WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AB Electrolux v. Senol Karakaya
Case No. D2015-2063
1. The Parties
The Complainant is AB Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by BrandIT Legal AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Senol Karakaya of Istanbul, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <electroluxservisi.com> is registered with IHS Telekom, Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint in English was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on November 13, 2015. On November 13, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 14, 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 and confirming that Turkish was the language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name. The Center sent an email communication to the Parties on November 17, 2015 inviting the Complainant to submit satisfactory evidence of an agreement between the Complainant and the Respondent to the effect that the proceeding should be in English; or submit the Complaint translated into Turkish; or, submit a further request for English to be the language of the administrative proceeding. The Respondent was also invited to make submissions in this regard. On November 17, 2015, the Complainant filed a request that English be the language of the proceeding.
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 in both Turkish and English, and the proceedings commenced on November 23, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 13, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on December 14, 2015.
The Center appointed Ugur G. Yalçiner as the sole panelist in this matter on December 22, 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 is a well-known Swedish joint stock company, which is a leading and widely-known producer of household appliances and equipment for kitchen and cleaning products and floor care products, founded in 1901. The Complainant states that the trademark ELECTROLUX has been registered as a word and device mark in several classes in more than 150 countries, including Turkey. The Complainant declares that in Turkey, where the Respondent has its location upon WhoIs database, the Complainant has a strong business presence through its business unit at the registered seat in Istanbul (Electrolux Türkiye Tarlabaşı Bulvarı No: 35 34435 Taksim / İstanbul) as well via its official licensing partners and service desks.
Additionally, the Complainant has registered a number of domain names under generic Top-Level Domains ("gTLD") and country-code Top-Level Domains ("ccTLD") containing the term "electrolux", for example, <electrolux.com> (created on June 1, 2006) and the local domain name <electrolux.com.tr> (created on August 7, 1997). The Complainant uses these domain names to connect to a website through which it informs potential customers about its ELECTROLUX mark and its products and services.
The Respondent is Senol Karakaya, a Turkish individual who is located in Istanbul, Turkey. The disputed domain name <electroluxservisi.com> was registered on May 10, 2010. Additionally, the disputed domain name comprises not only the mark ELECTROLUX but also a generic term "servisi" which stands for "services" in English.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant's assertions may be summarized as follows:
The Complainant avers that the dominant part of the disputed domain name is the term "electrolux", which is confusingly similar to the registered trademarks of ELECTROLUX and ELECTROLUX SERVICE. The Complainant also alleges that the suffix "servisi" is a Turkish translation of the English word "service" describing the Complainant's business, and this reference exaggerates the impression that the Respondent is somehow affiliated with the Complainant, and the Respondent is somehow doing business in Turkey using the Complainant's trademark.
The Complainant states that the Respondent does not have any registered trademark or trade names corresponding to the disputed domain name. In addition, the Complainant notes that no license or authorization of any other kind has been given to the Respondent by the Complainant, to use the trademark. The Complainant also avers that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services but has intentionally chosen the disputed domain name based on registered trademarks of the Complainant in order to generate traffic to its web site.
The Complainant also avers that the Complainant's trademarks have been registered before the registration of the disputed domain name. Further, in 2010 two UDRP procedures were launched against the Respondent concerning the following domain names:
and the panel made a decision in favor of the Complainant. The factual background and the domain names in question was similar to the current case. The Complainant claims that these facts clearly demonstrate that the Respondent was unquestionably aware of the Complainant's trademark at the time of the registration and the disputed domain name is registered in bad faith.
The Complainant also avers that the disputed domain name is being used in bad faith. A cease and desist letter was sent on October 12, 2015 to the Respondent by email and it was advised that the Respondent's use of its trademark ELECTROLUX was unauthorized and requested a voluntary transfer of the disputed domain name. The Complainant did not receive any response to any of its notifications.
The Complaint claims that the Respondent takes advantage of the ELECTROLUX trademark by intentionally attempting to attract visitors to the Respondent's website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent's website or location or a product or service on the Respondent's website or location.
On the basis of the above, the Complainant requests transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not respond to the Complaint and is in default.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1 Preliminary Matter: Language of Proceeding
Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11(a), in the absence of an agreement between the parties, or specified otherwise in the registration agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the registration agreement. However, the Panel has discretion to determine a different language.
