WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
LOKEO v. Yan Kyung Won
Case No. D2015-0128
1. The Parties
The Complainant is LOKEO of Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France, represented by WITETIC, France.
The Respondent is Yang Kyung Won of Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <lokeo.com> is registered with Megazone Corp., dba HOSTING.KR (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 26, 2015. On January 27, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 5, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent as the registrant and providing the contact details.
On February 6, 2015, the Center notified the Parties in both English and Korean that the language of the Registration Agreement in this case was Korean. On February 7, 2015, the Respondent requested Korean to be the language of the proceeding and on February 9, 2015, the Complainant confirmed its request for English to be the language of the proceeding as indicated in the Complaint.
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 proceeding commenced on February 12, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 4, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 18, 2015.
The Center appointed Ik-Hyun Seo as the sole panelist in this matter on March 24, 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.
Based on the deadline set forth in paragraph 15 of the Rules, a decision was to be issued by the Panel no later than April 7, 2015. However, due to exceptional circumstances experienced by the Panel, the Panel extended the deadline to April 21, 2015.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a French company and provider of rental services for goods, including but not limited to computers and household appliances. The Complainant owns trademark registrations in France for LOKEO in plain text, as well as stylized and with additional elements, a number of which were filed and registered prior to the Respondent’s registration in the disputed domain name. Further, the Complainant owns registrations for the domain names <lokeo.fr> and <lokeo.net> which also predate the Respondent’s registration in the disputed domain name.
The Respondent appears to be a Korean individual with an address in the Republic of Korea.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to marks in which the Complainant has rights. More specifically, the Complainant asserts that it has registrations in France for LOKEO and LOKEO-based marks, and that the disputed domain name is identical thereto.
The Complainant also contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and confirms that it has not authorized or licensed rights to the Respondent in any respect.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant notes that the term “lokeo” is a coined term and that it is unlikely for the Respondent to have registered a domain name for the exact term unless he knew of the Complainant. Further, the content displayed on the website linked to the disputed domain name concerns automobile-related services, which overlap with some of the designations in the Complainant’s trademark registrations.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Language of the Proceeding
Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules provides that the language of the proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, subject to the authority of the panel to determine otherwise. In this case, the language of the Registration Agreement is Korean, and both parties have had an opportunity to argue their position on this point. The Center issued a notice stating that it would accept the Complaint filed in English, and that the Response would be accepted in either Korean or English. The Respondent subsequently chose to not file a Response.
Given the fact that the Complainant is based in France and the Respondent is based in the Republic of Korea, English would appear to be the fairest neutral language for rendering this decision. Further, the Respondent had some communications with the Complainant’s representative in English without any apparent difficulty. Besides, both parties were given the opportunity to submit arguments in the language of their preference, and the language in which to render the decision is reserved for the Panel.
Under these circumstances, the Panel finds it proper and fair to render this decision in English.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has demonstrated with supporting evidence that it holds several trademark registrations in France for LOKEO in various forms, including with stylization and additional elements, and most importantly, in plain simple text which is identical to the disputed domain name.
For the reasons mentioned above, the Panel finds that the first element has been established.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
On the basis of the present record, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made the required allegations to support a prima facie showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once such a prima facie basis has been established, the Respondent carries the burden of demonstrating its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent in this case has chosen to file no Response to these assertions by the Complainant, and there is no evidence or allegation in the records that would warrant a finding in favor of the Respondent on this point.
For the reasons provided above, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the second element has been established.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that there are more than sufficient reasons to find bad faith in this case. First, the content displayed on the website linked to the disputed domain name relates to automobile-related services which are among the designations in the Complainant’s trademark registrations. There is no logical connection between the term “lokeo” and automobiles.
Further, the Respondent is no stranger to UDRP proceedings and was named as the Respondent in multiple cases including by not limited to LEGO Juris A/S v. Yang Kyung Won, WIPO Case No. D2011-1124 (<legoonline.com>) and Target Brands, Inc. v. Yang Kyung Won, WIPO Case No. D2014-1117 (<targetmobile.com>). In all prior cases, the panels found the Respondent to have registered and/or used the domain names in bad faith, and ordered that they be transferred to the complainants.
Lastly, the term “lokeo” appears to be a coined term, and the Respondent’s registration for a domain name consisting of the exact same term should be viewed as more than mere coincidence, especially given the Respondent’s history of cybersquatting.
For the reasons given above, the Panel finds that the third and final element has been sufficiently established.
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 <lokeo.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 21, 2015