World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

ANWB B.V. v. Lotom Group S.A.

Case No. DNL2010-0072

1. The Parties

Complainant is ANWB B.V. of The Hague, the Netherlands, represented by Ribbert Advocaten, the Netherlands.

Respondent is Lotom Group S.A. of Panama City, Panama.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <anwb-auto.nl>, <anwb-camping.nl>, <anwb-golf.nl>, <anwb-kampioen.nl> and <anwb-verzekeringen.nl> are registered with SIDN through EPAG Domainservices GmbH.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 3, 2010. On December 3, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to SIDN a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On December 6, 2010, SIDN transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Dispute Resolution Regulations for .nl Domain Names (the “Regulations”).

In accordance with the Regulations, articles 5.1 and 16.4, the Center formally notified Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 7, 2010. In accordance with the Regulations, article 7.1, the due date for Response was December 27, 2010. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on December 28, 2010.

The Center appointed Madeleine De Cock Buning as the panelist in this matter on January 13, 2011. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panelist has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required to ensure compliance with the Regulations, article 9.2.

4. Factual Background

The Verenigde Koninklijke Nederlandse Toeristenbond, ANWB (Royal Dutch Touring Club), is formed in 1883 and aims at promoting the interest of its members in the area of traffic, recreation, tourism, and transport.

Trademarks

Complainant is the owner of Benelux word marks 354853 registered on August 2, 1978, and 156879 registered on December 22, 1987 for ANWB, Community word mark 873505 registered on March 30, 2000 for ANWB and Benelux word mark 806344 registered on September 1, 2006 for KAMPIOEN.

Domain Names

The disputed domain names were all registered on June 11, 2008 with SIDN through EPAG Domainservices GmbH and offer links to various other websites related to the descriptive term that is incorporated in the respective domain names.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

(a). Complainant has rights in several trademarks protected under Dutch and European trademark law and also has rights to the trade name Anwb. The disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to those trademarks and trade name. The disputed domain names and Complainant’s trademarks are similar since four of the disputed domain names contain Complainant’s trademarks together with a descriptive element that refers to services provided by Complainant under its trademark. In the disputed domain name <anwb-kampioen.nl> both the ANWB trademark and the KAMPIOEN trademark are included. The aforementioned creates the likelihood of confusion between Complainant’s trademarks and Respondent’s disputed domain names.

(b). Respondent does not have any right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain names. There are no (registered) rights in identical or similar trademarks found by Complainant that could justify the registration of the disputed domain name by Respondent. Respondent is not generally known as ANWB either.

Respondent is furthermore not offering goods or services for sale in good faith (article 3.1 sub a of the Regulations) nor is using the disputed domain names for any legitimate non-commercial purposes (article 3.1 sub c of the Regulations).

(c). Respondent is using the disputed domain names for the purpose of capitalizing on the likelihood of confusion that it is thus created. Respondent is generating traffic for its website and sponsored links by profiting from the reputation of Complainant’s trademark. The disputed domain names are used for commercial benefit by leading Internet users to a website other than the domain names holder’s using the confusion that can arise with the trademark of Complainant. According to Complainant, Respondent is furthermore offering the disputed domain names for sale.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

In accordance with the Regulations, article 11.3, with regard to the situation where, as is the case here, Respondent has failed to submit a timely Response, the Panel shall rule the dispute on the basis of the Complaint. The Panel shall grant the remedy, except if the Panel considers the Complaint to be without basis in law or fact.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has shown that it has rights in the Benelux and European trademarks and its trade name Anwb. The Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to both Complainant’s trademark and its trade name. The disputed domain names contain the trademarks and trade name together with a descriptive element that refers to services provided by Complainant under its trademark and trade name. One of the disputed domain names, <anwb-kampioen.nl>, even includes two separate trademarks of Complainants.

The Panel finds that there is a likelihood of confusion between Complainant’s trademarks and trade name on the one hand and the five disputed domain names that are registered and used by Respondent on the other.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Complainant claims that Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names, as Respondent has no registered rights in terms similar to the disputed domain names, Respondent is not using the disputed domain names for a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor is Respondent making any legitimate noncommercial use of the disputed domain names. The Panel understands this further to mean that Complainant has not granted permission to Respondent to use the disputed domain names.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that Respondent was known by the disputed domain names prior to the submission of the Complaint.

The Panel finds that the disputed domain names resolve to parking pages that offer links to, inter alia, websites on which goods and services of Complainant’s competitors are offered for sale. It is by now well established that parking pages built around a trademark (as contrasted with pages built around a dictionary word and used only in connection with the generic or merely descriptive meaning of the word) do not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor do they constitute a legitimate noncommercial use (see mVisible Technologies, Inc. v. Navigation Catalyst Systems, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2007-1141; Mobile Communication Service Inc. v. WebReg, RN, WIPO Case No. D2005-1304; Asian World of Martial Arts Inc. v. Texas International Property Associates, WIPO Case No. D2007-1415; Champagne Lanson v. Development Services/MailPlanet.com, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2006-0006; The Knot, Inc. v. In Knot we Trust LTD, WIPO Case No. D2006-0340; Ustream.TV, Inc. v. Vertical Axis, Inc, WIPO Case No. D2008-0598).

As Respondent has failed to file a Response, it has not provided any evidence on its behalf. The Panel therefore concludes that Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.

C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith

By using the disputed domain names for parking pages, it is likely that Respondent attempts to attract Internet users to its websites connected thereto, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s trademarks as to the source, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s websites.

The Panel also notes that Respondent has been involved in seven previous cases under the Regulations as respondent. In all those cases the appointed panel ordered the transfer of the concerned domain names.

Under these circumstances, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain names have been registered or are being used in bad faith according to article 2.1 sub c and article 3.2 sub d of the Regulations.

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with articles 1 and 14 of the Regulations, the Panel orders that the disputed domain names <anwb-auto.nl>, <anwb-camping.nl>, <anwb-golf.nl>, <anwb-kampioen.nl> and <anwb-verzekeringen.nl> be transferred to Complainant.

Madeleine De Cock Buning
Sole Panelist
Dated: January 25, 2011

 

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