WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Maplin Electronics Limited v. Name Redacted
Case No. D2015-0493
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Maplin Electronics Limited of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("UK"), represented by Demys Limited, UK.
The Respondent's name has been redacted for the reason explained in section 6A below.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name, <maplindiscount.com> (the "Domain Name"), is registered with Launchpad.com Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on March 20, 2015. On March 23, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On March 23, 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 26, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 15, 2015. On March 27, 2015 the Respondent sent an email to the Center stating that the Domain Name had nothing to do with him and that his name and address had been used fraudulently without his authority. The Respondent did not submit any other response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on April 16, 2015.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on April 22, 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 was incorporated in the UK on June 22, 1976. It is engaged in the supply of electronic products.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of a number of trade mark registrations covering its MAPLIN trade mark including, by way of example, Community Trade Mark registration no. 212076 dated April 1, 1996 (registered January 19, 2001) MAPLIN (word) for a wide range of goods and services associated with its business.
The Complainant operates a website connected to its <maplin.co.uk> domain name which it registered on a date prior to August 1996.
The Domain Name was registered on February 26, 2015 and is connected to a website replicating the appearance of the Complainant's website and purporting to be a website of or associated with the Complainant. It features on its homepage inter alia a note reading:
"NOTE: *** Maplin Discount is a new wholesale department of Maplin and it's totally separated from Maplin stores, the Maplin Wholesale offer presented on "www.maplindiscount.com" is not available in Maplin stores. This offer can be acquired only from "www.maplindiscount.com" or negotiated with appointment with one of our local wholesale agents."
The Respondent has notified the UK police of the fraudulent taking of his contact details and an investigation is in hand.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its MAPLIN trade mark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name and that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent has indicated that the Domain Name and the manner in which it is being used has nothing to do with him and that the WhoIs details on the Registrar's Whois database insofar as they identify him are false.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Preliminary Matter – Redaction of the Respondent's Name
As can be seen from the factual background set out above (section 4) this case appears on the preponderance of the evidence to be a case of identity theft, the individual identified on the Registrar's WhoIs database being an innocent party unaware of the fraud being perpetrated in his name. In such cases, it is common practice for the Respondent's name to be redacted from the published decision. The Panel proposes to follow the course of action adopted by the learned panel in Elkjøp Nordic A/S v. Name Redacted WIPO Case No. D2013-1285 and set out as follows:
"As in Moncler S.r.l. v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2010-1677, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2012-0890 and Saudi Arabian Oil Company v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2013-0105, this is a case in which the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered by a third-party without the involvement of the person identified in the WhoIs as the registrant of the Domain Name, against whom the Complaint was filed. The Panel has accordingly redacted the name of that person from the caption and body of this Decision. The Panel has attached as an Annexure to this Decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the Domain Name that includes the name of that person so as to enable effect to be given to the Panel's order. To this end, the Panel authorises the Center to transmit the Annexure to the Registrar and the parties but further directs the Center and Registrar, pursuant to paragraph 4(j) of the Policy and paragraph 16(b) of the Rules, that the Annex to this Decision shall not be published in this exceptional case."
Henceforth, references in this decision to the Respondent are to the unknown person who registered the Domain Name in the name of the Respondent.
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) The Domain Name has been registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
C. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Self evidently in light of the factual background (section 4 above), the Domain Name was intended to deceive Internet users into believing that it is a domain name of or associated with the Complainant.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has succeeded in that regard and holds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's MAPLIN trade mark.
D. Rights or Legitimate Interests
On the same basis the Panel finds that the Respondent's fraudulent use of the Domain Name cannot by any stretch of the imagination give rise to a right or legitimate interest in respect of the Domain Name in the hands of the Respondent.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
E. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Again on the same basis the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraphs 4(a)(iii) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <maplindiscount.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 26, 2015