World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Gulf Talent FZ-LLC v. F. A. (RWG000000000B0D5)

Case No. DAE2010-0001

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Gulf Talent FZ-LLC of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, represented by Eversheds, LLP, United States of America.

The Respondent is F. A. (RWG000000000B0D5) of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <gulftalent.ae> is registered with AE Domain Administration (.aeDA).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 9, 2010. On November 10, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to AE Domain Administration (.aeDA) a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 14, 2010, AE Domain Administration (.aeDA) 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 UAE Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy for – UAE DRP (the “Policy”), the Rules for UAE Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy - UAE DRP (the “Rules”), and the Supplemental Rules for UAE Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy - UAE DRP (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 November 24, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 14, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any formal Response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 15, 2010.

The Center appointed Mohamed-Hossam Loutfi as the sole panelist in this matter on January 19, 2011. 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 factual grounds as stated in the Complaint, which have not been disputed by the Respondent, are as follows:

The Complainant is a company that was incorporated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on July 11, 2004. The Complainant is well known as a leading online recruitment business in the UAE, other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the wider Middle East region. It is also expanding its reach into other international markets. Since 2004 the Complainant has operated its recruitment services through its website which can be found at “www.gulftalent.com” (the “Complainant’s Website”).

The Complainant’s Website currently has approximately 1,800,000 registered candidates and 3,000 registered employers and recruiters. It is estimated by the Complainant that approximately 20% or just under 400,000 of the candidates registered on the Complainant’s Website reside in the UAE. This equates to over 8% of the entire population of the UAE, where the Respondent is located.

The Complainant asserts common law rights to the trademark GULF TALENT since 2004.

The disputed domain name was registered on August 24, 2010.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant has established rights in the GULF TALENT mark through its use of the mark.

The disputed domain name <gulftalent.ae> is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark GULF TALENT. A domain name is “identical or confusingly similar” to a trademark for purposes of the Policy when the domain name includes a trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of other terms in the domain name.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has no relationship with the Respondent. The Respondent’s names bear no connection to the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant, and does not have the permission, consent or license of the Complainant to register the disputed domain name.

The Respondent is using the disputed domain name, which includes Complainant’s GULF TALENT mark, to divert Internet users to a website that has links to, inter alia, websites providing competing services to the Complainant’s services. The Respondent therefore is not using the disputed domain name for a bona fide purpose. His exchanged e-mails with the Complainant indicate his intention to sell the disputed domain name against five thousands (5000) Euros. ,The Respondent refused “a without prejudice offer” from the Complainant for immediate transfer of the said domain name against four hundred (400) USD.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not submit a formal Response to the Complainant’s contentions. The Panel notes that despite multiple communications between the parties and the Center – upon the Respondent’s offer to transfer the disputed domain name – the parties did not reach an agreement in this matter.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

This Panel finds that the Complainant has demonstrated that it owns trademark rights in the GULF TALENT mark based on the use of that term in its business dealings. The filed evidence also shows that the Complainant used the mark for many years, since 2004, i.e. prior to the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name on August 24, 2010. The Complainant has also shown that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s GULF TALENT mark. The disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of the Complainant’s mark.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the first element of paragraph 6(a)(i) is established.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant asserts that the Respondent did not acquire license or other rights from the Complainant. The Respondent did not come forward with any evidence to rebut the Complainant’s prima facie showing. The Panel finds that the exchanged e-mails between the Respondent and the Complainant clearly show that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the second element of paragraph 6(a)(ii) is established.

C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith

The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name intentionally to attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to their website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the site. This constitutes evidence of both bad faith registration and bad faith use.

The Panel finds that the Respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name for the sum of five thousand (5000) Euros, is further evidence of the Respondent’s bad faith.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the third element of paragraph 6(a)(iii) is established.

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 6(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name <gulftalent.ae> be transferred to Complainant.

Mohamed-Hossam Loutfi
Sole Panelist
Dated: February 2, 2011

 

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