WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Inter IKEA Systems BV (IISVB) v. Hosein Bagheri
Case No. D2016-0432
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Inter IKEA Systems BV (IISVB) of Amsterdam, Netherlands, represented by Saba & Co. IP - Head Office, Lebanon.
The Respondent is Hosein Bagheri of Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <irikea.com> is registered with Realtime Register B.V. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 3, 2016. On March 4, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 5, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent’s 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 9, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 29, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 30, 2016.
The Center appointed Nayiri Boghossian as the sole panelist in this matter on April 13, 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 owns the following trademark registrations in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in classes 11, 17, and 20: IRANIKEA, number 131437, registered on January 5, 2006; IKEA & Device, number 125527, registered on October 18, 2005; and IKEA & Device in Persian characters, number 125525, registered on October 18, 2005.
The disputed domain name is registered in the name of the Respondent and is used in connection with a website where furniture and other household items are being sold.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends owning the trademark and concept IKEA which it has franchised to retailers in 45 countries. The concept is that of ready-to-assemble furniture, which is sold by franchisee retailers of the Complainant.
The Complainant contends that its trademark is amongst the most well-known trademarks in the world and that it has been recognized as such. The Complainant contends owning more than 1500 trademark registrations of IKEA and its variants as well as few hundreds of domain names incorporating the trademark IKEA.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar and identical to its trademark as the prefix “ir” is the code for the Islamic Republic of Iran and hence using this prefix before the trademark of the Complainant gives consumers the impression that the Complainant sponsors the disputed domain name.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name was registered on November 5, 2014, which is many years after the registration in the Islamic Republic of Iran of the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent’s name bears no similarity to the trademark of the Complainant or the disputed domain name nor is the Respondent commonly known by the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the trademark IKEA is an invented trademark which is formed of the first letter of various names relating purely to the founder of the IKEA trademark. The Complainant contends that it has not authorized the Respondent to use the trademark IKEA. It further contends that the Respondent’s use of the famous mark IKEA is done only in bad faith and with the aim of benefitting from the goodwill the trademark has built over the years.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name and started selling IKEA products online while also using the trademark of the Complainant on the receipts and bags in which it delivered the products. In addition, the Respondent uses photos from the Complainant’s website for the purpose of confusing consumers and attracting them for commercial gain. Furthermore, the Respondent did not respond to a cease and desist letter sent by the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has submitted a number of trademark registration certificates for the trademark IKEA in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established its ownership of the trademark IKEA.
The disputed domain name comprises the Complainant’s trademark IKEA combined with the prefix “ir”. The prefix “ir” is the common abbreviation for the Islamic Republic of Iran and its use together with the trademark of the Complainant in the disputed domain name does not eliminate the confusion with the trademark IKEA. On the contrary, it gives the impression that the website is indeed an online platform for the sale of goods bearing the trademark IKEA.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark of the Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has indicated that it has never authorized the use of its trademark by the Respondent. The Panel notes that there are no indications that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name and the Respondent has not provided evidence of circumstances of the type specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or of any other circumstances, giving rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests.
The Respondent did not submit a response and in the absence of such response, the Panel believes that the Complainant met the requirement under the Policy showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests. See, Investissement Marius Saradar S.A.L. (Holding Company) and Banque Saradar S.A.L. v. John Naffah and Z Publishing Inc, WIPO Case No. D2000-0853.
Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The element of bad faith is clearly established by the fact that the trademark IKEA is one of the most well-known trademarks in the world in connection with furniture and household items. The disputed domain name is used to link to a website offering furniture, decoration and other household items. Furthermore, the trademark IKEA is an invented word. Hence, it is obvious to the Panel that the Respondent was fully aware of the Complainant and its marks and has registered and used the disputed domain name comprising the Complainant’s mark with the aim of attracting consumers to his products sold online. The Respondent has registered the disputed domain name and is using it in bad faith in an attempt to confuse consumers and attract them through capitalizing and free-riding on the reputation of the Complainant’s trademark.
Such conduct falls squarely within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, and accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 <irikea.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 15, 2016