WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allianz SE v. Hochul Jung
Case No. D2016-0266
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Allianz SE of Munich, Germany, internally represented.
The Respondent is Hochul Jung of Daegu, Republic of Korea.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <allianz.net> is registered with Megazone Corp., dba HOSTING.KR (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 11, 2016. On the same date, the Center transmitted to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 12, 2016, the Registrar transmitted to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent’s contact details.
On February 15, 2016, the Center notified the parties, in both English and Korean, that the Complaint was submitted in English, and that according to the Registrar, the language of the Registration Agreement was Korean. In the same notification, the Center instructed the Complainant to provide, by February 18, 2016:
“1) satisfactory evidence of an agreement between the Complainant and the Respondent to the effect that the proceedings should be in English; or
2) submit the Complaint translated into Korean; or …
3) submit a request for English to be the language of the administrative proceedings.”
To the Respondent, the Center stated that “if the Respondent is intending to participate in these proceedings, and/or has any comments on the Complainant’s submission replying to this notification, the Respondent is requested to submit these to the Center by February 20, 2016.” The Center also advised the Respondent:
“Specifically in the case of the Complainant submitting (or indicating that it will submit) a request for the language of proceedings to be English, and the Respondent objects to such request, the Respondent is invited to indicate that objection for the record, and to submit any arguments/supporting materials … as to why the proceedings should not be conducted in English.
Please note that if we do not hear from you by [February 20, 2016], we will proceed on the basis that you have no objection to the Complainant’s request that English be the language of proceedings.”
On February 16, 2016, the Complainant responded to the Center’s notification, requesting that English be the language of the proceeding. The Center did not receive any correspondence from the Respondent.
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 February 24, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for the Response was March 15, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 16, 2016.
The Center appointed Professor Ilhyung Lee as the sole panelist in this matter on March 30, 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 a German company that provides financial and insurance services using the ALLIANZ mark. The Complainant has obtained numerous registrations for the mark in Germany and other jurisdictions, including those registered in 1979 and 1999.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <allianz.net> on January 17, 2001. The disputed domain name resolves to a search portal and displays commercial links.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends principally that: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights; (ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
In addition, the Complaint states, inter alia:
“The Allianz Group is one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide [and] serves to approximately 78 million customers in more than 70 countries.”
“‘Allianz’ is a distinctive and well-known mark used by Allianz in connection with its several businesses for well over 100 years.”
“‘Allianz’ belongs [among] the most valuable trade marks in the world.”
“The Respondent has offered the domain name for sale.”
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. Paragraphs 5(f) and 14(a) of the Rules permit the Panel to decide the dispute based on the Complaint in such circumstances. Pursuant to paragraph 14(b), the Panel may draw appropriate inferences from the Respondent’s default.
6. Discussion and Findings
Initially, the Panel must address the language of the proceeding.
Under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules, the language of the Registration Agreement is the language of the administrative proceeding, unless otherwise agreed by the parties or specified in the Registration Agreement. But the rule also states that the determination of the language is “subject to the authority of the Panel …, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.” Here, the language of the Registration Agreement is Korean. Nevertheless, the Complainant requests that English be the language of the proceeding.
After receiving the Complaint submitted in English, the Center notified the Parties, in both Korean and English, of the Center’s procedural rules regarding the language of the proceeding. The Center informed the Respondent that it may object timely to a proceeding conducted in the English language. The Respondent did not respond to the Center’s notification or the Complainant’s request, and has defaulted. Under these circumstances, the Panel determines that English is the language of the proceeding.
Turning to the merits, the Complainant must satisfy each of the three elements under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has rights in the mark ALLIANZ. The only difference between the ALLIANZ mark and the disputed domain name <allianz.net> is the technical requirement of the generic Top-Level Domain, “.net”.
The Panel determines that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights.
The first element is demonstrated.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has met its initial burden of making a prima facie showing. The Respondent then has the burden to demonstrate any such rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent has declined to take part in this mandatory proceeding. The Panel is unable to ascertain any evidence that would demonstrate the Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, as described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or otherwise.
The second element is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, the Complainant must show that the disputed domain name “has been registered and is being used in bad faith.” Paragraph 4(b) provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances that are “evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith”.
The disputed domain name resolves to a site whose content, in English, appears as a search portal with links for, among others: “Allianz” (which in turn resolves to a site that includes links for “Allianz Travel Insurance” and “Allianz Insurance”); and “Free Car Insurance”.
It is difficult for the Panel to entertain the possibility that the Respondent selected the disputed domain name with its resolving website and the links therein, without knowledge of the Complainant or its services.
The Panel concludes that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent “intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [the Respondent’s] web site … by creating a likelihood of confusion with the [C]omplainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [the Respondent’s] web site”, as set forth in paragraph 4(b)(iv).
The bad faith element is 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 <allianz.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 13, 2016