WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Stylebop GmbH v. chenlin
Case No. D2012-1069
1. The Parties
Complainant is Stylebop GmbH of München, Germany, represented by Rauschhofer Rechtsanwälte, Germany.
Respondent is chenlin of Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <1stylebop.com> is registered with Jiangsu Bangning Science & technology Co. Ltd.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 22, 2012. On May 23, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to Jiangsu Bangning Science & technology Co. Ltd. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 24, 2012, Jiangsu Bangning Science & technology Co. Ltd. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. On May 24 and June 6, 2012, Center transmitted an email to the parties in both the Chinese and English languages regarding the language of proceedings. On June 7, 2012, Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of proceeding. Respondent did not comment on the language of proceedings by the specified due date.
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 June 4, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 24, 2012. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 25, 2012.
The Center appointed Kimberley Chen Nobles as the sole panelist in this matter on July 4, 2012. 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 offers a variety of luxury and designer clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and beauty products for sale on Complainant’s website operated from the domain name <stylebop.com>. Complainant is the registered owner of trademarks consisting of the word STYLEBOP in the European Community, the Unites States of America, and Germany. The earliest publication of the trademark registration of STYLEBOP is October 1, 2004, in Germany.
Respondent is based in China. The disputed domain name was registered on September 6, 2011.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant claims ‘’www.stylebop.com’’ is well-known and easily recognized throughout the world as a shopping destination for those seeking luxury and designer goods.
Complainant claims the disputed domain name <1stylebop.com> is confusingly similar to Complainant’s STYLEBOP trademark because the disputed domain name contains the trademark in its entirety and because the insertion of “1” and the addition of the gTLD “.com” should be disregarded when evaluating confusing similarity.
Complainant claims Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name because (1) Respondent does not use the disputed domain name in connection with the bona fide offering of goods or services, (2) use of a domain name incorporating a well-known trademark to misdirect consumers to a website unconnected with trademark owner cannot constitute use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or otherwise be considered a legitimate interest in a domain name, (3) Complainant has exclusive rights to the STYLEBOP trademark and has not granted Respondent a right to use the STYLEBOP trademark, and (4) Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is not a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
Complainant claims Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith because (1) Respondent had knowledge of the STYLEBOP trademark and its connection to luxury and designer goods when registering the disputed domain name, (2) Respondent intentionally included the STYELBOP trademark in the disputed domain name to deceive consumers and misappropriate Complainant’s goodwill in the STYLEBOP trademark, (3) Respondent has failed to respond to the Complaint, and (4) Respondent has misappropriated at least portions of the layout and content of the ‘’www.1stylebop.com’’ website from the “www.farfetch.com” website.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Language of Proceeding
The language of the registration agreement for the disputed domain name is Chinese. Complainant has requested that English be recognized as the language of the proceeding. Respondent has not commented regarding the language of the proceeding. The Center has communicated to the parties, including Notice of Complaint in both the English and Chinese languages and has invited Respondent to answer the Complaint in either language.
The content featured on the website at the disputed domain name is displayed in the English language, and this demonstrates that Respondent has a working knowledge of the English language. Taking the foregoing points into account along with Respondent’s default and lack of any communication in this proceeding, the Panel concludes that English is the language of the proceedings. Translation of the Complaint and other materials would cause unnecessary cost and delay.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The record shows Complainant owns trademark rights in STYLEBOP recognized, inter alia, in the European Community, the United States, and Germany prior to the creation of the disputed domain name registration on September 6, 2011. The record also shows that Respondent is using the disputed domain name in connection with the sales of goods.
The disputed domain name <1stylebop.com> combines a literal element “1” with the literal element consisting of Complainant’s STYLEBOP trademark. The Panel views the “stylebop” portion of the disputed domain name as identical to Complainant’s STYLEBOP trademark, and so the disputed domain name features Complainant’s trademark in its entirety.
