WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Statoil ASA v. Weiwei Qiu
Case No. D2015-0411
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Statoil ASA of Stavanger, Norway, represented by Valea AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Weiwei Qiu of Stavanger, Norway.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <statoil-petroleum.com> is registered with BigRock Solutions Pvt Ltd. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on March 9, 2015. On March 9, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 10, 2015, 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 March 24, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 13, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on April 15, 2015.
The Center appointed Gunnar Karnell as the sole panelist in this matter on May 1, 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 disputed domain name <statoil-petroleum.com> was registered January 7, 2009 and it is passively held.
The Complainant has requested that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.
The Complainant is the owner of several registrations for its trademark STATOIL, applied and registered before the Respondent's registration of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has, among others listed, indicated in particular the International Registration STATOIL, Registration No. 730092, and Community Trademark Registration No. 003657871 STATOIL.
5. Parties' Contentions
The disputed domain name is similar to the Complainant's trademark STATOIL in which the Complainant has rights. The addition of the hyphen and the descriptive term "petroleum" does not impact the overall impression of the dominant part of the name "Statoil". The public will be inclined to believe that the disputed domain name would lead to a website related to the Complainant or that any email using the disputed domain name originates from the Complainant.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use its trademark. There is no relationship between the parties and nothing suggests that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Respondent has no registered trademark or trade name corresponding to it. Its registration occurred later than those of a vast majority of the Complainant's well-known STATOIL marks.
The disputed domain name is not used by the Respondent in making a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and it is not used in making a noncommercial fair use of it. Passive holding of it has not created any rights or legitimate interests therein.
The disputed domain name was intentionally registered and it is being used in bad faith by the Respondent, surely having known of the Complainant's well-known trademark STATOIL. The disputed domain name has no other meaning than its reference to the name and trademark of the Complainant. It could not be used legitimately.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The factual foundation of the Complainant's contentions, as presented by the Complainant, while supporting its non-contradicted request for transfer of the disputed domain name by written evidence and ample reference to earlier UDRP case decisions, leads the Panel to the following conclusions:
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <statoil-petroleum.com> fully incorporates the Complainant's multi-registered and well-known trademark STATOIL together with the word "petroleum". The latter, preceded by a hyphen, in the Panel's opinion does not dispel confusion. The Panel disregards the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com" for purposes of this element of the Policy.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made evident that it has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use its trademark STATOIL. Also, the Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by the disputed domain name and it is evidently not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of it.
The Complainant has established a prima facie case of lack of rights and legitimate interests and there has been no rebuttal from the Respondent. Nothing in the case file gives reason to believe that the Respondent has or has had any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In this Panel's view, there is no indication on the record that might impair the Complainant's assertions regarding the facts leading up to its conclusions that the disputed domain name <statoil-petroleum.com> has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
By holding its registration of the disputed domain name, under circumstances satisfactorily explained in the case file for a conclusion of acting in bad faith, the Respondent has prevented the Complainant from reflecting its well-known trademark STATOIL for goods or services under the gTLD ".com".
In this regard, the Panel notes that the Respondent has been a party in a previous proceeding (see Statoil ASA v. Weiwei Qiu, WIPO Case No. D2011-1752).
The Panel finds that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in bad faith and that the Respondent is also, by passively holding it under the circumstances indicated in Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003, using it in bad faith, all within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) and 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
In light of the above, the Panel confirms that the conditions for transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant are 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 <statoil-petroleum.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 4, 2015