WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG v. Danny Cure / paga

Case No. D2017-0810

1. The Parties

Complainant is LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG of Neu-Isenburgi, Germany, represented by Schiedermair Rechtsanwälte, Germany.

Respondent is Danny Cure / paga of Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America (“United States”).

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <lsgskychefs-de.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with 1&1 Internet AG (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 21, 2017. On April 21, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On April 24, 2017, 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 26, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 16, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on May 17, 2017.

The Center appointed Clive L. Elliott Q.C. as the sole panelist in this matter on May 31, 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

Complainant is a company registered in Germany with its principal place of business in Neu-Isenburg, Germany. It provides in-flight services. It is a 100% subsidiary of “Deutsche Lufthansa AG” belonging to the world leading experts regarding in-flight-services for all types of airlines, including airline catering, in-flight equipment and logistics as well as in-flight management.

Complainant is the owner of numerous registered trademarks worldwide, many of which contain the designation “LSG Sky Chefs”.

The Domain Name was registered on April 5, 2017. At the time of filing of the Complaint, the Domain Name redirected to a pay-per-click (“PPC”) website which provides hyperlinks to third parties’ websites, many of which relate to Complainant and its group of companies including Deutsche Lufthansa AG. At the time of this Decision, the Domain Name does not resolve to any active website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant asserts that the designation “LSG” is an abbreviation of Complainant’s former firm “Lufthansa Service GmbH”, respectively “Lufthansa Service Gesellschaft”, founded in 1966, when this designation was used worldwide in connection with Complainant’s business and trades. Complainant states that the designation “LSG SKY CHEFS” is the brand name of all of the groups belonging to Complainant’s holding company.

Complainant contends that it is the industry’s leading expert in managing the complete in-flight service supply chain for airlines worldwide, and that it currently has approximately 35,000 employees and 203 customer service centres in 55 countries.

Complainant states that it is also the owner of numerous domain names relating to the trademark LSG SKY CHEFS, the registration of all of which predates the Domain Name, inter alia, <lsgskychefs.com>, <lsgskychefs.eu>, <lsgskychefs.de>, and <lsgskychefs.org>. Most of Complainant’s domain names redirect to Complainant’s main website at “www.lsgskychefs.com“, where an active presence on the Internet has been maintained since 2000.

Complainant argues that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s registered trademark LSG SKY CHEFS (“Complainant’s trademark”) as well as to Complainant’s numerous domain names. Complainant points out it has not granted Respondent any license and has not permitted Respondent to use Complainant’s trademark. Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.

To the best of Complainant’s knowledge and information, Respondent is not making use of the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services. At the time of filing of the Complaint, the Domain Name redirected to a PPC website which provides hyperlinks to third parties’ websites, many of which relate to Complainant and its group of companies including Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

On April 6, 2017, Complainant’s financial department employees received emails, sent under the email address of “[]@lsgskychefs-de.com”, requesting them to transfer money urgently at the request of Complainant’s CEO. Complainant submits that Respondent is acting in a fraudulent manner by sending fake President emails under the Domain Name in order to induce Complainant’s employees to transfer money to Respondent.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has established that it is the owner of Complainant’s trademark. Complainant’s trademark has become a well-established trademark within the area of managing in-flight service supply chain for airlines worldwide. Such rights date back to 1999 well before the date of registration of the Domain Name, which is in 2017.

The Domain Name is for all intents and purposes the same as Complainant’s trademark. That is, apart from the addition of the hyphen and the letter “de”, which denotes Germany, where Complainant is based. The addition of the hyphen and the letters “de” will have little if any impact on the overall impression of the dominant part of the mark LSG SKY CHEFS.

On this basis, it is found that:

a) Complainant has rights in respect of Complainant’s trademark.

b) The Domain Name is not identical to but for the reasons set out above confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark.

Accordingly, the Panel is satisfied that the first element of the Policy has been met.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Complainant contends that Respondent is using the Domain Name in such a way that it is redirected to a PPC website which provides hyperlinks to third parties’ websites, many of which relate to Complainant and its group of companies including Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Respondent also seems to be using the Domain Name or a name similar thereto as part of an email address, employed for potentially misleading purposes. This is discussed in more detail below.

Complainant contends that Respondent has not demonstrated any rights or legitimate interests with respect to the Domain Name.

By virtue of its trademark rights and business interests in relation to what may broadly be described as

in-flight services for airlines, an unrelated entity using a very similar domain name is likely to lead to members of the public being confused and deceived.

It is reasonable to infer that Respondent’s PPC business arrangements allow Respondent to generate revenue by using a deliberately similar version of Complainant’s trademark and Complainant’s goodwill or reputation to attract Internet traffic. These assertions are not disputed by Respondent.

In those circumstances, it is difficult to see how Respondent’s conduct could be characterized as legitimate.

On this basis, it is found that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.

The Panel is satisfied that the second element of the Policy has been met.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel concludes that Respondent has intentionally attempted to generate revenue through PPC business arrangements and in doing so has created a likelihood of confusion with Complainant and/or Complainant’s trademark.

Further, as set out above, Complainant submits that Respondent is acting in a fraudulent manner by sending fake President emails under the Domain Name in order to induce Complainant’s employees to transfer money to Respondent. That allegation is not denied.

On that basis the Panel finds that Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith and that the third limb of the Policy has been met.

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <lsgskychefs-de.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Clive L. Elliott Q.C.
Sole Panelist
Date: June 14, 2017