WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Furniture Holding b.v. v. Domain Admin, Private Registrations Aktien Gesellschaft
Case No. D2014-1300
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Furniture Holding b.v. of Waalwijk, the Netherlands, represented by H.H.M. Wösten, the Netherlands.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Private Registrations Aktien Gesellschaft of Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <woonexpress.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 29, 2014. On July 30, 2014, the Center transmitted to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 31, 2014, the Registrar transmitted 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. On August 7, 2014, the Center provided the Complainant with the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and invited the Complainant to amend the Complaint. On August 8, 2014, the Complainant filed an amended Complaint.
The Center verified that the amended 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 14, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for the Response was September 3, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 5, 2014.
The Center appointed Professor Ilhyung Lee as the sole panelist in this matter on September 12, 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 identifies itself as an entity that sells furniture and kitchen and home accessories in the Netherlands, using the name Woonexpress. The Complainant obtained a Benelux trademark registration for the WOONEXPRESS mark on June 21, 2002.
The Complainant, through its affiliated company, registered the domain name <woonexpress.nl> on August 19, 1999.
It is not clear when the Respondent obtained the disputed domain name <woonexpress.com>. The date apparently falls between June 16, 2013, and July 31, 2014.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends principally that: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights; (ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
In addition, the amended Complaint states, inter alia:
“The physical stores of Woonexpress exist since 1996. Woonexpress uses the website Woonexpress.nl to allow (future) clients to look for products to buy. Purchases can be made in the physical stores and in the webshop at Woonexpress.nl.”
“The Respondent is not authorized or licensed to use Complainant’s Woonexpress mark, nor is the Respondent a client of the Complainant. To the best of the Complainant’s knowledge the business activities of the Respondent are not in home furnishings or in any activities that are similar to the activities of Woonexpress.”
“The domain name Woonexpress.com was first registered by the Complainant on 15 June 2000 …. Due to a late payment of the registration renewal fee in 2013 the domain name ownership was lost on 16 June 2013…. On 31 July 2014 the whois registration was last updated on which date the Respondent is mentioned as the registrant of Woonexpress.com ….”
“[T]he Respondent registered the domain name Woonexpress.com while he was aware of the domain name Woonexpress.nl and the trademark rights of the Complainant. The Respondent diverts internet users from the Complainant’s business to the websites of the Complainant’s competitors to the disadvantage of the Complainant and by doing so disrupts the Complainant’s business. In addition, the Respondent offers the domain name Woonexpress.com for sale underlining that the Respondent is acting in bad faith.”
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
Paragraphs 5(e) and 14(a) of the Rules permit the Panel to decide the dispute based on the Complaint. Under paragraph 14(b), the Panel may also draw appropriate inferences from the Respondent’s default.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to prevail, the Complainant must satisfy all three elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel determines that the disputed domain name <woonexpress.com> is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s WOONEXPRESS, a mark in which the Complainant has rights. The disputed domain name differs from the mark only in that the former adds the generic Top-Level Domain, “.com”.
The first element is established.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and has met its initial burden of making a prima facie showing. The burden shifts to the Respondent to demonstrate any such rights or legitimate interests. But the Respondent has defaulted, and not much is known about the Respondent. The Panel is unable to ascertain any evidence that would demonstrate the Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, as described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or otherwise.
The second element is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances that are evidence of the requisite element of bad faith registration and use.
Here, Internet users who resort to the disputed domain name are directed to a website whose content includes links for various products similar to those sold by the Complainant. In light of the case record, the Panel concludes that the Respondent, by using the disputed domain name, “intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [the Respondent’s] web site … by creating a likelihood of confusion with the [C]omplainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of [the Respondent’s] web site”, as set forth in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The third element is also demonstrated.
The Panel notes that the Respondent has similar identifying information as the respondent in WSFS Financial Corporation v. Private Registrations Aktien Gesellschaft 2, WIPO Case No. D2012-0033. There, the panel noted circumstances also seen here, namely: “a lack of clarity as to when exactly the Domain Name was registered by the current registrant”; “the Domain Name has been registered with a privacy service and the underlying registrant in this case has not been disclosed”; and “the underlying registrant does not put in any submission”. In all events, in this case, the Panel independently reaches the same decision that was announced in WSFS Financial Corporation, v. Private Registrations Aktien Gesellschaft 2, supra.
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 <woonexpress.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 26, 2014