WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Macro Retailing, LLC v. 2013qq

Case No. D2014-0074

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Macro Retailing, LLC of Hagerstown, Maryland, United States of America (“US”), represented by IP Attorneys Group, US.

The Respondent is 2013qq of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <2013supershoes.com> is registered with Xin Net Technology Corp. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 17, 2014. On January 20, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 21, 2014, 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.

On January 24, 2014, the Center transmitted an email to the parties in both Chinese and English regarding the language of the proceeding. On the same day, the Complainant submitted its request that English be the language of the proceeding by email to the Center. The Respondent did not make any submissions regarding the language of the proceeding.

On January 24, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Complainant the Notification of Complainant Deficiency. On the same day, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint by email to the Center.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 January 31, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 20, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 21, 2014.

The Center appointed Sebastian M.W. Hughes as the sole panelist in this matter on February 28, 2014. 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

A. Complainant

The Complainant is a company incorporated in the State of Delaware in the US and the owner of registrations for the trade mark SUPER SHOES in the US (the “Trade Mark”), the earliest dating from 1987, with a date of first use in commerce of 1955.

B. Respondent

The Respondent is an individual apparently with an address in China.

C. The Disputed Domain Name

The disputed domain name was registered on September 5, 2013.

D. The Website at the Disputed Domain Name

The website at the disputed domain name (the “Website”) offers for sale NIKE-branded footwear.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant made the following submissions in the Complaint.

The Complainant is a leading retailer of footwear under the Trade Mark at “bricks and mortar” retail stores in the US and also, since 1998, online.

The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Trade Mark. It contains the Trade Mark in its entirety, together with the year “2013”.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not affiliated with or authorized by the Complainant in any way and is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name in respect of the Website in order to intentionally attract Internet users, for commercial gain.

The Respondent must have known of the Complainant and the Trade Mark when it registered the disputed domain name. The Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in order to target the rights of the Complainant in the Trade Mark, for commercial gain.

For all of these reasons, the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not respond 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(a), 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) 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 Complainant is a US company and is incapable of conducting the proceeding in Chinese; and

2. The Website is entirely in English, which indicates that the Respondent has a firm grasp of English.

The Respondent did not file a Response and did not make any submissions regarding 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 content of the Website is solely in English. The Panel therefore 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 unduly 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.

6.2 Decision

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 Mark acquired through use and registration which predate the date of registration of the disputed domain name by almost 70 years.

Previous 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 trade mark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of the other terms in the domain name” (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662).

It is also established that the addition of generic terms to the disputed domain name has little, if any, effect on a determination of confusing similarity between the domain name and the mark (Quixtar Investments, Inc. v. Dennis Hoffman, WIPO Case No. D2000-0253); furthermore, mere addition of a generic or descriptive term does generally not exclude the likelihood of confusion (PRL USA Holdings, Inc. v. Spiral Matrix, WIPO Case No. D2006-0189).

The disputed domain name contains the Trade Mark in its entirety. The Panel concludes that the use of “2013” does not serve to distinguish the disputed domain name from the Trade Mark in any significant way.

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Trade Mark.

The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Trade Mark and holds that the Complaint fulfils 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 a respondent has rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:

(i) Before any notice to the respondent of the dispute, the respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) The respondent (as an individual, business, or other organisation) has been commonly known by the 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 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 Mark. The Complainant has prior rights in the Trade Mark which precede the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name by almost 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 (Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-0624; 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 is used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. To the contrary, the disputed domain name has been used in respect of the Website, which has not been authorised by the Complainant, and offers for sale NIKE branded footwear. The Panel concludes such use does not amount to a bona fide offering of goods or services under the Policy.

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 any 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 of a domain name in bad faith on the part of a respondent:

By using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the respondent’s website or other online 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 Complainant’s business includes the retail of branded footwear online. The Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in respect of the Website, which offers for sale NIKE branded footwear, without the authorisation or approval of the Complainant. Such use clearly amounts to bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

For 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.

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 <2013supershoes.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Sebastian M.W. Hughes
Sole Panelist
Dated: March 14, 2014