WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AB Electrolux v. Jason Wolfe Geagr
Case No. D2017-0835
1. The Parties
The Complainant is AB Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Jason Wolfe Geagr of Rock, Kansas, United States of America (“US”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <elecfrolvx.com> 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 25, 2017. On April 26, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 10, 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 May 11, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 31, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 1, 2017.
The Center appointed Peter Wild as the sole panelist in this matter on June 12, 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 a Swedish joint stock company founded in 1901 and a leading producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen and cleaning products and floor care products. The Complainant is the owner of the registered well-known trademark ELECTROLUX as a word and figure mark in several classes in many countries all over the world including in the US, e.g., International Trademark Registration 1126087 registered in 2012, and US trademark registration no. 0248774 registered in 1928.
The Complainant has registered a number of domain names under generic Top-Level Domains (“gTLD”) containing the term “electrolux”, for example, <electrolux.com> (created on April 30, 1996). The Complainant uses this domain name to connect to a website through which it informs potential customers about its ELECTROLUX mark and its products and services. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on April 21, 2017. The disputed domain name resolves to a parking page with pay-per-click (“PPC”) links. According to the Complainant, the Respondent also used the disputed domain name for fraudulent email scheme.
5. Parties’ Contentions
According to the Complainant, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its registered trademark ELECTROLUX. The Complainant furthermore contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith, which is in particular evidenced by phishing attacks using email addresses based on the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name has a different spelling from the trademark ELECTROLUX. The letter “t” is replaced by the letter “f”, the letter “u” by a “v”. Those replaced letters are, standing alone, visually close to the letter which they replace. In the combination with the remaining letters an overall impression and pattern is created which, at a first look, read like the original trademark ELECTROLUX. This is a case of misspelling not based on a typographical mistake, but on a replacing by visual similarity basis. The Complainant’s trademark is the dominant component of the disputed domain name and the misspelling does not avoid confusing similarity. The conclusion that the disputed domain name is a typo-variant is confirmed by the fact that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name for email addresses using the Complainant’s CFO’s name which clearly shows that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s corporate name and the trademark ELECTROLUX. See also Olayan Investments Company v. Janice Carver, WIPO Case No. D2011-1623. The Panel therefore concludes that the first element of the Policy is met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant must establish a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once such prima facie case is made, the Respondent carries the burden of demonstrating its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. If the Respondent fails to do so, the Complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP.
The Respondent is not known under the disputed domain name and claims no connection with or authorization from the Complainant.
In addition, emails have been sent under the disputed domain name, pretending to be the email address of the Complainant’s CFO in an attempt of phishing.
In the absence of any explanation by the Respondent, the Complainant’s establishment of the prima facie case is sufficient.
With the evidence on file, this Panel is satisfied that the second element of the Policy is met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the high similarity of the Complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name and the fact that the Respondent knew the Complainant’s CFO’s name is evidence that he was aware of the Complainant’s well known prior rights. Registration of the disputed domain name in spite of such knowledge is registration in bad faith.
The Respondent uses the disputed domain name for a PPC website. The use of the Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name must therefore be seen as the Respondent’s intentional attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the Respondent’s website or location (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy). In addition, using the Complainant’s well-known trademark in the disputed domain name as a basis for an email address which pretends to be a legitimate email address of the Complainant’s CFO constitutes a clear case of abuse of the disputed domain name which is fraudulent and able to disrupt the Complainant’s business. The use of such email addresses in a fraudulent way with phishing attacks on the Complainant’s staff is clear evidence of use in bad faith.
The Panel therefore holds that the third element of the Policy is met.
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 <elecfrolvx.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 21, 2017