WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG v. Patricio Quezada
Case No. D2013-0557
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany, represented by Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners, Germany.
The Respondent is Patricio Quezada of Haledon, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <porschedesign-forsale.com> is registered with Key-Systems GmbH dba domaindiscount24.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 21, 2013. On March 21, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 25, 2013, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent’s contact details. On March 28, 2013, the Center transmitted an email to the parties in both Chinese and English regarding the language of the proceeding. On March 29, 2013, the Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on April 5, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for the Response was April 25, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any Response. Accordingly, the Center notified the parties of the Respondent’s default on April 26, 2013.
The Center appointed Sebastian M.W. Hughes as the sole panelist in this matter on May 13, 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.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a company incorporated in Germany.
The Complainant is the owner of numerous registrations worldwide for the trade mark PORSCHE (the “PORSCHE Trade Mark”) and the trade mark PORSCHE DESIGN (the “PORSCHE DESIGN Trade Mark”).
The Respondent is an individual apparently with an address in the United States of America.
C. The Disputed Domain Name
The disputed domain name was registered on October 20, 2012.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant made the following submissions in the Complaint.
The Complainant has been manufacturing and selling sports cars under the PORSCHE Trade Mark for more than 70 years. The Complainant’s exclusive licensee has also been manufacturing and selling high quality consumer goods under the PORSCHE DESIGN Trade Mark for many years. Since 2005, the Complainant’s exclusive licensee has been producing co-branded ADIDAS PORSCHE DESIGN sneakers with Adidas Corporation.
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the PORSCHE Trade Mark and the PORSCHE DESIGN Trade Mark (the “Trade Marks”). It incorporates the Trade Marks in their entirety, together with the non-distinctive and descriptive words “for sale”.
The Respondent has no business relationship with the Complainant and has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and is not making a bona fide commercial use of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith. It has been used by the Respondent in respect of a website which imitates a genuine website of the Complainant or its exclusive licensee and offers for sale counterfeit PORSCHE DESIGN sneakers (the “Website”). The Website also features the typical PORSCHE DESIGN script used by the Complainant’s exclusive licensee, and also features other products such as watches, glasses and wallets which are listed as “sold out”.
There have been several domain names registered by a person with the same email address as the Respondent and apparently used in respect of websites offering for sale counterfeit products of third party brand owners.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1. Language of the Proceeding
The language of the registration agreement for the disputed domain name is Chinese.
Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, or unless specified otherwise in the registration agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the registration agreement. No agreement has been entered into between the Complainant and the Respondent to the effect that the language of the proceeding should be English.
Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules allows the Panel to determine the language of the proceeding having regard to all the circumstances. In particular, it is established practice to take paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules into consideration for the purpose of determining the language of the proceeding. In other words, it is important to ensure fairness to the parties and the maintenance of an inexpensive and expeditious avenue for resolving domain name disputes. Language requirements should not lead to undue burdens being placed on the parties and undue delay to the proceeding (Whirlpool Corporation, Whirlpool Properties, Inc. v. Hui’erpu (HK) Electrical Appliance Co. Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2008-0293; Solvay S.A. v. Hyun-Jun Shin, WIPO Case No. D2006-0593).
The Complainant has requested that English be the language of the proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) The Respondent is familiar with the English language as the Respondent’s address is in an English speaking country and the Website is an English language site;
(2) It is, therefore, only fair to conduct the proceeding in the same language chosen by the Respondent
for the Respondent’s business activities;
(3) The Complainant would be unfairly disadvantaged by being forced to translate the Complaint because it is not familiar with the Chinese language.
The Respondent did not file a Response and did not file any submissions with respect to the language of the proceeding.
In exercising its discretion to use a language other than that of the registration agreement, the Panel has to exercise such discretion judicially in the spirit of fairness and justice to both parties, taking into account all relevant circumstances of the case, including matters such as the parties’ ability to understand and use the proposed language, time and costs (Groupe Auchan v. xmxzl, WIPO Case No. DCC2006-0004; Finter Bank Zurich v. Shumin Peng, WIPO Case No. D2006-0432).
The Panel finds that sufficient evidence has been adduced by the Complainant to suggest the likely possibility that the Respondent is conversant in the English language (Finter Bank Zurich v. Shumin Peng, supra). The Panel is also mindful of the need to ensure the proceeding is conducted in a timely and cost effective manner.
In all the circumstances, the Panel therefore finds it is not foreseeable that the Respondent would be prejudiced, should English be adopted as the language of the proceeding.
Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that the language of the proceeding shall be English.
The Complainant must prove each of the three elements in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to prevail.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the Trade Marks acquired through use and registration which predate the date of registration of the disputed domain name by over 70 years.
UDRP panels have consistently held that domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark for purposes of the Policy “when the domain name includes the trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of the other terms in the domain name” (see Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662).
The disputed domain name comprises the Trade Marks in their entirety together with the non-distinctive and descriptive words “for sale”. This does not serve to distinguish the disputed domain name from the Trade Marks in any significant way.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Trade Marks and holds that the Complaint fulfills the first condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of non-exhaustive circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name:
(i) before any notice to the Respondent of the dispute, the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the disputed domain name even if the Respondent has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.
There is no evidence that the Complainant has authorised, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the disputed domain name or to use the Trade Marks. The Complainant has prior rights in the Trade Marks which precede the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name by over 70 years. The Panel finds on the record that there is therefore a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the burden is thus on the Respondent to produce evidence to rebut this presumption (see Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-0624; and Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455).
The Respondent has failed to show that it has acquired any trade mark rights in respect of the disputed domain name or that the disputed domain name has been used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. To the contrary, the evidence suggests the Website is being used to offer for sale what appear to be counterfeit Porsche Design sneakers.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has failed to produce any evidence to establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel therefore finds that the Complaint fulfils the second condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, the following conduct amounts to registration and use in bad faith on the part of the Respondent:
By using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the Respondent’s website or location.
The Respondent appears to have engaged in a pattern of conduct of registering domain names comprising the trademarks of third party brand owners, without the authorisation or approval of the brand owners, in order to profit by attracting users to websites which offer for sale unauthorised branded goods.
The Website features the distinctive Porsche Design script and offers for sale unauthorised Porsche Design sneakers. Irrespective of whether the goods on the Website are in fact counterfeit products, the Panel finds use of the disputed domain name in this manner is clear evidence of bad faith. The Panel therefore finds, in all the circumstances, the requisite element of bad faith has been satisfied, under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Accordingly the third condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been fulfilled.
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 <porschedesign-forsale.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sebastian M.W. Hughes
Dated: May 27, 2013