WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Grundfos Holding A/S v. Baran Kosef, Tasarim Dunyasi Bilgisayar Internet Hizmetleri
Case No. D2014-1264
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Grundfos Holding A/S of Bjerringbro, Denmark, represented by Kromann Reumert, Denmark.
The Respondent is Baran Kosef, Tasarim Dunyasi Bilgisayar Internet Hizmetleri of Samsun, Turkey.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain name <grundfosbayi.com> and <grundfossatis.com> are registered with Nics Telekomünikasyon Ticaret Ltd. Şti. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 23, 2014. On July 24, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On July 31, 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 August 5, 2014, the Center transmitted the language of the proceedings document to the parties in both English and Turkish. On August 13, 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 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 August 18, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 7, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 8, 2014.
The Center appointed Dilek Ustun Ekdial as the sole panelist in this matter on September 17, 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 part of the Grundfos Group established in 1945. The Grundfos Group is one of the largest and leading manufacturers of circular pumps in the world producing more than 16 million pumps per year. The Grundfos Group is represented by more than 80 companies in more than 55 countries around the world, including in Turkey.
The Complainant’s company name and trademark is registered globally and is well known all across the world and specifically within the relevant industries. In Grundfos A/S v. Orion Web, WIPO Case No. D2005-0618 (domain name <grundfospump.com>), the panel concluded that the trademark is “very well known”. See to a similar effect, Grundfos A/S v. Jan Svoboda, WIPO Case No. D2009-0526 (domain name <grundfox.com>). According to the Complainant, it registered the GRUNDFOSS trademark for circular pumps as early as in 1946, which was changed to GRUNDFOS in 1967. The Complainant is the owner of many GRUNDFOS trademark registrations, one of them being European Community Trademark registration No. 006654339 of December 17, 2008.
The Grundfos Group operates several websites, including a website promoting its products under the domain name <grundfos.com>. The Complainant reports that, from January 2012 to August 2012, the website at “www.grundfos.com” received more than 140,000 visitors every month.
The disputed domain names were registered on January 3, 2012.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Respondent is “cybersquatting”, making a business of registering and selling domain names identical with or confusingly similar to well-known trademarks. The Complainant contends further that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names, and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain names in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules requires the Panel to decide the Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant bears the burden of showing:
(i) that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and;
(iii) that the disputed domain names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.
A. Language of the Proceeding
Although the language of the Registration Agreement is Turkish, the Panel determines in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 11(a) that the language of these administrative proceedings shall be the English language. The Panel finds that it would be inappropriate to conduct the proceedings in the Turkish language and request a Turkish translation of the Complaint while the Respondent has failed to raise any objection or even to respond to the Complaint and to the Center’s email communication with regard to the language of the proceedings, despite being communicated in Turkish and in English.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain names <grundfossatis.com> and <grundfosbayi.com> are both identical to the Complainant’s well-known trademark GRUNDFOS, other than the addition of the generic Turkish terms “satis” (“sales” in English) and “bayi”(“distributor” in English) in the disputed domain names.
The addition of the words “satis” and “bayi”, rather than distinguishing the disputed domain names, compound the likelihood of confusion among Internet users who are likely to believe that the websites accessed through the disputed domain names <grundfossatis.com> and <grundfosbayi.com> are authorized, directly or otherwise, by the Complainant and are selling the Complainant’s products. It is well established in UDRP jurisprudence that the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” suffix is typically disregarded under this element of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel holds that the disputed domain names <grundfossatis.com> and <grundfosbayi.com> are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. The Complainant showed, inter alia, that the Respondent has neither a license nor any other permission to use the disputed domain names. The Respondent has failed to demonstrate such rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent has not provided any evidence of the type specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or of any other circumstances giving rise to a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain names. It is clear that the Respondent has not demonstrated any bona fide offering of goods or services by its use of the disputed domain names and has not rebutted the Complainant’s prima facie case. Nor has the Respondent shown that it has been commonly known by the disputed domain names.
The Panel further finds that given the previous use made of the disputed domain names, namely to offer circular pumps of the Complainant and its competitors (Annex 15 to the Complaint), when the Respondent registered the disputed domain names it must have known the GRUNFOS trademark of the Complainant. It registered the disputed domain names because it would be recognized as such. The Panel notes that such use does not give rise to any rights or legitimate interests.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is met.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel is of the opinion that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and its trademark rights when it registered the disputed domain names. The Panel is prepared to infer that the Respondent was taking advantage of the goodwill and reputation of the Complainant’s trademark for commercial gain and it is well established that such use is evidence of bad faith. Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers à Monaco v. Universal Spheres Inc., WIPO Case No. D2010-0822.
The fact that the disputed domain names do not currently resolve to any website, does not prevent the Panel from finding bad faith on the part of the Respondent. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), paragraph 3.2.
As in Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003 and Ladbroke Group Plc v. Sonnoma International LDC, WIPO Case No. D2002-0131, after examining all circumstances surrounding the registration and use of the disputed domain name, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain names in bad faith. Accordingly, the Panel finds in favor of the Complainant on the third element 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 names <grundfosbayi.com> and <grundfossatis.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dilek Ustun Ekdial
Date: October 1, 2014