WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


WordPress Foundation v. Park HyungJin

Case No. D2013-0074

1. The Parties

The Complainant is WordPress Foundation of San Francisco, California, United States of America, represented by Steven M. Levy of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

The Respondent is Park HyungJin of Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do, Republic of Korea.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <wpordpress.com> is registered with Megazone Corp., dba HOSTING.KR (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 11, 2013. On January 14, 2013, the Center transmitted to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 15, 2013, the Registrar transmitted 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”).

On January 15, 2013, the Center transmitted an email to the Parties in both Korean and English regarding the language of the proceeding. The Center notified the Parties that the language of the Registration Agreement is Korean. Furthermore, the Center instructed the Complainant to provide, by January 18, 2013:

“1) satisfactory evidence of an agreement between the Complainant and the Respondent to the effect that the proceedings should be in English; or

2) submit the Complaint translated into Korean; or …

3) submit a request for English to be the language of the administrative proceedings….”

To the Respondent, the Center informed that “if the Respondent is intending to participate in these proceedings, and/or has any comments on the Complainant’s submission replying to this notification, the Respondent is requested to submit these to the Center by January 20, 2013.”

The Center also advised the Respondent:

“Specifically in the case of the Complainant submitting (or indicating that it will submit) a request for the language of proceedings to be English, and the Respondent objects to such request, the Respondent is invited to indicate that objection for the record, and to submit any arguments/supporting materials … as to why the proceedings should not be conducted in English.

Please note that if we do not hear from you by [January 20, 2013], we will proceed on the basis that you have no objection to the Complainant’s request that English be the language of proceedings.”

On January 15, 2013, the Complainant requested that “English be the language of the administrative proceedings,” and referred to its supporting arguments in the Complaint. The Respondent did not make any submission in relation to the language of the proceeding.

In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint in both Korean and English, and the proceeding commenced on January 23, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 12, 2013. Regarding the language of the proceeding, the Center stated:

“The Complainant has submitted a request that English be the language of the proceedings, to which the Respondent has not replied.

Given the provided submissions and circumstances of this case, the Center has decided to:

1) accept the Complaint as filed in English;

2) accept a Response in either English or Korean;

3) appoint a Panel familiar with both languages mentioned above, if available.

In accordance with paragraph 11 of the Rules, the Panel has the authority to determine the language of proceedings. Having provided both parties with an opportunity to comment, any subsequent communications received by the Center from the parties regarding the language issue will be a matter for consideration at the discretion of the Panel (on appointment)….”

The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 13, 2013.

The Center appointed Professor Ilhyung Lee as the sole panelist in this matter on February 15, 2013. 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.

As discussed herein, the language of this proceeding is English.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant registered the domain name <wordpress.com> on March 3, 2000. The Complaint also obtained from the United States Patent and Trademark Office registrations for the WORDPRESS mark on January 23, 2007, for “software solutions, namely providing use of on-line non-downloadable software for use in enabling Internet publishing”. The Complainant has used the mark “in connection with . . . [a] self-hosted blogging and internet publishing tool”.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <wpordpress.com> on July 14, 2011.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends principally that: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to marks in which the Complainant has rights; (ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Complainant also states:

“Respondent is a notorious cybersquatter and is engaged in a longstanding pattern of bad faith registration of domain names that are confusingly similar to trademarks in which the Respondent has no rights”; and

“Respondent is obtaining commercial gain from its use of the <Wpordpress.com> website. When a visitor to the <Wpordpress.com> website clicks on one of the links which appear there, Respondent receives compensation from the various website owners who are forwarded from the <Wpordpress.com> domain.”

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. Paragraphs 5(e) and 14(a) of the Rules permit the Panel to decide the dispute based on the Complaint. Pursuant to paragraph 14(b), the Panel may draw appropriate inferences from the Respondent’s default.

6. Discussion and Findings

Initially, the Panel must address the language of the proceeding.

Under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules, the language of the registration agreement is the language of the administrative proceeding, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. But this provision also states that the determination of the language is “subject to the authority of the Panel …, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.” Here, the language of the Registration Agreement is Korean. The Complainant nevertheless requests that English be the language of the proceeding. The Panel agrees.

After receiving the Complaint submitted in English, the Center notified the parties, in both Korean and English, of the Center’s procedural rules regarding the language of the proceeding. The Center informed the Respondent that it may object timely to a proceeding in English. The Respondent did not respond to the Center’s notification, and then defaulted. The Panel thus determines that English is the language of the proceeding.

Turning to the merits, in order to prevail, the Complainant must demonstrate the presence of each of the three elements under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel concludes that the Complainant has rights in the mark, WORDPESS, and that the disputed domain name <wpordpress.com> is confusingly similar to the mark. The only difference between the protected mark and the disputed domain name is the inserted letter “p” and the addition of the top level domain, “.com”.

The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is demonstrated.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel determines that the Complainant has met its initial burden of making a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The burden thus shifts to the Respondent to demonstrate any such rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent has declined to take part in this proceeding. The Panel is unable to ascertain any evidence whatsoever that would indicate any right or legitimate interest that the Respondent has in the disputed domain name, as described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or otherwise.

The second element is also demonstrated.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Years after the Complainant obtained rights in the mark, WORDPRESS, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name <wpordpress.com>. The disputed domain name merely inserts the single letter “p” to the “wordpress” phrase, between the first and second letters. The Panel doubts that it is merely happenstance that on the standard English keyboard, the keystroke for the inserted letter “p” is immediately adjacent to that of the second letter in the Complainant’s mark “o”. This is an obvious case of typosquatting, which is “inherently parasitic and of itself evidence of bad faith”. National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Inc., d/b/a Minor League Baseball v. John Zuccarini, WIPO Case No. D2002-1011.

Bad faith can also be shown under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy. Internet users who resort to the disputed domain name are directed to a website that contains pay-per-click links for various “Related Searches” and “Sponsored listings”. Here, 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 [C]omplainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement” of the Respondent’s website, under paragraph 4(b)(iv).

The third element is proven.

7. Decision

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 <wpordpress.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Ilhyung Lee
Sole Panelist
Date: March 1, 2013