Complainant is Associazione Ostetrici Ginecologi Ospedalieri Italiani (A.O.G.O.I.) of Milano, Italy, represented by Studio Legale Moshi of Associatti, Italy.
Respondent is Evgeny A. Kunshin of Kemerovo, Russian Federation.
The disputed domain name <aogoi.info> is registered with Regtime, Ltd.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 11, 2010. On March 12, 2010, the Center transmitted a request for registrar verification by email to Go Montenegro Domains, Inc., the registrar cited in the Complaint. On March 15, 2010, Go Montenegro Domains, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification disclosing Registrar information which differed from the named Registrar and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on March 16, 2010 providing the new registrar contact information disclosed by Go Montenegro Domains, Inc., and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Center also transmitted by email a request for registrar verification on March 16, 2010 to the registrar cited in the response received from Go Montenegro Domains, Inc., namely Regtime Ltd.
Because a response had not been received from Regtime Ltd., a further communication requesting registrar verification was transmitted by the Center on March 19, 2010. On March 26, 2010, Regtime Ltd. responded to the request for verification confirming the registrant and registrar details for the domain name. Complainant filed an Amendment to the Complaint dated April 1, 2010. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April 14, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 4, 2010. The Response was filed with the Center on May 4, 2010.
The Center appointed Clark W. Lackert as the sole panelist in this matter on June 3, 2010. 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.
On March 26, 2010, the Center received a communication from Regtime, Ltd. which identified Russian as the official language of the registration agreement. Accordingly, the Center transmitted a communication on April 7, 2010 regarding the language of the proceeding, inviting Complainant to file a Russian translation of the Complaint or arguments and/or evidence outlining why the proceeding should be conducted in English. On April 7, 2010, Complainant filed arguments in support of using English as the language for the proceeding. Respondent contacted the Center via email on April 9, 2010 requesting copies of all documents in Russian. On April 14, 2010, the Center transmitted Written Notice of the Complaint to Respondent in the English and Russian languages. The Response filed on May 4, 2010 by Respondent was in the English language.
In consideration of the Amendment to the Complaint filed by Complainant, the Center's communication dated April 7, 2010, and the e-mail response thereto filed by Respondent dated April 9, 2010, the Panel issued a Rule 11 order requesting that the Complaint and any other documents filed in the proceeding by Complainant be translated into Russian, forwarded to the Center, and thereafter be served on Respondent. Complainant submitted Russian translations of the Complaint, supporting evidence, the Amendment to the Complaint, and correspondence on July 2, 2010. The Center sent the translated documents to Respondent on July 8, 2010 in order to provide Respondent the ability to reply in his own language to these newly translated documents. The Center requested Respondent's additional arguments by July 16, 2010 and announced a new decision date of July 23, 2010. No additional arguments were filed by Respondent.
Complainant is Associazione Ostetrici Ginecologi Ospedalieri Italiana (A.O.G.O.I.), an Italian association of gynecologists established in 1948. Complainant acts as a collective representation for its members in international health organizations. Complainant owns and operates the domain names <aogoi.it>, <aogoi.net>, <aogoi.com>, <aogoi.eu>, and <aogoi.org>. Complainant owns five (5) Italian trademark registrations incorporating AOGOI, specifically the following:
AOGOI ASSOCIAZIONE OSTETRICI GINECOLOGI ITALIANI
(No. MI1998C004079 granted March 22, 2001)
AOGOI ASSOCIAZIONE OSTETRICI GINECOLOGI OSPEDALIERI ITALIANI
(No. MI1988C020903 granted June 6, 1990 and renewed)
AOGOI ASSOCIAZIONE OSTETRICI GINECOLOGI OSPEDALIERI ITALIANI
(No. MI2001C004306 granted September 15, 2005)
AOGOI ITALIAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY
(No. MI2001C004308 granted September 15, 2005)
AOGOI GINECOLOGI D'ITALIA
(No. MI2001C004307 granted September 15, 2005)
The marks are registered in Classes 5, 10, 16, 35, 41, and 42.
