WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Svea Ekonomi AB, Svea Exchange AB v. Christopher Clewehielm, 24Guld i Sverige AB

Case No. D2014-2135

1. The Parties

The Complainants are Svea Ekonomi AB of Solna, Sweden (the "Complainant 1") and Svea Exchange AB of Stockholm, Sweden (the "Complainant 2"), represented by Groth & Co KB, Sweden.

The Respondent is / Christopher Clewehielm / 24Guld i Sverige AB of Solna, Sweden.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <svea-exchange.com> (the "Disputed Domain Name") is registered with AB Name ISP (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 8, 2014. On December 8, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 11, 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. On December 11, 2014, the Registrar verification response, the Registrar indicated

that the language of registration agreement was Swedish. Accordingly, the Center sent an e-mail communication on December 12, 2013, concerning the Language of Proceedings in English and in Swedish to the Complainant, copied to the Respondent. On the same day, December 13, 2013, the Complainant sent a request for English to be the language of proceedings in this case, indicating the reasons for it.

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 in both the English and Swedish languages, and the proceedings commenced on December 18, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 7, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on January 8, 2015.

The Center appointed Anders Janson as the sole panelist in this matter on January 16, 2015. 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 1 has offered both financial and administrative services since 1981, including factoring, ledger administration and debt administration. The Complainant 1 is authorized by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and has over 650 employees and offices in ten countries.

The Complainant 1 has acquired the Complainant 2, which acquisition became public on March 20, 2014 through an official press release. After the acquisition/merger the Complainant 2 changed its company name to Svea Exchange AB.

The Complainant 1 is the owner of the trademark SVEA. SVEA was registered as a European CTM trademark in classes 35, 36, 38 and 42 with registration No. 011546983 (figurative) on June 14, 2013 and with registration No. 009173147 (figurative) on October 29, 2010. Further SVEA was registered as a European CTM Mark with registration No. 005050034 (word) with registration No. 009173147 on February 5, 2009. SVEA was registered as a Swedish trademark, in classes 35 and 36, with registration No. 0351324 (word) on December 21, 2001.

The Complainant 2 is the owner of the trademark EXCHANGE FINANS. EXCHANGE FINANS was registered as a Swedish trademark in class 36, with registration No. 0418219 (figurative) on December 21, 2001 and with registration No. 0418217 (word) on May 6, 2011.

The Respondent registered the domain name <svea-exchange.com> on March 20, 2014.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainants have submitted a request that English shall be the language of the administrative proceeding. The reason for this is that both parties were involved in Svea Ekonomi AB, Svea Exchange AB v. Christopher Clewehielm / 24Guld i Sverige AB, WIPO Case No. D2014-1476 and that this proceeding was conducted in English. Furthermore, content of the Respondent's website is presented in English which indicates that the Respondent knows English. The Respondent's website can be viewed in both Swedish and English. In addition, English is taught in the Swedish educational system form an early age and therefore Swedes understand and speak English.

The Respondent is a Swedish competitor to the Complainants and registered the Disputed Domain Name the same date as the public announcement of the Complainant 1's merger/acquisition of the Complainant 2. The Respondent has also registered and used a number of equivalent domain names.

The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the registered trademark SVEA in its entirety with the addition of a hyphen and the term "exchange" the dominant part of the second Complainant's trademark EXCHANGE FINANS. Given the circumstances under which the disputed domain name was registered, the first part of the Disputed Domain Name, which is identical to the trademark SVEA, is intended to refer to the Complainant 1 since the second part does nothing to diminish the likelihood of confusion. The addition of the term "exchange" may actually increase the risk of confusion.

The Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the combination of the registered trademarks SVEA and EXCHANGE FINANS, in which the Complainants have rights. Both SVEA and EXCHANGE FINANS were registered well before the Disputed Domain Name was registered by the Respondent. The Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainants' trademarks, due to the immediate registration of the domain name after the press release of the merger/acquisition and the fact that the Disputed Domain Name contains a combination of the Complainants' older registered trademarks.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the name SVEA EXCHANGE. The Respondent is not an owner of any trademark, service mark or company name with a name similar to that of the domain name in question. Furthermore, the Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainants have not directly or indirectly licensed or otherwise consented to the Respondent's use of the SVEA trademark or the EXCHANGE FINANS trademark in connection with the disputed domain name <svea-exchange.com>, which is confusingly similar to each of the complainants' registered trademarks, or combination thereof. The Respondent is a local Swedish competitor to the Complainants and is using the Disputed Domain Name for the purpose of attracting and diverting customers searching for the Complainants to the Respondent's own commercial website. The website, to which the Disputed Domain Name resolves, contains an invisible frame, in which the content from the commercial website <24money.se> is displayed. The domain name <24money.se> also belongs to the Respondent. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name in direct competition with the Complainants and for the same type of services for which the Complainants' trademarks are registered. The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain or misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademarks at issue. The Respondent is not using the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on the very same day as the Complainants' publicly announced information of the acquisition merger. The circumstances in the case clearly indicate that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith. The Respondent has registered and used at least four domain names which are identical or confusingly similar to the Complainants' registered trademarks which indicates that the Respondent's behavior constitutes a pattern and the fact that the Respondent continues to use the Disputed Domain Name for its competing business after having been part of two previous domain name disputes indicates that the Respondent is acting in bad faith.

