WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. RojIT Corporation
Case No. D2012-1330
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Aktiebolaget Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services, Sweden.
The Respondent is RojIT Corporation of Stockholm, Sweden.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <electrolux-iran.com> is registered with OnlineNic, Inc. d/b/a China-Channel.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 29, 2012. On June 29, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to OnlineNic, Inc. d/b/a China-Channel.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 2, 2012, OnlineNic, Inc. d/b/a China-Channel.com 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 July 3, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 23, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 24, 2012.
The Center appointed Gunnar Karnell as the sole panelist in this matter on August 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.
On August 7, 2012, the Respondent transmitted to the Center by email two documents, neither accompanied by or themselves containing any statement about their possible relevance as a response to the claim and contentions of the Complainant, nor providing any information about an inability to provide a statement of the kind.
Referring to paragraph 14 of the Rules, the Panel chooses to disregard the content of the Respondent’s tardy filing.
4. Factual Background
The disputed domain name <elextrolux-iran.com> was created on December 6, 2007.
The Complainant has requested that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant is a Swedish joint stock company founded in 1901 and registered as a Swedish company in 1919. It is a world leading producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen and cleaning. In 2010 it had sales of SEK 109 billion and 55,150 employees. Due to extensive and long-term use on products and services by the Complainant and in connection therewith the trademark ELECTROLUX has acquired the status as a well-known trademark within the areas for appliances and equipment for kitchen, cleaning and outdoor products. The trademarks, products and services designated by the trademark ELECTROLUX are connected with good reputation and international recognition.
The Complainant has registered the trademark ELECTROLUX in several classes in more than 150 countries, including Sweden. It was widely registered long before the registration of the disputed domain name (e.g. CTM reg. September 16, 1998, No. 000077925). It has also been registered as a domain name under almost 700 gTLDs and ccTLDs worldwide. The awareness of the trademark is considered to be significant in the whole Community. The statute as a well-known trademark provides the Complainant as its owner a legal protection for the trademark that goes far beyond such appliances and equipment that has been mentioned above.
The disputed domain name contains and it is confusingly similar to the trademark ELECTROLUX. The suffix “iran” together with a hyphen is irrelevant and will not have any influence on the overall impression of the dominant part of the disputed domain name, ELECTROLUX being instantly recognizable as the Complainant’s world famous trademark. The suffix “iran” refers to the country Iran. The Company behind the website to which the disputed domain name gives access is not the present Respondent but an Iranian company who was a former reseller of the Complainant. The Complainant has no relationship with the Respondent. It is likely that consumers will be deceived to believe that products offered under the disputed domain name originate from an Iranian company affiliated with the Complainant.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not an authorized dealer of the Complainant’s products and has never had a business or other relationship with the Complainant. The Complainant has found no indication that the Respondent has any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the disputed domain name nor that the Respondent has used ELECTROLUX in any other way that would provide any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with any bona fide offering of goods or services. Presently, it redirects to a website http://www.electrsepher.com/fa?current=home>ype=100. There displayed, are two trademark logotypes owned by the Complainant, AEG and ELECTROLUX, together with a logotype “es” and the words “Electro Sepehr”. Clicking on any of the two trademarks directs the visitor to a commercial site which appears to offer Electrolux products. The Respondent has intentionally chosen the disputed domain name in order to create the impression of an affiliation with the Complainant and to generate traffic to a commercial website, thereby tarnishing the reputation of the ELECTROLUX trademark. The company behind the website just mentioned is not the registered owner of the disputed domain name. It was once the Complainant’s reseller in Iran, buying its products from a partner of the Complainant in Germany which has since long time ended this relationship and has another reseller in Iran. The owner of the disputed domain name is, originally and since its registration, the Respondent, a Swedish company. The use of the Complainant’s ELECTROLUX logotype on the website is clearly designed to imply a connection between the Complainant and the Respondent that in fact does not exist. The copyright notice “©2009, All Rights Reserved” displayed in grey on black background on a sub site of the website can be wrongly understood as the Respondent having copyrights in the ELECTROLUX mark.
The disputed domain name was registered and it is being used in bad faith. The Complainant’s trademark ELECTROLUX is well-known and has a substantial and widespread reputation throughout the world. There is no doubt that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s rights in its trademark and its value at the point of registration. The Complainant first contacted the Respondent by letter in 2009. The Respondent then agreed to transfer the disputed domain name to the Complainant but failed to do so. A new cease and desist letter was sent on October 21, 2011 by email followed by a remainder on November 2, 2011. The failure of the Respondent to respond supports an inference of bad faith. The Respondent is presently using the disputed domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website run by a company named “Sepehr Electric” which seems intent on selling Electrolux products through the website. Consequently, the Respondent, by using the disputed domain name, is creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website.
See above under number 3.
6. Discussion and Findings
The factual foundation of the Complainant’s contentions, as presented by the Complainant, while supporting its non-contradicted request for transfer of the disputed domain name by written evidence and ample reference to earlier UDRP case decisions, leads the Panel to the following conclusions:
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name fully incorporates the Complainant’s multi-registered and well-known trademark ELECTROLUX together with the word “iran”. The latter does not dispel confusion. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made evident that it has not licensed or otherwise authorised the Respondent to use its trademark. Also, the Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by the disputed domain name and it is evidently not making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of it.
The Complainant has established a prima facie case of lack of rights and legitimate interests and there has been no rebuttal from the Respondent. Nothing in the admitted case file gives reason to believe that the Respondent has or has had any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights and no legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Absent any indication in the admitted case file of elements that might tell against giving credence to the Complainant’s assertions regarding facts leading up to its conclusions that the disputed domain name <electrolux-iran.com> has been registered and used in bad faith, the Panel confirms that the conditions for transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant are satisfied.
Given the notoriety of the Complainant’s trademark and the use of the disputed domain name, the Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and its trademark, and that therefore the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith. Furthermore, the Panel notes that by use of the disputed domain name in connection with a website that appears to offer the Complainant’s products the Respondent used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <electrolux-iran.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: August 13, 2012