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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Statoil ASA v. gaelle etienne / WhoisGuard Protected

Case No. D2015-1812

1. The Parties

1.1 The Complainant is Statoil ASA of Stavanger, Norway, represented by Valea AB, Sweden.

1.2 The Respondent is gaelle etienne of Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand; WhoisGuard Protected of Panama.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

2.1 The disputed domain name <statoil.space> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

3.1 The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 12, 2015. At that time the publically available WhoIs information for the Domain Name recorded the privacy or proxy service “WhoisGuard Protected” as the registrant of the Domain Name.

3.2 On October 12, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with Domain Name. On October 13, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response identified “gaelle etienne” (hereinafter referred to as the “Respondent”) as the entity that controlled the Domain Name behind the privacy shield provided by “WhoisGuard Protected”. The Center sent an email to the Complainant on October 14, 2015 providing this information and associated contact information and invited the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 15, 2015.

3.3 The Center verified that the Complaint with the amended 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”).

3.4 In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on October 23, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 12, 2015.

3.5 On October 28, 2015 the Respondent sent an email to the Center, the substance of which read as follows:

“I am sorry for the inconvenience. I am a bit confused about what is happening there and dont know if it is a spam or true... it this is true, then I am sorry for disturbing. I meant no harm. I am willing to transfer the domain name.

Please tell me how we can proceed, I just want no problems:)”

3.6 On November 4, 2015, the Complainant informed the Center that it wanted the proceeding to continue without a suspension of those proceedings to allow for settlement. The Response was filed with the Center on November 12, 2015. In that Response, the Respondent once again indicated a willingness to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainant.

3.7 The Center appointed Matthew S. Harris as the sole panelist in this matter on November 23, 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.

3.8 On November 26, 2015 the Panel issued a Procedural Order in which it referred to the statements in the Respondent’s email of October 28, 2015 and in the Response to the effect that the Respondent was willing to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainant. The Procedural Order also referred to paragraph 4.13 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (the “WIPO Overview 2.0”) and informed the parties that in light of these documents the Panel proposed to issue a decision in similar form to that issued in Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen GmbH v. Richard Gillmeister WIPO Case No. D2013-1743 and Florim Ceramiche S.p.A. v. Light Link Solutions, WIPO Case No. D2015-0667. The Procedural Order stated that if either party objected to the Panel proceeding in this fashion, it should send an email to the Center informing the Panel of that objection and setting out that party’s reasons for any such objection, by no later than 10 am (Central European Time) on November 30, 2015.

3.9 As at the date of this decision no objection has been received from either party.

4. Factual Background

4.1 The Complainant is an energy company with over 21,000 employees and operations worldwide. It has been in business for over 40 years and trades under the “Statoil” name.

4.2 The Complainant is the owner of various trade marks around that comprise or incorporate the term “Statoil”. They include:

(i) International trade mark registration 730092 for the word mark STATOIL filed on April 20, 2000 in classes 1, 4, 17, 39 and 42. This mark has proceeded to grant in 6 territories.

(ii) Community trade mark registration 3657871 for the word mark STATOIL filed on February 10, 2004 in classes 1, 4, 17, 35, 37, 39, 40, 42 and proceeding to registration on May 18, 2005.

(iii) A number of trade marks in Thailand that take the form of a device that incorporates the “Statoil” name.

4.3 The Complainant also promotes its business from a website operating from the domain name <statoil.com>.

4.4 The Domain Name was registered on September 19, 2015. The Respondent would appear to be an individual located in Thailand.

5. Parties’ Contentions

5.1 Given the matters set out in the Procedural History section of this decision and the Panel’s reasoning below, it is not necessary to set out the parties’ contentions in this matter.

6. Discussion and Findings

6.1 As the Panel has already recorded in the Procedural History section of this decision, the Respondent has agreed that the Domain Name be transferred to the Complainant and neither the Respondent nor the Complainant has objected to the Panel proceeding to order the transfer of the Domain Name on the basis of that consent without the need to issue a substantive decision.

6.2 The basis upon which a panel might decide to order a transfer or cancellation in circumstances where the respondent consents to this are addressed in some detail at paragraph 4.13 of the WIPO Overview 2.0. In the opinion of this Panel, the Policy and the Rules permit a panel to order transfer in such circumstances, subject to the discretion of a panel not to do so should it for any reason consider this to be inappropriate.

6.3 Having reviewed the case file in this matter and the Complainant and the Respondent having raised no objection to the Panel proceeding in this manner, the Panel is of the view that there is no good reason not to simply order the transfer of the Domain Name.

7. Decision

7.1 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 <statoil.space> be transferred to the Complainant.

Matthew S. Harris
Sole Panelist
Date: November 30, 2015