WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AB Electrolux v. Amr Aamer
Case No. D2016-2082
1. The Parties
The Complainant is AB Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Amr Aamer of Cairo, Egypt.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sayanetzanussii.com> ("the Domain Name") is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on October 12, 2016. On October 12, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 12, 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. On October 14, 2016, the Center sent an email to the Registrar, copying the Parties, regarding the expiry date of the disputed domain name. The Registrar confirmed, on October 14, 2016, that the disputed domain name would remain locked and not expire during the course of the proceeding.
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 October 17, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 6, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 7, 2016.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on December 2, 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 leading producer of kitchen and cleaning equipment and products. The Complainant through its Italian subsidiary holds registered trade marks for ZANUSSI or their Arabic equivalent valid in Egypt where the Respondent is based. These registrations predate the registration of the Domain Name in 2015.
The Domain Name has been used for a web site offering repair of ZANUSSI products which uses the ZANUSSI name and logo at the top left of the site without any disclaimer.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant's contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is a leading producer of kitchen and cleaning equipment and products. The ZANUSSI brand was founded in 1916. In 1984 the Complainant acquired the brand known for white goods. The Complainant holds several trade marks for ZANUSSI valid in Egypt where the Respondent is based. These registrations predate the registration of the Domain Name in 2015. The Complainant also owns <zanussi.com> and <zanussi.com.eg> the latter in the Egyptian country code domain.
The Domain Name incorporates the Complainant's ZANUSSI mark with the additional word "sayanet" and the additional letter "I" at the end of the ZANUSSI mark. The addition of the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com" does not add any distinctiveness to the Domain Name. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's ZANUSSI mark.
The Respondent is using the Domain Name to attract internet users to its web site where it offers repair services on air conditioners. Whilst it is permitted to advertise that it repairs ZANUSSI products the use of the ZANUSSI trade mark in the Domain Name strongly suggests there is some official link with the Complainant and the site does not explain the relationship with the Complainant and is therefore confusing.
The Respondent does not have any relevant rights of its own and is not commonly known by the name ZANUSSI. It has not made legitimate, non-commercial use of the Domain Name. The Respondent has never been granted any permission to register the Domain Name. The Complainant does not allow its authorised partners to use the ZANUSSI trade mark in domain names.
The contents of the web site make it clear the Respondent is aware of the Complainant and its rights. It is using the Complainant's ZANUSSI name and logo prominently on the top left of the web site. The Respondent is using the Domain Name to intentionally attract for commercial gain Internet users to its web site by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trade mark as to the source, affiliation or endorsement of the web site. This is bad faith under the Policy.
The Respondent did not respond to a cease and desist letter from the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical and/or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant is a well-known provider of kitchen and cleaning equipment and products. Its subsidiary is the owner of the ZANUSSI trade mark in various countries including Egypt where the Respondent is based which were registered before 2015 when the Domain Name was registered.
The Domain Name includes a name recognisable as the Complainant's registered mark ZANUSSI plus an extra letter "i" at the end of ZANUSSI and the word "sayanet". The addition of these extra elements does not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant's ZANUSSI mark which is highly distinctive and the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights for the purpose of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is clear from the content of the site that the Respondent was aware of the significance of the trade mark ZANUSSI at the time of registration as the site attached to the Domain Name uses the Complainant's trade mark in its logo on the top left of its web site in a manner to suggest it is or is officially sanctioned by the Complainant. The usage is not, therefore, fair and does not make it clear what the relationship is to the Complainant if any and the Respondent has not given any legitimate explanation as to why it would be permitted to use the Complainant's ZANUSSI name and logo on its web site as a masthead and use the Complainant's trade mark in a Domain Name. As such, the Panel finds this use confusing and, therefore, not a bona fide offering of goods and services. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or a legitimate interest in the Domain Name and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.
C. Registration and Use in Bad Faith
The content of the Respondent's web site makes it clear that he was aware of the Complainant's rights at the time of registration. It seems clear that the use of the Complainant's name and logo on the top left of the Respondent's web site would cause people to believe the web site at the Domain Name was that of the Complainant or officially sanctioned by it. Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its web site by creating likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trade marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the web site or services offered thereon.
As such, the Panel believes that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb 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 <sayanetzanussii.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: July 16, 2010