WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Siemens AG v. Client
Case No. D2015-2035
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Siemens AG of Munich, Germany, represented by Müller Fottner Steinecke, Germany.
The Respondent is Client of Mumbai, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <siemensservicecenter.com> is registered with BigRock Solutions Pvt Ltd. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on November 10, 2015. On November 10, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 11, 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 proceedings commenced on November 16, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 6, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on December 7, 2015.
The Center appointed Angelica Lodigiani as the sole panelist in this matter on December 11, 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 disputed domain name was registered on August 19, 2014 and leads to a website where the SIEMENS trademark is displayed prominently and which offers repair and maintenance services for cooking appliances, dish washers, washing machines and dryers, refrigerators.
The Respondent is located in India, which is one of the territories where the Complainant also operates.
The Complainant relies on the following trademarks:
- SIEMENS, International registration No. 637074 of March 31, 1995, designating more than 60 countries and claiming protection for goods and services in classes 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 28, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, and 42;
- SIEMENS, Community Trademark registration No. 4240263, dating back to January 14, 2005, for goods and services in classes 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 28, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, and 42;
The Complainant is one of the world's largest electrical engineering and electronics companies, with headquarters in Munich and Berlin. Founded more than 150 years ago, the Complainant is active in several fields, among which, areas of automation and control, power, transportation, information and communications, home appliances, etc.
5. Parties' Contentions
5.1. The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar with the Complainant's trademark since it consists of the well-known trademark SIEMENS followed by "servicecenter". The latter terms are merely descriptive and cannot avoid confusion. Internet users will understand the disputed domain name as referring to a "service center" dedicated to the goods offered by the Complainant under its SIEMENS trademark.
The disputed domain name leads to a website reproducing the trademark SIEMENS and pretending to be a "service center" for Siemens products. Therefore, Internet users will understand the disputed domain name as belonging to the Complainant and the website "www.siemensservicecenter.com" to be an official Siemens website.
5.2. With respect to the lack of the Respondent's rights or legitimate interests, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not, and has never been, one of the Complainant's representatives, employees, or one of its licensees, or is otherwise authorized to use the SIEMENS trademark.
The Complainant further contends that the mark has not been used in connection with any bona fide offering of goods and services or any legitimate noncommercial or fair use. Rather, the Respondent misleadingly diverts Internet users for intended commercial gain. The Respondent pretends, without being authorized, to be a "Siemens service center" and to be expert"in providing services for electronic items of Siemens".
The website reproduces the SIEMENS trademark in almost the same color and script. Also the layout of the website and the pictures are strongly inspired by the official website "www.siemens-home.com". In this way, the Respondent is misleadingly trying to divert consumers to obtain orders for repair services.
According to the Complainant, the disputed domain name was therefore selected and used to attract Internet users for illegitimate purposes.
5.3. As far as the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith is concerned, the Complainant maintains that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and its marks at the time it registered the disputed domain name. The website corresponding to the disputed domain name has a layout very similar to the one adopted for the Complainant's official website, and displays the SIEMENS trademark in an almost identical script and colors. Therefore, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in order to benefit from the strong reputation of the SIEMENS trademark and disrupt the Complainant's business. Furthermore, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in order to prevent the Complainant from reflecting the SIEMENS mark in a corresponding domain name. As a matter of fact, various domain names containing the well-known trademark SIEMENS along with other elements are owned and used for business purposes by the Complainant or its partners.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to paragraph 14 of the Rules, in case of failure of a party to comply with any of the time periods established by the Rules, the Panel shall proceed to a decision based on the Complaint. Moreover, the Panel shall draw such inferences as it considers appropriate. In the instant case, the Respondent failed to submit a Response. The Panel will therefore render the decision based on the Complaint, However, it remains incumbent on the Complainant to prove all circumstances of the case set forth in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, namely that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights (paragraph 4(a)(i)); and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name (paragraph 4(a)(ii)); and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith (paragraph 4(a)(iii)).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel agrees that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar with the Complainant's trademark. The disputed domain name consists of the trademark SIEMENS followed by the descriptive terms "service center". The addition of "service center" to the well-known trademark SIEMENS does not exclude a finding of confusing similarity between the Complainant's trademark and the disputed domain name, not only due to the descriptive character of the words "service center", but also to the fact that these words refer to a collateral activity of the Complainant, i.e., that of providing maintenance and reparation services of the Siemens products. Hence, rather than distinguishing the disputed domain name from the Complainant's trademark, the addition of the terms "service center" enhances its similarity.
Therefore, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has made out the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel believes that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Despite the fact that the disputed domain name leads to a website offering home appliances maintenance and reparation services, this circumstance does not automatically entail that the Respondent has rights and/or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. As a matter of fact, the Panel is persuaded that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods of services and is not making any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant did not authorize the Respondent to reflect its trademark in a corresponding domain name. Nor is the Respondent an authorized dealer or service provider of the Complainant. Rather, the Respondent is offering services in competition with the Complainant's services. These services are offered through a website corresponding to the disputed domain name, which is graphically very similar to the Complainant's official website. Moreover, the reparation and assistance services offered by the Respondent through the website "www.siemensservicecenter.com" are directed to consumers located in India, which is one of the countries where the Complainant also operates.
The Respondent does not even meet the principles laid down in the Oki Data case (Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903), as the Respondent does not make it clear at all that it has no relationship whatsoever with the Complainant. On the contrary, the disputed domain name resolves to a website containing a contact page where the Respondent names itself as "Siemens Service Center". Furthermore, by using a domain name containing the well-known trademark SIEMENS, by displaying the Complainant's trademark prominently and in the same colors on its website, and by adopting a layout very similar to that of the Complainant's official website, the Respondent misleads consumers as to the source or affiliation of the its website.
For all reasons mentioned above, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. As the Respondent failed to file a Response, while it had a chance to object to the Complainant's arguments, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel is of the opinion that at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name, the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant's trademark. As a matter of fact, due to its longstanding and widespread use, the trademark SIEMENS enjoys substantial reputation (see among others, Siemens AG v. Joseph Wunsch/Contactprivacy.com, WIPO Case D2006-1248). Moreover, the type of use that the Respondent is making of the disputed domain name, is a further evidence of the Respondent's awareness of the Complainant's trademark.
The Respondent registered a domain name including the well-known trademark SIEMENS, without being authorized to do so, for the clear purpose of misleading Internet users, and improperly capitalizing on the reputation and goodwill established by the Complainant over its history for its own commercial benefit.
As a consequence, neither the registration, nor the use of the disputed domain name can be deemed in good faith.
The Panel therefore concludes that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name within the meaning of paragraph 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 disputed domain name <siemensservicecenter.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 18, 2015