WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Aygaz A.Ş. v. Brigitte Koertig
Case No. D2016-0704
1. The Parties
Complainant is Aygaz A.Ş. of Istanbul, Turkey, represented by Erdem Türkekul, Turkey.
Respondent is Brigitte Koertig of Gera, Germany.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <aygazayisigi.org> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 8, 2016. On April 8, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 9, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April 19, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 9, 2016. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on May 17, 2016.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on June 6, 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
Complainant was founded in 1961 and is the first and largest company of the Koç Group. Complainant supplies, stocks, fills, distributes and sells liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), provides after-sales services and manufactures LPG-powered devices and accessories for national and international markets. Complainant states that it is currently the largest LPG importer in Europe.
“Aygaz Ay Isığı” is a social responsibility project of Complainant developed with the Turkish Ministry of Health. Pursuant to this social responsibility project, Complainant has renewed and increased standards of community clinic vaccine rooms in 81 Turkish cities. In 2008 Complainant was awarded the “Social Responsibility Project Second Great Prize” by the Turkish Health Volunteers Foundation.
Complainant is the owner of Turkish trademark registration numbers 2006 38534 and 2006 38533 for the mark AYGAZAYIŞIĞI both registered on August 8, 2016.
Complainant owned the disputed domain name <aygazayisigi.org> from the start of the project until the last domain name renewal date in October 2015. Complainant operated its official website at the disputed domain name. Complainant also operates websites at the domain names <aygazayisigi.com> and <aygazayisigi.net>.
After the last renewal date in October 2015, Respondent registered the disputed domain name, and Complainant became unable to use the disputed domain name for its social responsibility project.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Complainant has the burden of proving each of the following three elements under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to be entitled to a transfer of the disputed domain name:
(i) That the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) That Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) That the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant owns two Turkish trademark registrations for the mark AYGAZAYIŞIĞI. The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s mark in its entirety.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Based on previous UDRP decisions, “a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such a prima facie case is made, the burden 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”. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), paragraph 2.1.
Complainant’s allegations in the Complaint and evidence submitted on this issue are sufficient to make out a prima facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent has not made use of the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The disputed domain name links to a website in the Norwegian language that is offering “Ed Hardy” branded textile goods. Respondent is not advertising or selling products using the trademark referenced in the disputed domain name. There is no evidence that Respondent is using the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
There is no evidence that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. Based on the publicly available WhoIs, Respondent is identified as Brigitte Koertig, an individual.
Respondent is selling “Ed Hardy” branded products at the disputed domain name and is not making any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
Respondent has not submitted any evidence showing that it has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant was the initial owner of the domain name, which was not registered by Respondent until the renewal date in October 2015.
Complainant contends that Ayısığı means “moonlight” in Turkish and that “Aygaz” is also a very well-known trademark of Complainant in Turkey and elsewhere in Europe. Complainant combined the words to create a trademark which it has registered in Turkey. Complainant further contends that its research indicates that neither word has a meaning in Norwegian, the language of Respondent’s website at the disputed domain name. It is highly unlikely that purchasers of “Ed Hardy” products would look for such products at the disputed domain name, which is composed of two Turkish words.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and 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 <aygazayisigi.org> be transferred to Complainant
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Date: June 20, 2016