World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

“Dr. Martens” International Trading GmbH, “Dr. Maertens” Marketing GmbH v. Samland Ltd.

Case No. D2012-1972

1. The Parties

The Complainants are “Dr. Martens” International Trading GmbH of Gräfelfing, Germany, and “Dr. Maertens” Marketing GmbH of Seeshaupt, Germany (the “Complainant”), represented by Beetz & Partner, Germany.

The Respondent is Samland Ltd. of Xiamen, Fujian, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <drmartensoutlet.com> is registered with Bizcn.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 5, 2012. On October 5, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 10, 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. On October 12, 2012, the Center transmitted an email to the parties in both Chinese and English regarding the language of the proceedings. On October 15, 2012, the Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceedings. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the 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 October 19, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 8, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 12, 2012.

The Center appointed Douglas Clark as the sole panelist in this matter on November 29, 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 an international footwear and clothing company.

The Complainant has registered the trademark DR. MARTENS in Class 25 in numerous countries around the world including an International Registration designating China which was registered in 1991.

The disputed domain name <drmartensoutet.com> was registered on September 28, 2011. The website to which the disputed domain name previously resolved to had sponsored links in German and English.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its registered trademark DR. MARTENS. It is composed of the Complainant’s trademark DR. MARTENS and the generic term “outlet”.

The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name as it has not made any bona fide use of the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no commercial relationship with the Complainant and it is not a licensee.

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith with the intention of diverting Internet users to its website.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Language of Proceedings

The language of the Registration Agreement is Chinese. The Complainant requested the language of the proceedings be English on a number of grounds including that the disputed domain name resolved to a webpage with sponsored links in English and German.

The Panel notes that the Complainant is a German company and could have also made a request that the language of the proceedings be in German. It has requested that English be used which given that English is more widely spoken in China than German is fairer on the Respondent.

The Respondent did not respond to the language request.

In the circumstances of this case the Panel decides that the language of the proceedings shall be English pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules. The Complaint was filed in English and the Panel will render its decision in English.

Substantive Decision

This is a relatively straightforward case which, in the Panel’s opinion, does not require detailed discussion.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name <drmartensoutlet.com> is composed of the Complainant’s registered trademark DR. MARTENS and the generic word “outlet”.

According to previous UDRP decisions, the “addition of merely generic, descriptive, or geographical wording to a trademark in a domain name would normally be insufficient in itself to avoid a finding of confusing similarity under the first element of the UDRP” (see paragraph 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”)).

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark.

The first element of the UDRP is made out.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has not responded to the Complaint to assert any rights or legitimate interests. None of the circumstances in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, which sets out how a respondent can prove its rights or legitimate interests, are present in this case.

Since the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent has not rebutted, the Panel finds that the second element of the UDRP is made out.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel also finds that the disputed domain name <drmartensoutlet.com> was registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.

This case falls with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy which provides that a registrant has registered and is using a domain name in bad faith where:

“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 third element of the UDRP is made out.

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 <drmartensoutlet.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Douglas Clark
Sole Panelist
Date: December 17, 2012

 

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