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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. v. Allyson Olivero

Case No. D2015-1263

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. of San Francisco, California, United States of America (“United States”), internally represented.

The Respondent is Allyson Olivero of Bergish Gladbach, Germany.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <wikuipedia.org> is registered with PSI-USA, Inc. dba Domain Robot (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 21, 2015. On July 22, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 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 August 4, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 24, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 25, 2015.

The Center appointed Eduardo Machado as the sole panelist in this matter on August 28, 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, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development, and distribution of free, multilingual, and educational content. Founded in 2003, the Complainant manages eleven free knowledge projects built by many volunteers. The many well-known projects managed by the Complainant include Wikipedia, a free, online encyclopedia compiled, edited, and maintained by over 70,000 active contributors. The Complainant represents one of the ten most-visited websites in the world.

The Complainant obtained United States trademark registration WIKIPEDIA on January 10, 2006, and the registration indicates first use of the mark in January, 2001. In subsequent years, the Complainant has registered a number of other marks that incorporate the WIKIPEDIA mark, in various classes with the United States Patent & Trademark Office and is the registrant of the domain names <wikipedia.org> and <wikipedia.com>, which were registered in January 2001. The Complainant uses these domain names in connection with the Wikipedia website described above.

Including the above, the Complainant owns approximately 148 trademark registrations worldwide for the WIKIPEDIA mark and foreign equivalents.

The Complainant’s registrations include those in international classes 9, 14, 16, 18, 21, 25, 28, 35, 38, 41, and 42.

The disputed domain name was registered on July 13, 2006, and is currently used in connection with a parking website with advertising links promoting third parties’ goods and services

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its registered trademarks. It notes that a dominant part of the disputed domain name contains a name that is identical to the Complainant’s registered mark, with the mere addition off the letter “U”, which does not transform the appearance of the WIKIPEDIA mark. The Complainant argues that this appears to be an effort to engage in typosquatting, and to take advantage from internet users seeking to find its domain names.

The Complainant affirms that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant indicates that the Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant’s marks and has not otherwise obtained authorization to use its marks.

The Complainant argues that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name as part of a bona fide offering of goods or services, or for a legitimate noncommercial use. The disputed domain name attracts Internet users to a website, and does so for commercial gain, by creating confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of that website and/or product or service on that website.

Furthermore, the Complainant states that the Respondent is clearly holding the disputed domain name willfully, in bad faith, and in complete disregard of the Complainant’s exclusive rights over the WIKIPEDIA marks.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:

(i) the disputed 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 disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The burden of proving these elements is on the Complainant.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is indeed confusingly similar to Complainant’s marks The Panel finds that the mere addition of the letter “U” in the term “wikipedia” is not enough to distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s marks and to escape a finding of confusing similarity.

The Panel, therefore, concludes that the Complainant has established the first condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has alleged that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, there is no evidence that the Respondent, before any notice of the dispute, used the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the Policy, there is no evidence that indicates that the Respondent has ever been commonly known by the disputed domain name.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(iii) of the Policy, the Respondent has not made or is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.

Considering the fact that the Respondent has chosen not to file a response to the Complaint, this Panel finds that there is nothing to suggest that the Respondent has or might have rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Previous decisions under the Policy have found it sufficient for a complainant to make a prima facie showing of its assertion in the event of a respondent’s default in order to prevail under the second element.

In view of the above, as the Panel cannot find any indication of any circumstances that indicate the Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established the second condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the Respondent has intentionally registered the disputed domain name, which is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s marks and intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain. Based on all the above facts, it is highly unlikely that the Respondent was not aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights when the disputed domain name was registered.

The Panel notes that the allegations of bad faith made by the Complainant were not contested, as the Respondent did not reply to the Complaint. Examining the evidence provided by the Complainant, it is confirmed that its trademarks have been in use before the disputed domain name was registered. For such reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark when it registered the disputed domain name.

The Panel also finds that the disputed domain name would reproduce the Complainant’s WIKIPEDIA mark were it not for the addition of letter "U". The Respondent’s subterfuge, commonly known as typosquatting, aims to make Internet users fall into error when typing a trademark on the address bar of the browser.

Many UDRP Panels have held that typosquatting in itself establishes bad faith registration and use in the context of the Policy. See Google, Inc. v. Namerental.com and Leonard Bensonoff, WIPO Case No. D2001-0060 (it has been accepted in several previous UDRP panel decisions that typosquatting itself is evidence of bad faith registration and use).

In Google Inc. v. AA, WIPO Case No. DRO2010-0009, the Panel stated that “The Complainant asserts that the website to which the disputed domain name resolves is identical [to] the Google’s original one and this reveals the intentions of the Respondent, namely to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the website at the disputed domain name, or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion among the consumers. The Panel agrees that such situation is a strong indication of the Respondent’s bad faith registration and use. It is the Panel’s understanding that the Respondent is trading on the value established by the Complainant in its marks to attract users who misspell or mistype the Complainant’s mark when entering the URL.

The Panel fids there are no facts set out in the available record which could possibly justify the registration of the disputed domain name by the Respondent.

Furthermore, the Respondent’s awareness of the Complainant’s WIKIPEDIA trademark may also be inferred because the mark WIKIPEDIA is well-known and famous. See Kraft Foods (Norway) v. Fredrik Wide and Japp Fredrik Wide, WIPO Case No. D2000-0911 (“the fact that Respondent [chose] to register a well-known mark to which he has no connections or rights indicates that he was in bad faith when registering the domain name at issue”).

In view of the above, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <wikuipedia.org> be transferred to the Complainant.

Eduardo Machado
Sole Panelist
Date: September 11, 2015