Respondent is an individual domiciled in the Russian Federation and owner of the domain name <aogoi.info>. The domain name <aogoi.info> was registered on December 10, 2009.
Complainant alleges that its organization has over 5,000 members and asserts that it is the former owner of the disputed domain name <aogoi.info>. Complainant cites its existing Italian trademark rights in AOGOI, its use of the AOGOI acronym in the course of trade, its ownership of other domain names incorporating AOGOI, and its former ownership of the disputed domain name <aogoi.info> as bases for bringing forth this complaint. Complainant maintains that Respondent is not using the domain name <aogoi.info> for a normal activity or business because the <aogoi.info> website displays advertisements and an offer to sell the domain name. Furthermore, Complainant notes that the advertisements presented on the <aogoi.info> website refer to medical and gynecological services and as such have the potential to divert consumers away from the services offered by Complainant.
Complainant alleges that the domain <aogoi.info> was registered and is being used in bad faith because Respondent is not using the website to promote a business or personal activity but rather intends to sell the domain name. Moreover, Complainant observes that the content displayed on the website suggests that Respondent is aware of Complainant and Complainant's business.
For the reasons outlined above, Complainant is requesting that the domain name <aogoi.info> be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
Respondent acknowledges ownership of the domain name <aogoi.info>. Respondent states that he had no knowledge of Complainant's AOGOI trademark or of use of AOGOI by Complainant when he registered the domain name <aogoi.info>. Respondent asserts that AOGOI is a broad and universal term because the first two letters of the term (AO) are often used in the Russian Federation as an abbreviation for a company. Respondent argues that ownership of this universal term by a single organization would be unfair to other parties and observes that Complainant owns a sufficient number of domain names incorporating AOGOI at the present time.
Respondent claims that he has rights and legitimate interests in the domain name <aogoi.info> because he did not violate the laws of the Russian Federation or the “norms of international law” by registering the domain name.
Regarding the allegations of bad faith, Respondent maintains that the offering of paid links is beneficial to the public. Respondent also suggests that the domain name <aogoi.info> could be made available for sale to Complainant.
The domain name <aogoi.info> is confusingly similar to the “AOGOI” family of trademarks in which Complainant has rights because it consists exclusively of the AOGOI acronym featured in the trademark registrations owned by Complainant.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
Respondent has not claimed any prior rights in AOGOI. Respondent maintains that he selected the <aogoi.info> domain name because of the use of AO as a corporate indicator in the Russian language. Respondent also states that he had no knowledge of Complainant's trademark rights at the time the domain name was registered.
The Panel acknowledges that AO is used as an abbreviation for a joint stock company, namely Aktsionernoye Obschestvo. However, there is no evidence in the record suggesting that Respondent has chosen the letters GOI for a specific reason, nor is there evidence suggesting that Respondent has made legitimate efforts to develop a business under the name “aogoi”.
Accordingly, the Panelist finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
Respondent claims ignorance of Complainant's name and mark, however the content of Respondent's website suggests otherwise. The evidence of record includes pages from Respondent's website incorporating links related to medical and gynecological services. Respondent's website offers services which are directly competitive with those offered by Complainant. The incorporation of third party links regarding services competitive to those provided under another party's trademark supports a finding of bad faith use and registration. Lancôme Parfums et Beaute & Compagnie v. D Nigam, Privacy Protection Services / Pluto Domains Services Private Limited, WIPO Case No. D2009-0728. By registering the domain name <aogoi.info> and offering links to third party services directly competitive with those of Complainant, Respondent is diverting traffic from Complainant's <aogoi.it>, <aogoi.net>, <aogoi.com>, <aogoi.eu> and <aogoi.org> websites. Accordingly, Respondent's conduct falls within the scope of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that there is evidence of bad faith and that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy have been satisfied.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <aogoi.info> be transferred to the Complainant.
Clark W. Lackert
Dated: July 23, 2010