WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Dr. lng. h.c. F. Porsche AG v. im 9uae
Case No. D2014-0967
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Dr. lng. h.c. F. Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany, represented by Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners, Germany.
The Respondent is im 9uae of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <porscheuae.com> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with Name.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 6, 2014. On June 6, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On June 6, 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.
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 June 13, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 3, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 4, 2014.
The Center appointed Lynda M. Braun as the sole panelist in this matter on July 14, 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 the world famous manufacturer of luxurious sports cars sold under the trademark PORSCHE. It has conducted business under that name for over 70 years. Porsche cars are distributed worldwide through a network of official dealers. The Complainant operates its website at “www.porsche.com’’, which serves as a gateway to sub-websites dedicated to various countries and regions. The Dubai website is located at “www.porsche.com/middle-east/_dubai_/”.
The Complainant is the owner of many trademark registrations for PORSCHE for a range of goods and services in numerous countries of the world. Some of the most notable include: UAE Trademark for PORSCHE, Reg. No. 2333; UAE Trademark for PORSCHE STUTTGART, Reg. No. 96927; U.S. Trademark for PORSCHE, Reg. No. 0618933; and International Registration for PORSCHE, Reg. No. 179 928.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on July 7, 2008. When the Complainant discovered that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name, it resolved to a website that claimed to be the PORSCHE Official Website at United Arab Emirates. The website consisted of images that were copied from the Complainant’s official website. As of the writing of this decision, the website has been removed.
The language of this proceeding is English.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that:
- The Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the trademark in which the Complainant has rights;
- The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name;
- There is not and has never been a business relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant;
- The Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name;
- The Respondent is not making commercial use of the Disputed Domain Name;
- The Respondent does not exist, either as an individual or a company, there was no street address listed in the WhoIs records and the e-mail contact listed is serviced by a Chinese company;
- The Respondent did not use the Disputed Domain Name for a bona fide offering of goods or services; and
- The Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order for the Complainant to prevail and have the Disputed Domain Name transferred to the Complainant, the Complainant must prove the following (Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i-iii)):
(i) The Disputed Domain Name 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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
This element consists of two parts: first, does the Complainant have rights in a relevant trademark and, second, is the Disputed Domain Name identical or confusingly similar to that trademark.
It is uncontroverted that the Complainant has established rights in the PORSCHE mark based on longstanding use and its numerous international trademark registrations. The Disputed Domain Name <porscheuae.com> consists of the word “porsche”, followed by the geographic designation “uae”, and followed by the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”.
The Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the PORSCHE mark. The addition of the geographical designation “uae” does not diminish, but rather adds to the confusing similarity between the Disputed Domain Name and the Complainant’s PORSCHE mark. See Gannett Co., Inc. v. Henry Chan, WIPO Case No. D2004-0117 (a domain name incorporating a well-known trademark combined with a geographically descriptive term is confusingly similar to the trademark); Inter-IKEA Systems B.V. v. Hoon Huh, WIPO Case No. D2000-0438 (the addition of the term “korea” in <ikea-korea.com> does not prevent the domain name from being confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark).
Finally, the addition of a gTLD such as “.com” in a domain name is technically required. Thus, it is well established that such element may be disregarded when assessing whether a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark. Proactiva Medio Ambiente, S.A. v. Proactiva, WIPO Case No. D2012-0182.
Accordingly, the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Under the Policy, a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once such a prima facie case is made, the respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. If the respondent fails to do so, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), paragraph 2.1.
In this case, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case. In particular, the Complainant submits that the Respondent has no relationship of any sort with the Complainant or is in any other way authorized to use the Complainant’s PORSCHE mark. The Respondent has not submitted any arguments or evidence to rebut the Complainant’s prima facie case. Furthermore, there is no evidence in the record that the Respondent is in any way associated with the Complainant, that the Respondent is now or was ever known by the Disputed Domain Name, or that the Respondent has other authority, license or permission to use the PORSCHE mark.
Accordingly, the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel considers it self-evident in view of the notoriety of the PORSCHE trademark that the Respondent must have had the Complainant in mind when it registered the Disputed Domain Name. In view of the Panel’s finding that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, it follows that the Disputed Domain Name was registered in bad faith.
The Panel presumes that Internet users are very likely to assume that the Disputed Domain Name and any website to which it resolved is operated by, authorized or otherwise sanctioned by the Complainant and that the intention of the Respondent was to attract Internet users to the website for commercial gain. In addition, although the Respondent’s website was taken down by the time this Panel was appointed, the Complainant submitted evidence that the Respondent copied images from the Complainant’s official website and used them on its website. In the view of the Panel, this amounts to bad faith. The adoption by the Respondent of the name “Porsche” and the failure to give full contact details is further evidence of bad faith.
Accordingly, the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
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 <porscheuae.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Lynda M. Braun
Date: July 28, 2014