WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Trend Medya Grup, ibrahim CAGLAYAN
Case No. D2010-1213
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Aktiebolaget Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services, Sweden.
The Respondent is Trend Medya Grup, ibrahim CAGLAYAN of Istanbul, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <electroluxteknikservis.net> is registered with Alantron BLTD.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 22, 2010. On July 22, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Alantron BLTD a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 30, 2010, Alantron BLTD. 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 August 6, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 26, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 8, 2010.
The Center appointed Dilek Ustun as the sole panelist in this matter on September 23, 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.
In accordance with paragraph 11 of the Rules, the Panel has determined the language of proceedings shall be English, taking account of the circumstances of the case, and noting specifically that the Respondent did not object to the Complainant’s language request. As such, the Panel does not find that any prejudice would occur if the language of proceedings were to be English and in light of the specifics of this case, such language selection, is indeed appropriate.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant, AB Electrolux, is a Swedish joint stock company founded in 1901 and registered as a Swedish company in 1919. AB Electrolux is a world leading producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen and cleaning. Electrolux is also one of the largest producers in the world of similar equipment for professional users. In addition, they are the market leader in many of the individual product categories in which they compete.
Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and cookers sold under esteemed brands such as ELECTROLUX, AEG, AEG-ELECTROLUX, ZANUSSI, EUREKA and FRIGIDAIRE. In 2008, Electrolux had sales of SEK 105 billion and 55,150 employees.
The Complainant has registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a word and figure mark in several classes in more than 150 countries all over the world. The trademark ELECTROLUX was registered long before the registration of the disputed domain name on January 6, 2010. The Complainant has also registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a domain name under almost 700 gTLDs and ccTLDs worldwide.
5. Parties’ Contentions
According to the Complainant, the dominant part of the disputed domain name <electroluxteknikservis.net> comprises the word “electrolux”, which is confusingly similar as well as identical to the registered trademark ELECTROLUX, which has been registered by the Complainant as a trademark and domain names in numerous countries all over the world. Also; the addition of the top-level domain (TLD) “.net” does not have any impact on the overall impression of the dominant portion of the domain name and is therefore irrelevant to determine the confusing similarity of the trademark.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has not found that the Respondent has any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the disputed domain name. It is also clear that no license or authorization of any other kind has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent to use the trademark.
The Complainant states that when clicking on the website connected to the disputed domain name one is redirected to the company Şenol Teknik Servis’s homepage “www.senolteknikservis.com”, a Turkish reseller of household products with products from different brands including Electrolux, but also from the Complainant’s competitors. The registrant of this domain name may not be the same as the Respondent. Consequently the Respondent may not claim any rights established by such usage.
The Complainant also adds that the Respondent offers the Complainant’s products on the website, but states that a reseller may only have rights in the domain name under certain circumstances. According to previous WIPO UDRP cases, an offering from a reseller must meet several requirements in order to be bona fide. one of these previously-articulated criteria is that a Respondent must take several steps to prevent confusion by accurately disclosing the registrant’s relationship with the trademark owner. According to the Complainant, the Respondent is trying to sponge off the Complainant’s world famous trademarks.
The Complainant stated that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its website.
The Complainant also adds that since the Respondent is selling products of the brand ELECTROLUX on his website, it is obvious that he is well aware of the trademarks ELECTROLUX.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. However, the Respondent did submit email communications in English on August 9 and 10, 2010, stating:
“Trend Medya Grup is web design company which is provide domain register, domain hosting, web design service many company in Turkey.
Trend Medya Grup is ICANN ACCREDİTED Register Alantron BLTD. Best reseller. electroluxteknikservis.net domain name was registered to us by our customer. About this situation will be delivery our customer and this domain name close in a few days. if you wish we can send to us who is information.
Could you send us information about this subject.
Trend Medya Grup”
“Dear Case Manager
Re: Case No. D2010-1213
www.electroluxteknikservis.net domain name
Trend Medya Grup”
Lastly, on August 26, 2010 the Respondent submitted one more email communication which repeated its first statement in the Turkish language:
“Trend Medya Grup Türkiye de faaliyet gösteren Domain tescili, hosting, web tasarım hizmeti veren bir reklam firmasıdır.
Yukarıda bahsi geçen domain name müşterimiz tarafından talep edilerek firmamıza tescil ettirilmiştir. Firmamızın herhangi bir kötü niyeti ve ticari menfaati bulunmamaktadır.Tüm sorumluluk ilgili firmaya aittir.Tarafınızdan gelen bildirime istinaden ilgili domain 09.08.2010 tarihinde pasif edilmiştir. İstenildiği taktirde domain şifreleri tarafınıza verilebilir.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules requires the Panel to decide a Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant bears the burden of showing:
(i) that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a word and figure mark in several classes in more than 150 countries all over the world. The trademark ELECTROLUX was registered long before the registration of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has also registered the trademark ELECTROLUX as a domain name under almost 700 gTLDs and ccTLDs worldwide, among these; <electrolux.com.tr> (registered by Electrolux Turkey), <electrolux.com> and <electrolux.co.uk>.
The Panel concurs with the opinion of several prior UDRP panels which have held that, when a domain name wholly incorporates a complainant’s registered mark that may be sufficient to establish confusing similarity for purposes of the Policy. See, e.g., Kabushiki Kaisha Hitachi Seisakusho (d/b/a Hitachi Ltd) v. Arthur Wrangle, WIPO Case No. D2005-1105; Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903; Magnum Piering, Inc. v. The Mudjackers and Garwood S. Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525; Eauto, L.L.C. v. Triple S. Auto Parts d/b/a Kung Fu Yea Enterprises, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0047; Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. bmwcar.com, WIPO Case No. D2002-0615. In this Panel’s view, the addition of the term “teknikservis” does not sufficiently distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trademark.
Additionally the Respondent has brought no argument in support of his contention that the disputed domain name is not identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not provided any evidence of the type specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or any other circumstances giving rise to a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. It is clear that the Respondent has not demonstrated any bona fide offering of goods and services by its using the disputed domain name. Nor has the Respondent shown that it has been commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Complainant showed, inter alia¸ that the Respondent has neither a license nor any other permission to use the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks right or legitimate interests, and the Respondent has failed to demonstrate such rights or legitimate interests. The Panel finds that given the use formerly made of the disputed domain name, when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name it knew that ELECTROLUX was the trademark of the Complainant, and that he registered the disputed domain name because it would be recognized as such.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides a list of indicative circumstances that suggest bad faith registration, however, such list is not exhaustive and a finding of bad faith depends on the circumstances of each case.
Based on the circumstances, in the Panel’s view, it is reasonable to infer that when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, he likely knew that the domain name incorporated the trademark of the Complainant. The Panel, in accordance with previous decisions issued under the Policy, is of the opinion that this knowledge may be considered, in appropriate cases, also an indication of bad faith (see Parfums Christian Dior v. Javier Garcia Quintas and Christiandior.net, WIPO Case No. D2000-0226).
The disputed domain name was connected to a website which redirected to the company, Şenol Teknik Servis’s website where pictures of white goods from the Complainant were displayed. Furthermore, the site displayed unauthorized use of the ELECTROLUX logotype. In light of the circumstances of this case, and absent any rebuttal from the Respondent, the Panel finds it reasonable to infer from this re-direction arrangement.
Thus it is obvious to this Panel that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website. In view of the above, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith, in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <electroluxteknikservis.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: October 5, 2010