World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. v. Norah Okpara

Case No. D2013-0383

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Inter IKEA Systems B.V. of Delft LN, Netherlands, represented by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services, Sweden.

The Respondent is Norah Okpara of Ikeja, Nigeria.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

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

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 26, 2013. On February 26, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 26, 2013, 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.

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 March 7, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 27, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 28, 2013.

The Center appointed Luiz E. Montaury Pimenta as the sole panelist in this matter on April 8, 2013. 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 engaged in the sale of furniture and home furnishing products and owns over 1,500 trademark registrations for IKEA and IKEA variants in more than 80 countries around the world, covering goods and services in the international classes 2, 8, 9, 11, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41, 42, and 43, among others. The Complainant registered the trademark IKEA in Nigeria (where the Respondent is located) in 1986.

The disputed domain name was registered on March 20, 2012.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant is a well-known company, selling furniture and home furnishing products marketed under the trademark IKEA.

The Complainant alleges that the trademark IKEA is one of the most well-known trademarks in the world, due in part to decades of extensive advertising.

The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s world famous trademark IKEA and that the addition of the generic term “mattress” is not relevant and will not have any impact on the overall impression of the dominant part of the disputed domain name, being the trademark IKEA.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests over the disputed domain name. The Complainant informs that it has not found that the Respondent has any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the disputed domain name. Nor has the Complainant found anything that would suggest that the Respondent has been using IKEA in any other way that would give it any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent should be considered to have registered and to be using the disputed domain name in bad faith, because as IKEA is a famous trademark, there is no doubt that the Respondent was aware of the rights the Complainant has in the trademark IKEA and the value of said trademark, at the point of the registration. There is no connection between the Respondent and the Complainant. The Complainant also argues that by using the disputed domain name the Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use without intent for commercial gain but is misleadingly diverting Internet consumers for its own commercial gain.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant is required to prove the presence of each of the following three elements to obtain the remedy it has requested:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s IKEA trademark. The Panel finds that the addition of a generic word, such as “mattress”, is not enough to escape a finding of confusing similarity. Also, under the Policy, the addition of the “.com” generic Top-Level Domain is immaterial when considering the issue of confusing similarity between a complainant’s trade mark and a domain name.

The Panel, therefore, finds that the Complainant has established the first condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has alleged that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name that contains in its entirety the Complainant’s IKEA trademark.

The Complainant has made a prima facie case in support of its allegations and, therefore, the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimates interest in the disputed domain name, according to paragraph 4(a)ii) of the Policy. The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions and, therefore, did not submit any evidence of rights or legitimate interests over the disputed domain name.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)i) of the Policy, there is no evidence that the Respondent, before any notice of the dispute, used or prepared to use the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)ii) of the Policy, there is no evidence that indicates that the Respondent has ever been commonly known by the disputed domain name.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)iii) of the Policy, there is no evidence that the Respondent has made or is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. At the time of the Complaint and at the time of this Decision, the disputed domain name was and is used to host a website showing pay-per-click advertising where some of the Complainant’s competitor’s products are offered for sale.

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

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the Respondent has intentionally registered the disputed domain name, which totally reproduces the Complainant’s famous trademark IKEA together with a generic term. By the time the disputed domain name was registered, it is unlikely that the Respondent did not have knowledge of the Complainant’s rights in the trademark IKEA.

The Complainant’s allegations of bad faith are not contested. The evidence provided by the Complainant confirms that it had long been using its IKEA registered trademark when the disputed domain name was registered. The Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s rights in the trademark when it registered the disputed domain name.

Also, under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, it is evidence of bad faith that, “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.”

At the time of the Complaint and at the time of this Decision, the disputed domain name was and is used to host a website showing pay-per-click advertising where Complainant’s competitor’s products are offered for sale. This is evidence of the intention by the Respondent to attract Internet users for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website or of a product or service on the Respondent’s website.

In light of the above, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

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 <ikeamattress.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Luiz E. Montaury Pimenta
Sole Panelist
Date: April 22, 2012

 

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