist letter, no response was received. The Panel agrees with the Complainant that the failure of a respondent to respond to a cease and desist letter, or a similar attempt at contact, may be considered relevant in a finding of bad faith.

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain names are currently connected to websites containing links to “www.amazon.com” where products both related and non-related to the Complainant are offered, and that the Respondent derives income once a visitor clicks on the links and is redirected to “www.amazon.com”.

The Panel also notes that there are links to competing products at the websites to which the disputed domain names resolve.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain names is in bad faith since the disputed domain names are designed to attract Internet users who are looking for the Complainant’s products and cause confusion with the Complainant’s marks and websites and disrupt the Complainant’s business by diverting consumers away from the Complainant’s official website “www.electrolux.com”.

On the other hand, the Respondent did not submit any response or argument to the Complaint.

In view of the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy is met.

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 names <electroluxcordlessvacuums.info> and <electrolux-vacuums.info> be transferred to the Complainant.

Young Kim
Sole Panelist
Date: July 20, 2012

 

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