WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Furla S.p.A. v. Wanghuade
Case No. D2015-2287
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Furla S.p.A. of S. Lazzaro di Savena, Italy, represented by Studio Turini, Italy.
The Respondent is Wanghuade of Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wwwfurla.com> is registered with Hangzhou AiMing Network Co., LTD (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 16, 2015. On December 16, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 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.
On December 18, 2015, the Center transmitted an email in both English and Chinese to the Parties regarding the language of the proceeding. On December 18, 2015, the Complainant submitted its request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not submit any comments within the specified due date.
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 English and Chinese, and the proceeding commenced on January 5, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 25, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 26, 2016.
The Center appointed Douglas Clark as the sole panelist in this matter on February 8, 2016. 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 an Italian fashion company.
The Complainant is the owner of the trademark FURLA registered in various countries since the early 2000s, including China. It is also the registrant of various domain names which include the words “furla”.
The disputed domain name was registered on April 29, 2012.
The website under the disputed domain name resolves to several different websites; some of which appear to sell counterfeit versions of the Complainant’s products.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends as follows:
Identical or confusingly similar
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <wwwfurla.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark FURLA. The only difference is the addition of the generic term “www”. The Complainant contends this is a clear case of typo squatting.
No rights or legitimate interests
The Respondent has no connection with the Complainant or any of its affiliates and has never sought or obtained any trademark registrations for FURLA. It, therefore, has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Registered and used in bad faith
Before acquiring the disputed domain name, it is highly likely that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s rights in the mark FURLA and acquired the disputed domain name to prevent the Complainant from reflecting its mark in a corresponding domain name and/or disrupting the Complainant’s business.
The Respondent did not respond to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Language of Proceedings
The language of the Registration Agreement is in Chinese. Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules provides that:
“Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.”
The Complainant requested the language of the proceeding be English on the grounds that some of the websites the disputed domain name redirects to are in English; it would cause unnecessary expense for the Complainant to translate the Complaint and the disputed domain name was in Roman characters.
The Center made a preliminary determination to:
1) accept the Complaint as filed in English;
2) accept a Response in either English or Chinese;
3) appoint a Panel familiar with both languages mentioned above, if available.
The final determination of the language of the proceeding lies with this Panel.
Given the merits of the case being strongly in favour of the Complainant; and, that some websites under the disputed domain name are in English the Panel does not consider it appropriate to require the Complainant to translate the Complaint.
The Panel determines to follow the Center’s preliminary determination. It will render its decision in English.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <wwwfurla.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark FURLA. This is a case of clear typo squatting by the addition of the generic term “www” to the Complainant’s trademark.
The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”) provides:
“While the overall burden of proof rests with the complainant, panels have recognized that this could result in the often impossible task of proving a negative, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge of the respondent. Therefore a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such appropriate allegations or evidence, a complainant is generally deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP.”
The Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out ways in which a Respondent may establish they have rights and legitimate interests. These are:
“(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”
The Respondent has not responded to the Complaint to present any evidence to establish rights or legitimate interests under these heads.
None of the circumstances in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy are, therefore, present in this case.
The second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith:
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name <wwwfurla.com> was registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith. Given the disputed domain name redirects to some pages that sell apparent counterfeits of the Complainant’s products and that this is an obvious case of typosquatting, the Respondent clearly knew of the Complainant’s rights in the trademark FURLA when it registered the disputed domain name.
This case falls with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy which provides that a registrant has registered and is using a domain name in bad faith where:
“by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”
The website under the disputed domain name was being used to attract users to the website.
The third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is, therefore, satisfied.
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 <wwwfurla.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 16, 2016