Since the Respondent redirect the Disputed Domain Name to its own commercial website after the Complainants informed about the Complainants' registered trademarks and company name, it is obvious that the Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Name with knowledge of the Complainants' registered marks. Further, the Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Name for a competing commercial website offering the same type of services for which the Complainants' trademarks are registered. The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent's website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainants' trademarks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent's website or of a product on the Respondent's website.

According to the reasons listed above, the Complainants request the Administrative Panel that the domain name <svea-exchange.com> be transferred to the Complainant 2.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

The Complainants have requested English to be the language of the proceedings. The language of the proceeding is normally the language of the registration agreement and the registration agreement that relates to the Disputed Domain Name has been filed in Swedish. The Panel can determine to designate another language than the language of the registration agreement under paragraph 11 of the Policy. The Panel notes that the content of the Respondent's website can be displayed in English. Taking this and the circumstances of the case into consideration, the Panel finds that English shall be the language of the proceedings and this decision in accordance with the request of the Complainants.

Given the case file and the Respondent's failure to file a response, the Panel, where appropriate accepts as true the contentions of the Complainant. The Respondent's default does not however automatically lead to a transfer of the Disputed Domain Name. To the contrary the Complainant still must establish that it is entitled to a transfer of the domain name under the Policy.

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, the Complainant must establish each of the following elements:

(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark or service 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.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the Complainants have trademark rights to SVEA and EXCHANGE FINANS with reference to the trademark registrations. It is also noted that the Complainant 2 has the company name Svea Exchange AB.

The Disputed Domain Name is <svea-exchange.com> and consists of the entire word "svea", which is the registered trademark of Complainant 1, and incorporates the word "Exchange" which is an element of the registered trademark of Complainant 2. The words "exchange" and "finans" are descriptive and only distinctive when used in combination. The Disputed Domain Name contains the entire SVEA trademark and the fact that the Disputed Domain Name also contains non-distinctive and generic terms shall be disregarded when determining whether a domain name or a trademark are identical or confusingly similar. The Panel notes that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant 1's trademarks. Additionally, the Panel finds that that the Disputed Domain Name is also confusingly similar to the Complainant 2's company name, since it includes the company name "Svea Exchange AB" in its entirety, only excluding the association abbreviation "AB". The Panel finds that the Complainants trademarks are well known and predate the registration of the Disputed Domain Name.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainants have asserted that no permission has been granted to the Respondent to register the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainants have stated that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests to the Disputed Domain Name. Further the Disputed Domain Name is used for commercial gain and the Respondent is considered to be a competitor of the Complainants. In the light of what the Complainants have asserted, the Panel finds that the Complainants have made out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.

Therefore the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to bring forward appropriate allegations or evidence of its rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent has not replied to the Complainant's contentions. The failure to file a response leaves the Panel to decide the case on the basis of the available record and the evidence provided by the Complainant. Upon consideration of the available record and the absence of a formal response from the Respondent, the Panel is satisfied that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the Complainants' trademark is well-known and predate the registration of the Disputed Domain Name. Further the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on the very same date as the merger/acquisition between the Complainants was publicly announced. It is highly unlikely that the Respondent has registered the Disputed Domain Name unaware of the Complainants' trademarks. The Disputed Domain Name is being used to redirect Internet users to the Respondent's own website and is being used to promote competing and similar services as the Complainants. Considering the above stated the Panel finds that the Respondent must have chosen the Disputed Domain Name in order to gain commercial benefit. This constitutes evidence of registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith in accordance with the Policy. There is no material in the record which displaces this presumption.

The Panel finds that the Complainants have fulfilled the requirement under paragraph 4(a) (iii)of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <svea-exchange.com> be transferred to the Complainant 2.

Anders Janson
Sole Panelist
Date: January 27, 2015