According to the information received from the Registrar, the language of the registration agreement for the disputed domain name is Turkish. The Complainant has submitted the Complaint in English and requested that the language of the administrative proceeding be English. The Respondent has not submitted any objection to the Complainant's request, despite the Center's invitation sent in both English and Turkish. The Panel notes that the notification of the Complaint to the Respondent has been done both in English and Turkish by the Center. The Panel also considers it relevant that the Complainant's trademark has both English and Turkish terms, suggesting that the Respondent has sufficient grasp of English. For this reason, the Panel agrees to hold the proceeding in English as requested by the Complainant.
6.2. Substantive Elements of the Policy
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that each of the three elements is present:
(i) The disputed domain name registered by the Respondent 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 was registered and is being used in bad faith
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel agrees that the disputed domain name <electroluxservisi.com> contains the Complainant's trademark ELECTROLUX in its entirety and it is confusingly similar since the term "Electrolux" is the distinctive term in the disputed domain name. The Panel also notes that the suffix of "servisi" means "services" in English and the mere addition of "servisi" does not avoid the risk of confusion with the Complainant's marks. See F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. ActiveIdeas.com, Jason Peterson, WIPO Case No. D2007-1567; Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Ferhat TUNALI, FBS (DI_4010121)/SENOL KARAKAYA/PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-1791.
Furthermore, the full inclusion of the Complainant's well-known mark may cause the false impression that any offered product or service under the disputed domain name is linked to the Complainant.
Moreover, the Panel has conducted a search through WhoIs and is convinced that the Complainant has registered its domain names well before the Respondent registered the disputed domain name.
As a conclusion, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademarks and that the requirements in paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are fulfilled.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
According to paragraph 4(a)(ii), the second element that the Complainant must prove is that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out various ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name.
The Panel notes that the Respondent does not have any registered trademarks or trade names which include the item ELECTROLUX and no licence or authorization of any other kind has been given by the Complainant to use its registered trademark.
Additionally, the Panel contends that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent does not enjoy a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. The Panel notes that, the Respondent has not replied any of the Complainant's or the Center's correspondences. Hence the Panel is unable to conceive of any basis upon which the Respondent could sensibly be said to have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
Therefore, The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
According to paragraph 4(a)(iii) and 4(b) of the Policy, the Complainant may show one of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, in order to demonstrate the Respondent's bad faith in registration and use of the disputed domain name:
(i) circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent's documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the Respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) The Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent's web site or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent's web site or location or of a product or service on the Respondent's web site or location.
The Panel confirms the reputation and recognition of the Complainant's trademark ELECTROLUX and is convinced that the Respondent must have known of this trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. This is in particular likely as the disputed domain name has been registered well after the Complainant's trademark ELECTROLUX has become recognized in the world. Moreover, the mark ELECTROLUX is also well-known in Turkey, where the Respondent is apparently located.
Several panels have held that registering and using domain names which correspond to well-known trademarks suggests bad faith (LEGO Juris A/S v. Reiner Stotte, WIPO Case No. D2010-0494; and Sanofi-aventis v. Nevis Domains LLC, WIPO Case No. D2006-0303).
The Panel is determined that the Complainant had started previous administrative actions and the Respondent lost two UDRP case against the Complainant in 2010 where similar background where established and similar disputed domain names were in question.
The Panel also infers that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name merely for the purpose of creating an association with the Complainant and its trademarks. According to the print-outs of the web sites linked to the disputed domain name provided as annexes to the Complaint, the Panel is convinced that the Respondent has intentionally registered the disputed domain name with the intention to offer services and to create the false impression that the Respondent is an authorized repair and service provider for the Complainant's products.
Based on the printouts of the website to which the disputed domain name resolves, and in the absence of a rebuttal by the Respondent, the Panel finds that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line locations, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement (Electrolux Aktiebolaget Electrolux (AB) v. Senol Karakaya, WIPO Case No. D2010-1691).
Further, the Respondent did not file a formal response to the Complaint.
As such, taking into account all the circumstances of this case, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <electroluxservisi.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Ugur G. Yalçiner
Date: January 5, 2016