WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Edelrid GmbH & Co. KG v. Whois Privacy Corp., / Ryan G Foo, PPA Media Services
Case No. D2014-2182
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Edelrid GmbH & Co. of Isny im Allgäu, Germany, represented by Kanzlei Dr. Votteler, Germany.
The Respondent is Whois Privacy Corp. of Nassau, Bahamas / Ryan G Foo, PPA Media Services of Santiago, Chile.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <edelrid.com> is registered with Internet.bs Corp. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 15, 2014. On December 15, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 6, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email 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. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on January 7, 2015 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on January 7, 2015.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 January 8, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 28, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on January 29, 2015.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on February 6, 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 is a German limited partnership which sells equipment for winter sports and other outdoors activities. The Complainant owns a number of trademark registrations in Germany and the United States of America for the name EDELRID, including US trademark number 0965062, registered on July 31, 1973. It sells its goods through its domain name <edelrid.de> which was registered on June 18, 1998. The disputed domain name was first registered on February 8, 2007.
5. Parties' Contentions
These are the Complainant's contentions with which the Panel may or may not agree.
The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant's trademark EDELRID with the exception of the necessary addition of the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com". The Respondent is unknown to the Complainant. There is no evidence that the Respondent is using or preparing to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The domain is simply parked.
In 2012, the Complainant was approached by the Respondent via telephone. The Complainant's Head of Human Resources recalls being offered the disputed domain name for a sum in excess of USD 15,000. EDELRID is an artificial word invented by the Complainant.
The Respondent is a serial cyber-squatter.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it 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 has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name duplicates the Complainant's trademark with only the necessary addition of the gTLD ".com". It is confusingly similar to the trademark EDELRID in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called "Edelrid" or anything similar and does not appear to engage in a legitimate trade under that or any related name. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use its trademarks. For these reasons, and in the absence of any response on this point, notably one contradicting the Complainant's claim that the Respondent has never been connected to it in any way, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Here the disputed domain name essentially duplicates a trademark which is a made-up word. Without a response, the Panel cannot know why the Respondent chose to register this domain name. Since it registered the domain name, the Respondent has left the disputed domain name on a parking page.
The Respondent seems to have tried to sell the domain name for a sum in excess of his or its "documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name". However, this was about five years after the registration of the domain name.
Since the disputed domain name clearly reflects the Complainant's trademark, an artificial name which the Respondent must have known about to replicate so precisely in the disputed domain name. In this Panel's view, one is left with three possible motives for the Respondent's decision to register the disputed domain name: to disrupt the Complainant's relationship with its customers or potential customers, attempt to attract Internet users for potential gain or persuade the Complainant to buy the disputed domain name from it for an amount in excess of the Respondent's out-of-pocket expenses. These all constitute evidence of registration and use in bad faith. The Respondent's motivation may have been more than one of these and perhaps all three.
It is unnecessary in the circumstances to reach a conclusion about the other points made in the Complaint.
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 <edelrid.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 13, 2015