WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Inter IKEA Systems B.V. v. Guang Yang
Case No. D2014-0838
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Inter IKEA Systems B.V. of Delft, the Netherlands, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Guang Yang of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ikea365.com> (the "Disputed Domain Name") is registered with Bizcn.com, Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on May 21, 2014. On May 21, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On May 22, 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 May 26, 2014, the Center transmitted an email to the parties in both Chinese and English language regarding the language of the proceeding. On May 27, 2014, 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 in both English and Chinese of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 5, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 25, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on June 26, 2014.
The Center appointed Kar Liang Soh as the sole panelist in this matter on July 3, 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
The Complainant operates a franchise of furniture stores around the world under the trademark IKEA. There are 345 stores in 42 countries, 16 of which are in China where the Respondent appears to be located. In 2013, there were about 775 million visitors to the stores which generated a turnover of about EUR 29.2 billion. The trademark IKEA is listed among the "Best Global Brands 2012" by Interbrand and the Complainant has been ranked 35 among "The World's Most Reputable Companies" in 2013 of the Reputation Institute. The Complainant's websites had over 1.2 billion visitors in 2013.
The Complainant owns over 1500 registrations for trademarks incorporating the word IKEA in over 80 countries, including in China. Some of these trademark registrations are listed below:
April 15, 1983
October 15, 1992
The Complainant is also the registrant of over 300 generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) and country-code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) including <ikea.com> and <ikea.cn>.
In the absence of a response, information regarding the Respondent does not extend much beyond that found in the WhoIs record of the Disputed Domain Name.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on February 21, 2014. As of April 25, 2014, the Disputed Domain Name resolved to a website promoting the sale of products including breast-enhancement milk tea and study method guides. The Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to the Respondent by email on April 28, 2014 but did not receive any reply.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that:
1) The Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark IKEA. It comprises the word "ikea". The addition of the term "365" does not detract from the overall impression of the dominant part of the mark, IKEA. The Disputed Domain Name is bound to be mistaken as a name related to the Complainant;
2) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered any trademarks corresponding to the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainant has not given any license or authorization to the Respondent to use the trademark IKEA. The Respondent is not an authorized dealer of the Complainant's products and has never had a business relationship with the Complainant. The Respondent is not using the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. There is nothing which would explain the Respondent's decision to incorporate the trademark IKEA into the Disputed Domain Name; and
3) The Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The trademark IKEA is well-known throughout the world. The Respondent was aware of the rights of the Complainant in the trademark IKEA. The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the trademark IKEA as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its website. The registration of the Disputed Domain Name was an intentional effort to gain Internet traffic from consumers who are, at least initially, confused into believing that the website will resolve to an official IKEA website.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1 Language of Proceeding
The language of the registration agreement is Chinese and the language of the proceeding should accordingly be Chinese. The Complainant has requested that English be adopted as the language of proceeding instead. The Panel is entitled to determine the language of proceeding having regard to the circumstances pursuant to paragraph 11(a) of the Rules. Having done so, the Panel determines that the language of the proceeding shall be English in this particular case for the following reasons:
a) The Respondent has not participated in the proceeding by filing a response and has ignored the Complainant's cease and desist letter prior to the Complaint;
b) The Complaint has already been filed in English;
c) Requiring the Complaint to be translated into Chinese will lead to additional burden on the Complainant and also delay the proceedings unnecessarily; and
d) No procedural benefit will be gained by insisting that the language of proceeding remains as Chinese.
The Complainant has the responsibility in this proceeding to show that all 3 limbs of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are met on the evidence, namely:
a) The Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
b) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name; and
c) The Disputed Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant clearly has rights in the trademark IKEA in view of the many trademark registrations. The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the trademark IKEA in its entirety. The only difference between the trademark IKEA and the Disputed Domain Name is the suffix "365". It is also the consensus opinion of prior UDRP panels that the addition of generic or descriptive suffixes and prefixes to a trademark does not result in a domain name which could avoid being confusingly similar. In line with the consensus view, the Panel agrees with the Complainant that the suffix "365" does not assist to prevent the Disputed Domain Name from being confusing similar the trademark IKEA. Therefore, the Panel holds that the first limb of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is established in this case.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has alleged that it has no relationship with the Respondent which could be regarded as a licence or authorization to use the trademark IKEA. There is also no evidence before the Panel that the Respondent is commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name. The Panel is of the view that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent does not have a right or legitimate interest in the Disputed Domain Name. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to such a serious claim and the Panel is led to the inference that the Respondent has no answer to this. In the circumstances, the Panel holds that the second limb of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is also established.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy describes the following situation as an example of bad faith registration and use:
"by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site 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 your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location."
That the website resolved from the Disputed Domain Name is intended to attract Internet users for commercial gain is obvious on the face of it. The website advertises the availability of products (including breast implants), guaranteeing genuine goods, and offering accompanying gift surprises, convenient doorstep delivery and cash-on delivery service.
Based on the evidence provided, the Panel is satisfied that the trademark IKEA is well known. The Respondent must have been aware of the trademark IKEA. The Panel cannot conceive of any explanation for the Respondent's incorporation of the trademark IKEA into the Disputed Domain Name other than for the purpose of creating a likelihood of confusion with the trademark IKEA as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website resolved from the Disputed Domain Name or the products offered on the website. Without the benefit of a cogent explanation which the Respondent has chosen not to provide, the Panel holds that the Respondent has exhibited the bad faith registration and use described in 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 <ikea365.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Kar Liang Soh
Date: August 8, 2014