WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Brambles Ltd. v. Feng Zhang
Case No. D2016-0360
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Brambles Ltd. of Sydney, Australia, represented by Michael L. Leetzow, P.A., United States of America.
The Respondent is Feng Zhang of Cambodia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ifc0.com> is registered with Go China Domains, Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on February 22, 2016. On February 23, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 26, 2016, 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 March 8, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 28, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on March 31, 2016.
The Center appointed Clive Duncan Thorne as the sole panelist in this matter on April 15, 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 multinational supply chain logistics company. It is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange with its headquarters in Sydney. It primarily operates through its two brands CHEP and IFCO, in more than 60 countries, with the largest operations being in North America and Western Europe. The Complainant's marks and associated websites are owned by IFCO Systems, GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Complainant. Evidence of IFCO Systems is set out at annex 4 to the Complaint. The Complainant's customers are primarily in the fast-moving consumer goods, fresh produce, beverage, retail and general manufacturing industries. The Complainant employs more than 14,000 people and owns more than 500 million pallets, crates and containers. It works through a network of more than 850 service centers throughout the world. It submits that as a result of this activity, the Complainant and its trademarks, particularly IFCO, are well known to customers in the field of supply chain logistics.
The Complainant has registered numerous trademarks relating to its brands in many countries of the world. Annex 5 to the Complaint is a schedule setting out more than 230 registered trademarks relating to the mark IFCO including both IFCO word marks and IFCO related logos throughout the world.
In addition, the Complainant also has a significant presence on the Internet owning at least 143 top level domain names and country code top level domain names relating to the brand IFCO. A list of the relevant domain names is set out at annex 6 to the Complaint.
In the absence of any evidence to the contrary from the Respondent the Panel accepts the truth of the Complainant's evidence and proceeds to determine the Complaint accordingly.
5. Parties' Contentions
1. The Complainant submits that the domain name in dispute <ifc0.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant's marks and tradename IFCO. The letter "O" in the mark IFCO is merely replaced with a "0" in the disputed domain name.
2. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
There is no evidence that the Respondent is currently or has ever been known under the name IFCO or IFC0. The Respondent is not related to the Complainant's business and accordingly the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
3. The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant submits that it is clear evidence of "typo squatting" which is itself evidence of bad faith registration of a disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
In the Panel's view the Complainant has established that it has registered rights around the world in the mark IFCO. It has exhibited at annex 7 to the Complaint trademark registration certificates for a number of jurisdictions including Japan, the EU, Hong Kong, Germany and the United States of America. The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the trademark IFCO. The Complainant contends that the domain name in dispute is confusingly similar to the Complainant's mark IFCO in that the Respondent's disputed domain name has replaced the letter "O" in the registered mark IFCO with a "0". It submits that this is a typical case of "typo squatting" and that a number of earlier UDRP panel decisions have found a slight deviation from the registered marks leads to a conclusion that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the registered mark. The Panel agrees with this reasoning and finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's mark IFCO.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It agrees with the Complainant's submissions that the Respondent is not currently and has never been known under either the mark IFCO or "IFC0" as used by the Respondent. There is no evidence that the Respondent is in any way related to the Complainant's business. It is not one of the Complainant's agents nor does it have any business with it, the Complainant has never given any third party outside the Complainant group permission to register a domain name incorporating its trademark.
In addition the Complainant refers to the fact that the name of the Respondent appears to be a false name since the Complainant has not been able to locate this individual in either China or Cambodia. Moreover the address provided by the Respondent also appears to be incorrect. The Respondent has listed a Chinese city as part of its address whereas the country listed on the domain name registration is Cambodia.
On February 17, 2016, the Complainant undertook an Internet search of the Respondent's website, extracts of which are set out at annex 8 from which it can be seen that the Respondent is using the website to display pornographic material. The Complainant points out that such content is in no way related to the Complainant's business but is in fact "deleterious" to its business name, reputation and goodwill.
Accordingly the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In support of its contention that the disputed domain name is registered and is being used in bad faith, the Complainant relies upon the evidence of "typo squatting" as itself evidence of bad faith registration. It submits that the use of the disputed domain name is clearly an attempt on the part of the Respondent to play off the Complainant's well known and globally registered trademarks (and other similarly named websites) and mislead users who may mistype the Complainant's web address using a "0" instead of an "O".
The Complainant also relies upon the fact that the identity and the address of the Respondent appears to be false and this also leads to a conclusion that the registration was in bad faith.
The Panel agrees with these submissions. It is also conscious of the evidence set out at annex 8 to the Complaint of the pornographic nature of the Complainants website. There is therefore clear evidence that the domain name in dispute 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, <ifc0.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Clive Duncan Thorne
Date: May 3, 2016