For purpose of the first element analysis, it is not a requirement of the Policy that a complainant’s trademark rights be recognized in a respondent’s country of residence. See, e.g., Advanced Magazine Publishers Inc. v. Computer Dazhong, WIPO Case No. D2003-0668 (“The Policy requires that the disputed domain name must be identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights. This requirement can be satisfied by proof that the Complainant is the owner or licensee of a registered mark anywhere in the world – not just in the country of Respondent’s residence”).
Furthermore, the mere addition of the literal element “1” to Complainant’s STYLEBOP trademark is not sufficient to overcome a finding of confusing similarity. “In most cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, then the domain name will for the purposes of the Policy be confusingly similar to the mark.” Research in Motion Limited v. One Star Global LLC, WIPO Case No. D2009-0227. “The issue is not whether confusion is likely in the trademark sense (that is, confusion as to source based on the domain name and its use in connection with a website), but rather, whether the domain name, standing alone, is sufficiently similar to the trademark to justify moving on to other elements of a claim for cybersquatting.” F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. P Martin, WIPO Case No. D2009-0323.
Here, the disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of Complainant’s trademark, and the prefix “1” does not reduce the prominence of Complainant’s trademark therein. Furthermore, the Panel does not believe that the inclusion of the prefix “1” to Complainant’s STYLEBOP trademark creates a new or different impression which is materially different to Complainant’s trademark. It is therefore difficult to imagine a scenario where consumers would not be confused by the use of the trademark to compose the disputed domain name.
The Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s STYLEBOP trademark and that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy have been satisfied.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no evidence in the record to indicate that Respondent is associated or affiliated with Complainant or that Respondent has any other rights or legitimate interests in the term “stylebop”. As such, Complainant has successfully presented a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, which Respondent has not rebutted. Furthermore, there is no evidence in the record to indicate that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy have been satisfied.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The record shows Complainant owns trademark rights in STYLEBOP that precede creation of the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name is predominantly composed of the trademark and incorporates the trademark in its entirety. A simple Internet search for “stylebop” results in links predominantly related to Complainant and Complainant’s website. The Panel finds that Respondent was likely aware of Complainant or should have known of Complainant when registering the disputed domain name.
The record also shows that the content of the website linked to the disputed domain name features the confusingly similar name “1stylebop.com” and advertises goods similar to those offered by Complainant under the STYLEBOP trademark. The Panel finds that Respondent’s advertisement of goods constitutes commercial competition with Complainant that trades on the goodwill invested in Complainant’s STYLEBOP trademark.
The use of a domain name featuring a trademark to advertise goods or services which compete with those provided under that trademark supports a finding that the domain name registrant was aware of the other party’s mark at the time the domain name was registered. Lancôme Parfums et Beaute & Compagnie v. D Nigam, Privacy Protection Services / Pluto Domains Services Private Limited, WIPO Case No. D2009-0728. By registering the disputed domain name using Complainant’s STYLEBOP trademark and advertising goods in competition with Complainant, Respondent is intentionally diverting traffic from Complainant’s website using Complainant’s trademark.
Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that where a registrant, by using a domain name, intentionally attempts to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the registrant’s website, such use constitutes evidence of bad faith registration and use.
The record shows that Respondent has used the disputed domain name to advertise goods in commercial competition with Complainant. Moreover, the incorporation of Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name combined with the content featured on the website linked to the disputed domain name illustrates an intent to deceive consumers into believing that the disputed domain name is somehow associated with, affiliated with, and/or endorsed by Complainant. There is no evidence in the record to refute this conclusion. Furthermore, the record points out that much of the layout and construction of the linked website may in fact be misappropriated from the owner of “www.farfetch.com”, which is indicative of a general intent by Respondent to commit fraud on consumers as well as other online businesses.
The Panel concludes that Respondent’s conduct falls within the scope of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
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 <1stylebop.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Kimberley Chen Nobles
Date: July 20, 2012