WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Ikano S.A. v. Name Redacted
Case No. D2017-0637
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Ikano S.A. of Luxembourg, represented by Advokatfirman Lindahl, Sweden.
The Respondent is Name Redacted1 .
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ikano.credit> is registered with Ascio Technologies Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 29, 2017. On March 29, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 30, 2017, 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 April 19, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 9, 2017. The Respondent submitted an informal communication and his Response on May 9, 2017.
The Center appointed Marilena Comanescu as the sole panelist in this matter on May 17, 2017. 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 an international company detached from the IKEA group in 1988, but having the same owners. Currently, the Complainant operates in 14 countries and has more than 4,500 employees worldwide, with a net result in 2015 of EUR 337 million and total asset of EUR 7.2 billion.
The Complainant operates via several subsidiaries in financial, real estate, insurance and retail services, all using the mark IKANO as a dominant component to identify their business.
The Complaint holds numerous trademark registrations worldwide for IKANO, such as the European Union word trademark IKANO, Reg. No. 001991694, filed on December 8, 2000, registered on April 29, 2002, and renewed until December 8, 2020, covering services in International Classes 35, 36 and 37.
The Complainant provided evidence of extensive use and recognition of its trademark IKANO worldwide in relation to financial, banking and insurance services.
The Complainant also registered the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.ikano”.
Prior to commencing this proceeding, on October 21, 2016, the Complainant sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Respondent, to which the latter did not reply.
The disputed domain name <ikano.credit> was registered on June 28, 2016 and, at the time of filing of the Complaint, it was inactive.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to its well-known and highly distinctive trademark IKANO, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
On May 9, 2017, the Center received an email a Response from the named Respondent, stating that he did not register nor authorized the registration of the disputed domain name and that someone hacked his email account and stole his personal data that was used for registering the disputed domain name. The named Respondent also indicated the police record registration number for its complaint before Swedish police authorities.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy is addressed to resolving disputes concerning allegations of abusive domain name registration and use. It is essential to the Policy that fundamental due process requirements be met. Such requirements include that a respondent have notice of proceedings that may substantially affect its rights. The Policy and the Rules establish procedures intended to ensure that respondents are given adequate notice of proceedings commenced against them, and a reasonable opportunity to respond.
The Center transmitted notice of the Complaint and commencement of the proceeding to the Respondent by email and express courier. The individual named in the record of registration as Respondent received this notice by courier and corresponded with the Center regarding his lack of involvement in registering the disputed domain name. The identity of the “Respondent-in-fact” is unknown because he/she deliberately undertook to disguise its identity in order to perpetuate a fraud. Under these circumstances, the Panel considers that the Center discharged its responsibilities under the Policy and Rules to notify the Respondent of this proceeding, and provided it with adequate opportunity to respond.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, a complainant can only succeed in an administrative proceeding under the Policy if the following circumstances are met:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel will further analyze the potential concurrence of the above circumstances.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant holds trademark registrations for IKANO.
The disputed domain name <ikano.credit> incorporates the Complainant’s trademark IKANO in its entirety.
Further, it is well established in decisions under the UDRP that indicators for gTLDs (e.g., “credit”, “.com”, “.biz”, “.net”, “.org”) are typically irrelevant to the consideration of confusing similarity between a trademark and a domain name.
Given the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <ikano.credit> is virtually identical to the Complainant’s trademark IKANO, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that it has given no license or other right to the Respondent to use or register its trademark, that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and that the Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use or a bona fide offering of goods and services.
Under the Policy, “a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production 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 paragraph 2.1 of WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”).
There is no evidence before the Panel to support the contrary, and therefore the Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions, alleging any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant’s IKANO trademark is used in commerce since at least 2000 and has been promoted extensively in connection to financial, banking and insurance services.
The disputed domain name was registered in 2016 and incorporates the IKANO distinctive mark entirely along with the gTLD “.credit”.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith, knowing the Complainant’s field of activity and targeting its IKANO trademark.
According to the case file evidence, at the time of filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name was not linked to an active website. As it is well established by the long line of UDRP cases from Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003, the requirement of the Policy of a domain name “being used in bad faith” is not limited to positive actions. According to the consensus view of UDRP panels summarized at paragraph 3.2 of the WIPO Overview 2.0, “panels have found that the apparent lack of so-called active use (e.g., to resolve to a website) of the domain name without any active attempt to sell or to contact the trademark holder (passive holding), does not as such prevent a finding of bad faith. The panel must examine all the circumstances of the case to determine whether the respondent is acting in bad faith. Examples of what may be cumulative circumstances found to be indicative of bad faith include the complainant having a well-known trademark, no response to the complaint having been filed, and the registrant’s concealment of its identity”.
In the present case, the Complainant owns the highly distinctive trademark IKANO. The “Respondent-in-fact” did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions and instead, the named Respondent solely argued that he was a victim of identity theft and thus is not related to the registration of the disputed domain name. The identity of the “Respondent-in-fact” is unknown as it registered the disputed domain name using the identity of the named Respondent, without his knowledge or approval.
For all the above reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name <ikano.credit> in bad faith, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <ikano.credit> be cancelled.
Date: May 30, 2017
1 The Panel decided to redact the name of the named Respondent, adopting the criterion of the UDRP panels in Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2016-1286 and Banco Bradesco S.A. v. FAST-12785241 Attn. Bradescourgente.net / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2009-1788 (“The Panel has decided that no purpose is to be served by including the named Respondent in this decision, and has therefore redacted its name from the caption and body of this decision. The Panel has, however, attached as Annex 1 to this Decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the disputed domain name that includes the named Respondent, and has authorized the Center to transmit Annex 1 to the Registrar as part of the order in this proceeding. However, the Panel has further directed the Center, pursuant to paragraph 4(j) of the Policy and paragraph 16(b) of the Rules, that Annex 1 to this Decision shall not be published based on exceptional circumstances”).