WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AB Gustaf Kähr v. Prasanth sp, inet
Case No. D2011-1455
1. The Parties
Complainant is AB Gustaf Kähr of Nybro, Sweden, represented by Setterwalls Advokatbyrå, Sweden.
Respondent is Prasanth sp, inet, of Kerala, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <woodloc.org> is registered with Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 29, 2011. On August 29, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 31, 2011, Directi Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com 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 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 September 9, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 29, 2011. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on September 30, 2011.
The Center appointed Roberto Bianchi as the sole panelist in this matter on October 7, 2011. 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
Complainant, founded in 1857, is a leading producer of wooden floors.
Among other registrations, Complainant owns a Community Trademark for WOODLOC, Reg. No. 007418941, Reg. Date July 21, 2009, filed on November 25, 2008, covering metals and metal floors of International Class 6, building materials and wooden floors of International Class 19 and materials for covering floors of International Class 27.
The disputed domain name was registered on December 11, 2010.
An independent visit of the “www.woodloc.org” website conducted by the Panel on October 19, 2011, showed a main page entitled “WOODLOC Flooring Collection” displaying rotating pictures of furniture and floors. Under the title “About us” there is a text stating, inter alia, “Woodloc is one amongst the top upcoming pioneers as producers and dealers of world class wooden laminated floorings. We manufacture, market and export a wide range of flooring collections to global markets that include Malaysia, Srilanka [SIC], India, U.K and the Middle East.”. Under the titles “Contact Us” and “Send your feedbacks” the Internet user is asked to send its name, email address, telephone number and comments to the “[ ]@gmail.com” email address.
5. Parties’ Contentions
In its Complaint, Complainant contends as follows:
The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights. Complainant owns numerous registrations for the mark WOODLOC, which has been in use since 1999. The disputed domain name consists of Complainant’s mark WOODLOC.
Respondent has no legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name but it is only trying to attract consumers to take advantage of Complainant’s famous trademark WOODLOC, and no information about Respondent’s website is found. A Google search of “woodloc” returns hits almost exclusively about Complainant. The only contact information on Respondent’s website is a gmail address. Everything indicates that Respondent is a non-serious player.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Complainant is an old well-known company with business all over the world and its trademark WOODLOC for floors is used from China to the United States of America. Complainant has an office in India, which appears to be the home country of Respondent. Since Respondent is marketing products identical to Complainant’s floors it is evident that Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in bad faith. Respondent’s use of the trademark WOODLOC makes consumers believe that there are economic links between Complainant and Respondent.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions, and is in default.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under Policy, paragraph 4(a), a complainant must make out its case that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is satisfied that Complainant owns trademark rights in the WOODLOC mark (see “Factual Background” above). Since the disputed domain name incorporates this mark in its entirety, only adding the generic top level domain “.org”, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark in which Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant contends that Respondent has no legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name because it is only trying to attract consumers to take advantage of Complainant’s famous trademark WOODLOC. Complainant adds that no information about Respondent’s website is found. Complainant argues that a Google search of the term “woodloc” returns almost exclusively hits about Complainant, and that the only contact information on Respondent’s website is a gmail address. According to Complainant, all indicates that Respondent is a non-serious player. Finally, says Complainant, Respondent’s use of the website at the disputed domain name infringes on Complainant’s rights.
Considered together, Complainant’s contentions and evidence of Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name are sufficient to constitute a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Moreover, as seen at “Factual Background” above, the Panel’s independent visit to the “www.woodloc.org“ website conducted on October 19, 2011 showed that Respondent is impersonating Complainant and trying to elicit personal data from Internet users presumably looking for Complainant and its WOODLOC mark. This use of the disputed domain name does not appear to be legitimate. On the contrary, Respondent is using Complainant’s mark to impersonate Complainant and thus obtaining personal information from Internet users believing the website to be connected with Complainant. As seen on Complainant’s website “www.kahrs.com”, Complainant has a representative in India called Futura Living Art Pvt Ltd. based in Mumbai and New Delhi, apparently unrelated to Respondent. There is no evidence that Respondent is an agent or representative of Complainant or a reseller – authorized or not - by Complainant of goods trademarked by Complainant. In any case, even if Respondent were a reseller there is a consensus view among Panels that it should “accurately and prominently” disclose the nature of its relationship with the trademark owner. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”, “2.3 Can a reseller/distributor of trademarked goods or services have rights or legitimate interests in a domain name which contains such trademark? […] Consensus view: Normally, a reseller or distributor can be making a bona fide offering of goods and services and thus have a legitimate interest in the domain name if its use meets certain requirements. These requirements normally include the actual offering of goods and services at issue, the use of the site to sell only the trademarked goods, and the site’s accurately and prominently disclosing the registrant’s relationship with the trademark holder.”) In the instant case, Respondent has failed to explain which relationship, if any, it maintains with Complainant, or to provide the Panel with any other argument in its own favor.
The Panel concludes that Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Respondent registered the disputed domain name after Complainant had been using and registered its WOODLOC mark. Also, as seen on Complainant's “www.kahrs.com” website, Complainant has a representative in India, the country where Respondent also is located. Additionally, on its “www.woodloc.org” website Respondent is impersonating Complainant, a behavior that at least requires a previous knowledge of the impersonated person. These facts lead the Panel to conclude that Respondent was fully aware of Complainant and had Complainant’s WOODLOC mark in mind at the moment of registering the disputed domain name, which is a requisite for a registration of a domain name in bad faith.
As seen above, Respondent on its “www.woodloc.org” website is impersonating Complainant and trying to elicit personal information from Internet users presumably looking for Complainant and its WOODLOC mark. The purposes for this behavior were neither stated on Respondent’s website nor elsewhere explained by Respondent, but it is rather obvious that personal information obtained from Internet users is a valuable commodity in an age of marketing through massive emailing. Given the renown of Complainant's WOODLOC mark and products, it is evident that Respondent has availed itself of this renown to elicit these data.
The Panel concludes that by using the disputed domain name as described Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location. This is a circumstance of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv).
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 <woodloc.org> be transferred to Complainant.
Dated: October 20, 2011