WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Inter IKEA Systems B.V. v. Hka c/o Dynadot Privacy
Case No. D2014-1874
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 Hka c/o Dynadot Privacy of San Mateo, California, United States of America ("United States").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ikea.buzz> (the "Domain Name") is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on October 24, 2014. On October 24, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 26, 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 November 4, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 24, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 25, 2014.
The Center appointed Alan L. Limbury as the sole panelist in this matter on December 2, 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 (uncontested facts)
The Complainant is the owner and franchisor of a furniture and home furnishing business marketed under the world famous trademark IKEA, which is an acronym comprising the initials of the founder's name (Ingvar Kamprad), the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his home parish (Agunnaryd). The Complainant has registered the IKEA mark in many countries, including (on June 23, 1987) in the United States, where the Respondent appears to be located (Registration number 1443893). Only approved and licensed retailers are authorized to participate in the Complainant's distribution system and make use of the IKEA trademark. As of August 31, 2013, there were 38 IKEA stores located in the United States.
The Domain Name was registered on April 16, 2014. It resolves to a free parking page with furniture-related pay-per-click links provided by the Registrar's Revenue Parking service, which is optional under the Dynadot Registration Agreement.
The Respondent did not reply to a cease and desist letter dated April 28, 2014.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's IKEA trademark since the addition of the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) ".buzz" does not detract from the obvious association with that mark. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the Domain Name, which was registered and is being used in bad faith.
As to legitimacy, the Complainant has not found that the Respondent has any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the Domain Name. Nor has the Complainant found anything that would suggest that the Respondent has been using "ikea" in any other way that would give it any rights or legitimate interests in the name. Consequently, the Respondent may not claim any rights established by common usage. No licence or authorization of any kind has been given by the Complainant 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. It is highly unlikely that the Respondent would have been unaware of the Complainant's legal rights in the name IKEA at the time of registration.
The Respondent is today not using the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Instead, the Respondent has intentionally chosen a domain name based on a famous trademark in order to redirect visitors to a website displaying sponsored links.
As to bad faith, it is highly unlikely that the Respondent would have chosen to register the IKEA trademark without being aware of the Complainant's rights in said name. Therefore, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its website.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, paragraph 4(a), the Complainant must prove each of three elements of its case in order to obtain the requested relief:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith.
A respondent is not obliged to participate in a proceeding under the Policy but if it fails to do so, asserted facts may be taken as true and reasonable inferences may be drawn from the information provided by the complainant: Reuters Limited v. Global Net 2000, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0441. See also Microsoft Corporation v. Freak Films Oy, WIPO Case No. D2003-0109; SSL INTERNATIONAL PLC v. MARK FREEMAN, WIPO Case No. D2000-1080 and ALTAVISTA COMPANY v. GRANDTOTAL FINANCES LIMITED et. al., WIPO Case No. D2000-0848.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has rights in the famous and distinctive trademark IKEA.
Prior to the introduction of the new gTLDs, gTLD suffixes were generally disregarded when considering identity or confusing similarity but it is likely they will now be taken into account more frequently. See Canyon Bicycles GmbH v. Domains By Proxy, LLC / Rob van Eck, WIPO Case No. D2014-0206.
As in the recent case involving the same Respondent, Novartis AG v. Hka c/o Dynadot Privacy, WIPO Case No. D2014-1737, if one were to disregard the suffix in this case, the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant's IKEA trademark. If the suffix ".buzz" is taken into consideration, the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the trademark. Moreover, to the extent ".buzz" denotes news and information about "Ikea" this would exacerbate confusion.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the trademark IKEA.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the IKEA mark is distinctive and famous. The Complainant's assertions are sufficient to constitute a prima facie showing of absence of rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name on the part of the Respondent. The evidentiary burden therefore shifts to the Respondent to show by concrete evidence that it does have rights or legitimate interests in that name: Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-0624 and the cases there cited. The Respondent has made no attempt to do so.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four illustrative circumstances, which, though not exclusive, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, including:
(iv) by using the Domain Name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website 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 the Respondent's website or location or of a product or service on its website or location.
IKEA is a famous trademark. The Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant's rights in the trademark IKEA at the point of registration. Having no connection with or authorization from the Complainant, the Respondent must have registered the Domain Name in bad faith. In this regard the Panel notes that the Respondent registered the domain name <novartis.buzz> on the very same day as it registered the Domain Name. See Novartis AG v. Hka c/o Dynadot Privacy, WIPO Case No. D2014-1737.
The Domain Name resolves to a free parking page with furniture-related pay-per-click links provided by the Registrar's optional Revenue Parking service. The Respondent therefore chose to allow the Domain Name to be used to generate pay-per-click revenue derived from the confusion of Internet users which the Domain Name was calculated to produce. Accordingly, the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith in the manner described in the Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv).
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <ikea.buzz> be transferred to the Complainant.
Alan L. Limbury
Date: December 8, 2014