Complainant is Samsung Networks Inc. of Seoul, Republic of Korea, represented by Shinsegi Patent Law Firm, Republic of Korea.
Respondent is Systemprodukter AB of Kungsbacka, Sweden.
The disputed domain name <samsung.nu> is registered with .NU Domain Ltd.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 22, 2010. On February 22, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to .NU Domain Ltd. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 22, 2010, .NU Domain Ltd. 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 1, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 21, 2010. Respondent sent informal communications by email to the Center on March 1, March 4, and March 24, 2010. However, no formal Response was submitted.
The Center appointed Halvor Manshaus as the sole panelist in this matter on April 21, 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.
Complainant is a Korean company within the Samsung Group. The main business of Complainant is to provide global information communication services using various technology centers. In addition Complainant is responsible for managing the domain names on behalf of the member companies of the Samsung Group.
Complainant can trace its operations back to 1938 and has registered several trademarks containing the name “Samsung” in several countries throughout the world, including in Sweden which is also the registered domicile of Respondent.
Respondent is a company residing in Sweden.
The disputed domain name <samsung.nu> was initially registered on December 9, 2003.
Complainant argues that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark SAMSUNG.
Complainant further holds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Complainant asserts that Respondent has not been, and is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, and that it has not authorized Respondent to use its trademark SAMSUNG.
Complainant further holds that Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
According to Complainant, it is evident from the statements made on the website corresponding to the disputed domain name that Respondent has actual or constructive knowledge of Complainant’s trademark SAMSUNG. Further, Complainant holds that the purpose of Respondent’s managing of the website is to introduce users to the website of the company OBE AB “www.obe.se”.
Respondent has not submitted a formal reply to Complainant’s assertions.
However, in an e-mail from Respondent’s registered contact to the Center on March 1 2010, Respondent seems to argue that the reason for it registering the disputed domain name was the fact that the Swedish domain name <samsung.se> “has no information of the PBX systems that Samsung has in their product range and where to get the information in Swedish and where to buy”. Further, Respondent informs that it will transfer the disputed domain name to the Samsung Group “as soon as ‘samsung.se’ is updated with information that Samsung PBX’es is sold in Sweden, and who to contact about this (OBE AB).”
Respondent further claims that the company OBE AB mentioned above is a contracted dealer of “Samsung’s range of PBX’es”, and that it exclusively works with Samsung PBX products. Respondent has also informed that “Thanks to this domain name...a couple of customers” got the opportunity to purchase Samsung PBX from OBE AB.
From the evidence presented, the Panel finds that Complainant through its registration and use of the trademark SAMSUNG has demonstrated rights in that trademark. The disputed domain name incorporates in full the distinctive trademark SAMSUNG. Previous panel decisions under the UDRP have concluded that the generic top level domain denominator is irrelevant when determining whether a disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a protected trademark. Thus, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s trademark SAMSUNG.
Respondent does not, according to Complainant, have any rights to, or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and is not commonly known by the domain name.
To the Panel’s understanding, Respondent asserts that OBE AB is a “contracted dealer” of Complainant’s PBX products. Respondent -Systemprodukter AB- has however not provided any further documentation to this effect, or presented any arguments to the fact that OBE AB’s status as a dealer of Complainant’s products should provide it with rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Further, Respondent has, to the Panel’s opinion not been able to provide any other documentation to the effect that it has rights to, or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name even though it has been provided with the opportunity to do so. None of Complainant’s assertions have thus been contested by Respondent.
In the event that any such rights, connections or affiliations existed, it would generally be relatively easy for a respondent to substantiate this, while it is generally difficult for a complainant to prove the negative, that Respondent has no such rights. For this reason, previous decisions under the UDRP have found it sufficient for a complainant to make a prima facie showing of its assertion pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, see the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panels Views on Selected UDRP Questions section 2.1. The Panel finds that the circumstances mentioned and evidenced by Complainant are sufficient to establish a prima facie showing that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
As Respondent has not rebutted this by demonstrating any of the circumstances that constitute rights to, or legitimate interests in, the disputed domain name pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, the Panel concludes that Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
Based on the evidence presented, the Panel finds that Complainant’s trademark SAMSUNG is widely known through out the world, including in Sweden where Respondent is domiciled.
The website corresponding to the disputed domain name seems to contain information regarding the services of the company OBE AB which appears to deal in Samsung PBX products, which to the Panel’s understanding are produced by companies within the Samsung Group of which Complainant is a part. Respondent has submitted that the company OBE AB is a “contracted dealer” of these products. The relationship between OBE AB and Respondent has not been further explained by Complainant or Respondent even though Complainant has submitted that “Samsung Group has never granted any exclusivity to the company OBE in Sweden”. From the abovementioned email communication from Respondent to the Center on March 1, 2010, it would appear that the registered contact person for the disputed domain name is also the Managing Director of OBE AB. Under these circumstances the Panel finds it evidenced that Respondent was aware of the SAMSUNG trademark when registering the domain name.
Based on the evidence presented to it, the Panel further finds that the website associated with the domain name advertises OBE AB’s services and sale of Complainant’s products by inter alia containing a link to the website “www.obe.se”. Respondent has also informed that it has received customer inquiries through its use of the domain name. However, even assuming that Respondent would be a reseller of Complainant’s products, the website with the disputed domain name does not appear to contain a disclosure of any relationship between Complainant and Respondent (or OBE AB). On this background the Panel finds that Respondent is using the confusing similarity between Complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name for the purpose of intentionally attempting to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s trademark, and that Respondent is thus “trading off” the reputation of Complainant.
In conclusion, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <samsung.nu> be transferred to Complainant.
Dated: May 5, 2010