WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. YongHoon Lee
Case No. D2015-0215
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea, represented by You Me Patent & Law Firm, Republic of Korea.
The Respondent is YongHoon Lee of Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <samsungplus.com> is registered with Domain.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on February 10, 2015. On the same date: the Center transmitted to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name; and the Registrar transmitted to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. On February 13, 2015, the Complainant filed an amended Complaint, correcting an error in the original 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, by email, courier, and fax (transmitted to the respective contact details provided by the Registrar), and the proceeding commenced on February 23, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for the Response was March 15, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, on March 16, 2015, the Center notified the Respondent's default.
The Center appointed Professor Ilhyung Lee as the sole panelist in this matter on March 30, 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 Korean company, in the business of manufacturing and selling a variety of electronic goods, including, among many others, cell phones and televisions. The Complainant holds a large number of trademark registrations for the SAMSUNG mark, in a number of countries, including the Republic of Korea and the United States of America. One of the Complainant's registered SAMSUNG marks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was first used in commerce in March 1993.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on March 20, 2007.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant's submissions are quite voluminous. 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.
The Complainant also states, inter alia, "Complainant has no relationship with Respondent and has not authorized Respondent to use the mark SAMSUNG or to register or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating said mark. Further, Complainant has never given a license or permission to Respondent to use Complainant's mark."
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
Under the Policy, the Complainant must satisfy all three elements of paragraph 4(a).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel determines that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights.
The disputed domain name <samsungplus.com> incorporates the Complainant's SAMSUNG mark in full and attaches the generic term "plus" and the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) ".com". The additions are not sufficient to defeat confusing similarity.
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. Thus, the Complainant has met its initial burden of making a prima facie showing. The Respondent then has the burden to demonstrate any such rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent has not participated in this mandatory proceeding. 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 also demonstrated.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, the Complainant must also show that the disputed domain name "has been registered and is being used in bad faith." Paragraph 4(b) provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances that are evidence of bad faith registration and use.
The disputed domain name resolves to a web site whose content includes links for, most notably, "Samsung", "Cell Phone With", "LCD Television", "Cell Phone Case and Wallet", "Contract Mobile Phones" and "Mobile Phones Mobile Phones". Given that the Complainant manufactures and sells cell phones and televisions, Internet users are likely to associate the Respondent's site with the Complainant (and its products). The Panel concludes that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has "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).
The third element is also satisfied.
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 <samsungplus.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 13, 2015