WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Vladislav Soklakov v. Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp
Case No. D2015-0794
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Vladislav Soklakov of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation, self-represented.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp of Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <steklotrade.com> is registered with TLD Registrar Solutions Ltd. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on April 29, 2015. On May 6, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 18, 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 May 19, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 8, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on June 9, 2015. The Complainant submitted an unsolicited supplemental filing on June 15, 2015.
The Center appointed Clark W. Lackert as the sole panelist in this matter on June 16, 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.
On July 3, 2015, the Panel issued a procedural order requesting evidence regarding rights in the terms "steklotrade" and "steklotrade.com" as well as the Complainant's authority to act on behalf of the associated company. The Panel issued a deadline of July 10, 2015 for submission of this evidence. Further communications and materials were received from the Complainant on July 6, 2015.
4. Factual Background
The disputed domain name is <steklotrade.com>. The Complainant, an employee of Cтеклотрейд ("Steklotrade" in Cyrillic characters), initially registered the disputed domain name in 2005. The current registrant is unknown as the Respondent's identity is masked by a privacy service. A copy of the Complaint was served to the Respondent's addresses of record: however, no response to the Complaint was filed.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant is an employee who is authorized by the Cтеклотрейд group of companies to attend to legal matters concerning the disputed domain name <steklotrade.com>. The Complainant has provided evidence of registration of the disputed domain name <steklotrade.com> in 2005, specifically a payment receipt confirming registration of the disputed domain name in April of 2005. The Complainant has also provided a memorandum from the Cтеклотрейд company which confirms that the company uses the Cтеклотрейд name and the English equivalent "Steklotrade". The company is engaged in the sale of flat glass products.
The Complainant alleges that the email address associated with management of the disputed domain name was accessed by a third party without permission, and that this unauthorized access was followed by an unauthorized request to transfer the disputed domain name to another registrar. The Complainant claims that the transfer was completed to the current Registrar without authorization, and that the Complainant and his company have not had access to the disputed domain name since the transfer. The Complainant has provided particulars regarding the unauthorized email access and the unauthorized domain name transfer request, each of which appear to have taken place on January 15, 2015.
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name continues to feature particulars regarding his company and that the email address utilized by the Complainant to receive and process product orders has been removed. The Complainant alleges that the domain name transfer was not authorized or conducted by him or any other employee on behalf of the company. The Complainant cites the Respondent's fraudulent means for obtaining the disputed domain name, continued use of the disputed domain name to suggest a connection with the Complainant's company, lack of replies by the Respondent to demand letters, and the removing of the Complainant's product order email address in support of its allegations of the Respondent's bad faith.
The Complainant has requested that the disputed domain name be cancelled.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has provided evidence that he is authorized to act on behalf of the Cтеклотрейд group of companies.
There is evidence that the <steklotrade.com> was registered by the Complainant in 2005 and that "steklotrade" is a transliteration of the trade name that has been used by Complainant's company Cтеклотрейд for its glass business for many years. Confirmation of the company's use of "steklotrade" is confirmed by the record, which includes a company memorandum identifying the company's use of the Russian name Cтеклотрейд and the English transliteration of "steklotrade" for the company's trading operations. The Panel finds that the Complainant has unregistered trademark rights in its trade name "Cтеклотрейд" for the purposes of the Policy.
The disputed domain name <steklotrade.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trade name. The word "steklotrade" is the principal component of the disputed domain name and is the English transliteration for the Complainant's company name Cтеклотрейд, the word "cтекло" ("steklo") meaning "glass" in the Russian language. The principal component of the disputed domain name is phonetically equivalent to a name in which the Complainant has rights, a point cited by numerous prior panels in support of confusing similarity. See, e.g., Xerox Corp. v. Stonybrook Investments, Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2001-0380, and Dunkin' Donuts Incorporated and Dunkin' Donuts USA, Inc. v. RandomThinkers and Patrick Huba, WIPO Case No. D2001-0104.
The requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is evidence that the Complainant registered the disputed domain name at least as early as 2005, and that the Complainant's company has been trading under the "Cтеклотрейд" and "Steklotrade" names for more than ten years. There is no evidence in the record indicating that Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the terms "cтеклотрейд" or "steklotrade" or the disputed domain name <steklotrade.com>.
In view of the above and the default by the Respondent in this proceeding, the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy have been satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Allegations have been presented that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name by accessing the Complainant's email address and conducting a transfer without authorization. The disputed domain name currently displays content which includes the Complainant's company name, the company logo, company contact information, and information promoting the company's goods and services. The specific actions taken by the Respondent to acquire the disputed domain name are not evident from the record. There are mere allegations that the Respondent accessed the email address associated with the disputed domain name in order to transfer the disputed domain name away from the Complainant. The specific steps taken by the Respondent cannot be confirmed from the record, and the Respondent's lack of a response in this proceeding provides nothing else to consider. See CC Computer Consultants GmbH and WAFA Kunststofftechnik GmbH v. APG Solutions & Technologies, WIPO Case No. D2005-0609, "[i]t is not clear to the Panel exactly how the Respondent technically registered the domain name, but it does seem clear that the registration was irregular, and that it was done without the permission of Complainant."
It is apparent that the Complainant's domain name was transferred to another Registrar without the Complainant's authorization and that the Complainant no longer has control of the disputed domain name to conduct his company business. As the Complainant asserts, the Respondent's registration and use of the disputed domain name has been disruptive to the Complainant's company due to its inability to communicate pertinent information to its customers, such as the email address for placing orders. The Complainant's unopposed allegation coupled with the likelihood of confusion and the Respondent's use of a privacy service to mask its identity all evidence bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.
For the above reasons, the panel finds that the elements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy have been 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 <steklotrade.com> be cancelled.
Clark W. Lackert
Date: July 20, 2015