WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Autoscout24 GmbH v. Nextone Media Ltd.
Case No. DCO2012-0014
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Autoscout24 GmbH of München, Germany represented by Harmsen.Utescher, Germany.
The Respondent is Nextone Media Ltd. of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <autoscout24.co> is registered with Central Comercializadora de Internet Panama S.A. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 14, 2012. On May 14, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 15, 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.
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 May 18, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 7, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 8, 2012.
The Center appointed WiIliam A. Van Caenegem as the sole panelist in this matter on June 18, 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 conducts an online car market by reference to its trademark AUTOSCOUT24. Autoscout24 is also the company name of the Complainant.
The Complainant’s trademark AUTOSCOUT24 is registered for goods in Class 38, inter alia as German trademark 39930162, priority date May 26, 1999); Community trademark 1202670 (June 10, 1999) and Community trademark 5083589 (May 18, 2006); and International trademark 725391 (November 22, 1999).
The disputed domain name was registered on July 20, 2010, and its associated website resolves to a blank page of sponsored links.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is obviously identical to its registered trademark AUTOSCOUT24.
The Complainant asserts that to the best of its knowledge the Respondent is not entitled to any trademark or trade name in “Autoscout24”. Nor did it obtain any authorization from the Complainant to use or register a domain name incorporating the mark AUTOSCOUT24. The disputed domain name was not registered for a bona fide reason nor used for bona fide purposes, according to the Complainant. Therefore the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
It follows, according to the Complainant, that the disputed domain name was registered exclusively for the purpose of exploiting the reputation of the Complainant and its relevant trademarks. The Respondent did not respond to the Complainant’s cease-and-desist letter. Accordingly the Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The language of the proceedings is English as this is the language of the registration agreement. Therefore it is not necessary for the Panel to address further the matters raised in this regard in the Complaint.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The body of the disputed domain name <autoscout24.co> is identical to the Complainant’s trademark AUTOSCOUT24. The suffix “.co” may be disregarded for the purpose of comparison in this context of UDRP decisions.
Therefore the Panel holds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark AUTOSCOUT24.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not filed a Response to the Complaint. The Complainant has not authorized the use of its trademark AUTOSCOUT24 for any purpose by the Respondent, nor does the Respondent establish any rights to the trademark AUTOSCOUT24 by registration or business use. On the evidence before the Panel the Respondent is not known under the disputed domain name or the trademark AUTOSCOUT24. The disputed domain name has not been used for any bona fide purpose.
Therefore the Panel holds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant’s trademark AUTOSCOUT24 is distinctive and the Complainant has used and maintained registrations for the mark in numerous jurisdictions. The Complainant has considerable presence and consumer exposure on the Internet, in the online market for cars. The disputed domain name incorporates the relevant trademark without variation or addition.
As mentioned before, the disputed domain name has not been put to any use that is based on or could give rise to any rights or legitimate interests vesting in the Respondent. The disputed domain name resolves to a blank page of sponsored links. As per paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, such circumstance constitutes evidence of bad faith registration and use.
Therefore the Panel holds that the disputed domain name was registered and used 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 <autoscout24.co> be transferred to the Complainant.
WiIliam A. Van Caenegem
Dated: July 2, 2012