WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Statoil ASA v. Zera Fay, Zenso
Case No. D2015-1437
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Statoil ASA of Stavanger, Norway, represented by Valea AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Zera Fay, Zenso of Kenai, Arkansas, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ukstatoil.net> is registered on April 10, 2015 with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 14, 2015. On August 14, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 17, 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on August 20, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 9, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on September 11, 2015.
The Center appointed Erica Aoki as the sole panelist in this matter on September 17, 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.
The language of the administrative proceeding is English.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is an international energy company with 21,000 employees and extensive operations worldwide and has been in business for over 40 years and is one of leading providers of energy products and services worldwide.
The Complainant is owner of the trademark STATOIL that was first registered in 1974 (Norwegian Trademark Registration No. 90221) and considered a highly well-known trademark, as confirmed by previous UDRP panels, for example in Statoil ASA v. Weiwei Qiu / PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2011-1752; Statoil ASA v. Domain Admin/ Management SO Hkg; WIPO Case No. D2012-2392;Statoil ASA and Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation AS v. NA - Claudio Russo, WIPO Case No. D2013-0963and inStatoil ASA v. Fichambers, Esq Francis, WIPO Case No. D2013-2105.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <ukstatoil.net> on April 10, 2015.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant enjoys thorough protection of its trademark STATOIL through several hundred registrations worldwide.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark since the simple addition of the element "uk" in the disputed domain name, does not provide enough distinction and further, "uk" is commonly acknowledged as referring to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a country in which the Complainant conducts business.
Furthermore, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in relation to the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not affiliated or related to the Complainant in any way, or licensed or otherwise authorized to use the STATOIL mark in connection with a website or for any other purpose. The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with any bona fide offering of goods or services, is not generally known by the disputed domain name, and has not acquired any trademark or service mark rights in that name.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name currently is passively held. It can be assumed that the Respondent's intention for registering the disputed domain name has been either to sell the disputed domain name to the Complainant, or to use it otherwise for financial gain, for example by attracting Internet users to the website who assume that the disputed domain name is owned by or affiliated with the Complainant.
The Complainant contends that bad faith can be deduced by the fact that the Complainant is regularly informed of phishing attempts and spam being sent out from email addresses using the STATOIL trademark, for example in the form of false recruitment letters. The domain names used for such scam attempts also commonly use the part "uk" and/or are made out to be sent from Statoil in the UK.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In the Panel's view, the Complainant has satisfied the requirements specified under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in respect of which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Based on the facts presented by the Complainant, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights, as required under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark, as the disputed domain name includes the Complainant's STATOIL mark in full with the addition of the nondistinctive prefix "uk".
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds the following on the record in this proceeding:
- The Respondent is in default and thus has made no affirmative attempt to show any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name;
- The Policy indicates that a registrant may have a right or legitimate interest in a domain name if it was making use of the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to notice of the dispute;
- The Respondent's knowledge of the Complainant's right is presumed since STATOIL is a famous trademark;
- The Respondent is in no way connected with the Complainant and has no authorization to use any of the Complainant's trademarks; and
- There is no evidence that the Respondent is or was commonly known by the disputed domain name as an individual, business or other organization.
Thus, in the Panel's view, the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. There is no evidence of the Respondent's use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
Further, the Panel notes that the Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use activity.
The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
In the Panel's view, there is no doubt that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant's rights in the STATOIL mark at the time the disputed domain name was registered, indicating that such registration was made in bad faith.
Currently, the disputed domain name is not actively used. The lack of active use does not prevent a finding of bad faith in the circumstances of this case. See, e.g., Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith, under paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 disputed domain name, <ukstatoil.net>, be transferred.
Date: October 2, 2015