WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Murat Şahin
Case No. D2014-0941
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Aktiebolaget Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Murat Şahin of Istanbul, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <electroluxyetkiliservisim.com> is registered with FBS Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on June 4, 2014. On June 4, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 5, 2014, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on June 20, 2014, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on June 25, 2014.
On June 11, 2014, the Center transmitted the language of the proceedings document to the parties in both English and Turkish. On June 11, 2014, the Complainant requested English to be the language of the proceedings. The Respondent did not submit its comments.
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 proceedings commenced on June 26, 2014. On the same date, the Center informed the parties that, given the provided submissions and circumstances of this case, it had decided to: 1) accept the Complaint as filed in English; 2) accept a Response in either English or Turkish; 3) appoint a Panel familiar with both languages mentioned above, if available. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 16, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on July 17, 2014.
The Center appointed Ugur G. Yalçiner as the sole panelist in this matter on July 23, 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 is a well-known Swedish joint stock company, which is a leading and widely-known producer of household appliances and equipment, founded in 1901. The Complainant states that the trademark ELECTROLUX has been registered as a word and device mark in several classes in more than 150 countries, including Turkey. Additionally, all of them were registered well before the registration of the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the Complainant utilizes the trademark ELECTROLUX in domain name under several generic Top-Level Domains ("gTLD") and country-code Top-Level Domains ("ccTLD"), e.g., <electrolux.com> and <electrolux.com.tr>.
The Respondent is Murat Şahin, a Turkish individual who is located in Istanbul, Turkey. The disputed domain name <electroluxyetkiliservisim.com> was registered on January 11, 2014, the generic terms "servisim" standing for "my service" in English and "yetikili" for "certified / authorized" in English.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant avers that it has leading market positions in white goods and floor-care products in both Europe and North America and is a world leading producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen, cleaning and outdoor use. The Complainant alleges that ELECTROLUX, AEG and FRIGIDAIRE marks are well-known and that it has exclusive rights to use of the marks worldwide.
The Complainant also contends the dominant part of the disputed domain name is the term "electrolux", which is confusingly similar to the registered trademark of ELECTROLUX. The Complainant also alleges that the suffix "yetkili servisim" is a Turkish translation of the English "my authorized service" describing the Complainant's business, and is rather fitted to strengthen the impression that the disputed domain name is in some way connected to the Complainant. Additionally, the Complainant contends that the suffix "yetkiliservisim" is not relevant and will not have any impact on the overall impression of the dominant part of the disputed domain name, and ELECTROLUX is instantly recognizable as a world famous trademark. The Complainant further contends that the Respondent intentionally chose the disputed domain name based on its trademarks to generate traffic to the Respondent's website and that the Respondent is trying to "sponge off" of the Complainant's "world famous" trademarks.
The Complainant states that the Respondent does not have any registered trademark or trade name corresponding to the disputed domain name. In addition, the Complainant notes that no license or authorization of any other kind has been given to the Respondent by the Complainant, to use the trademark. The Complainant also avers that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. By doing this, the Respondent is misleading Internet users to commercial website and consequently, the Respondent is tarnishing the Complainant's trademark ELECTROLUX.
On the basis of the above, the Complainant requests transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that each of the three elements is present:
(i) The disputed domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11(a), in the absence of an agreement between the parties, or specified otherwise in the registration agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the registration agreement. However, Panel has discretion to determine different language.
According to information received from the Registrar of the disputed domain name, the language of the registration agreement for the disputed domain name is Turkish. The Complainant has submitted the Complaint in English and requested that the language of the administrative proceeding be English. The Respondent has not submitted any objection to the Complainant's request that the language of the administrative proceeding be English, despite the Center's invitation, done both in English and Turkish, to comment on the language of proceedings. The Panel also notes that the notification of this Complaint to the Respondent has been done both in English and Turkish by the Center. The Panel also considers it relevant that the Complainant's trademark is not a Turkish term, suggesting that the Respondent has sufficient grasp of English. For this reason, the Panel agrees to hold the proceeding in English as requested by the Complainant.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel agrees that, although the disputed domain name <electroluxyetkiliservisim.com> is not identical to the Complainant's trademark, it is confusingly similar since the term "Electrolux" is the most distinctive term in the disputed domain name. The Panel also notes that the mere addition of "yetkiliservisim" do not avoid the risk of confusion with the Complainant's mark. See F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. ActiveIdeas.com, Jason Peterson, WIPO Case No. D2007-1567; Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Ferhat TUNALI, FBS (DI_4010121)/SENOL KARAKAYA/PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-1791.
The Panel concurs with the opinion of several prior UDRP panels, which have held that when a domain name wholly incorporates a complainant's registered mark that may be sufficient to establish confusing similarity for purposes of the Policy. See, e.g., Kabushiki Kaisha Hitachi Seisakusho (d/b/a Hitachi Ltd) v. Arthur Wrangle, WIPO Case No. D2005-1105; Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903; Magnum Piering, Inc. v. The Mudjackers and Garwood S. Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525; Eauto, L.L.C. v. Triple S. Auto Parts d/b/a Kung Fu Yea Enterprises, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0047; Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. bmwcar.com, WIPO Case No. D2002-0615. In this Panel's view, the addition of the terms "yetkiliservisim" (meaning "my authorized service") does not sufficiently distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant's trademark.
As a conclusion, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark and that the requirements in paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are fulfilled.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
According to paragraph 4(a)(ii), the second element that the Complainant must prove is that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out various ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name.
The Panel notes that the Respondent does not have any relevant registered trademarks or trade names and no license or authorization of any other kind has been given by the Complainant to use its registered trademark.
Additionally, based on the facts described above, the Panel notes that, the Respondent has not replied to any of the Complainant's or the Center's correspondences.
Therefore, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name as it has not rebutted the Complainant's prima facie case.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
According to paragraph 4(a)(iii) and 4(b) of the Policy, the Complainant may show one of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, in order to demonstrate the Respondent's bad faith in registration and use of the disputed domain name:
(i) circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent's documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the Respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) The Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent's web site 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 web site or location or of a product or service on the Respondent's web site or location.
The Panel confirms that the reputation and recognition of the Complainant's trademark ELECTROLUX and is convinced that the Respondent must have known of this trademark when it registered the disputed domain name.
Several panels have held that registering and using domain names which correspond to well-known trademarks suggests bad faith (LEGO Juris A/S v. Reiner Stotte, WIPO Case No. D2010-0494; and Sanofi-aventis v. Nevis Domains LLC, WIPO Case No. D2006-0303).
The Panel also infers that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name merely for the purpose of creating an association with the Complainant and its trademarks. According to the print-outs of the website linked to the disputed domain name provided as Annex 10 to the Complaint, the Panel is convinced that the Respondent has intentionally registered the disputed domain name with the intention to offer services and to create the false impression that the Respondent is an authorized repair and service provider for the Complainant's products (Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv)).
Moreover, the Panel has noted that the Respondent has not used the disputed domain name after the proceeding had been initiated by the Complainant.
As such, taking into account all the circumstances, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used 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 <electroluxyetkiliservisim.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Ugur G. Yalçiner
Date: August 5, 2014