WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Statoil ASA v. David Campbell
Case No. D2013-1130
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Statoil ASA of Stavanger, Norway, represented by Valea AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is David Campbell of Daventry, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <statoilgroup.com> is registered with Ascio Technologies Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 24, 2013. On June 24, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 27, 2013, the Registrar 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 July 3, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 23, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 24, 2013.
The Center appointed Stefan Naumann as the sole panelist in this matter on July 31, 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 Statoil ASA is a Norwegian energy company. It has submitted evidence that it owns STATOIL trademarks in numerous countries, including the registered European Community Trademark STATOIL number 3657871 for products and services in classes 1, 4, 17, 35, 37, 39, 40, 42 filed on February 10, 2004.
These trademarks were filed before the disputed domain name <statoilgroup.com> was registered on April 11, 2013.
The evidence shows that no website can be accessed at “www.statoilgroup.com” except for a web hosting page service named “www.one.com”. The Complainant alleges that email records have been configured for this domain name, creating a concern of phishing attempts or spam in the Complainant’s name.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts that its STATOIL marks are famous, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, that the addition of the descriptive term “group” increases the risk of confusion, that the disputed domain name resolves to a parking page and that no goods or services are being offered in good faith, and that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s well-known marks when it combined the term “Statoil” with the term “group”, the disputed domain name thus having been registered and being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in its claim, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name combines the term “Statoil” with the term “group”. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks since consumers may expect to land on a website of the Complainant when typing in the Complainant’s trademark STATOIL, which is also its company name, together with the term “group”, which is commonly understood and/or used for a group of companies under common control. In this context, the Panel considers that although the term “statoil” may mean or describe a state owned oil company in Norwegian, the original meaning is not necessarily generally known, nor does it seem to directly describe all of the services designated by the marks, so that the distinctiveness of the term outside Norway or Scandinavia could not be easily questioned.
The Panel is satisfied that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks for the purposes of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has chosen not to reply to the Complaint. The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests and finds no indication in the evidence that the Respondent claims or could have claimed rights or legitimate interests of its own in the term “statoilgroup”. Since the Respondent has no permission from the Complainant, the Panel finds that based on the available evidence, the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is without rights or legitimate interests.
The Panel considers that in the present case the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent’s use of a parked webpage shown in the evidence indicates to the Panel that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith, see e.g. Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. The Respondent has chosen not to submit any arguments or evidence to the contrary, or to contest the Complainant’s claims.
In view of the above, the Panel also finds, based on the available evidence, that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <statoilgroup.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 14, 2013