WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Stylight GMBH v. Johanna Blau
Case No. D2017-0837
1. The Parties
Complainant is Stylight GMBH of Munich, Germany, represented by BPM Legal, Germany.
Respondent is Johanna Blau of Birkenau, Germany.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <stylight.vip> 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 26, 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 April 27, 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 May 8, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 28, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on May 29, 2017.
The Center appointed Stephanie G. Hartung 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
Complainant is a company organized under the laws of Germany that provides an online platform offering, inter alia, fashion from numerous online shops.
Complainant has provided evidence that it is the registered owner of several trademarks relating to the designation STYLIGHT including, inter alia:
- Word mark STYLIGHT, European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), Registration No. 007416051, Registration Date: June 16, 2009, Status: Active;
- Word mark STYLIGHT, World International Property Organization (WIPO), Registration No. 1011334, Registration Date: May 14, 2009, Status: Active;
- Word mark STYLIGHT, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); Registration No. 3910299, Registration Date: January 25, 2011, Status: Active.
Moreover, Complainant evidentially owns several domain names relating to its STYLIGHT trademark, inter alia, <stylight.com>, <stylight.de>, <stylight.se>, <stylight.eu>, <stylight.biz>, <stylight.info> etc.
Respondent, a resident of Germany, registered the disputed domain name on February 22, 2017. At the time of filing the Complaint and of the time of the rendering of this Decision, the disputed domain name resolves to a website at "www.stylight.vip", headed "Stylight.vip" that offers in the Swedish language shoes of numerous brands for online sale.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant contends that it was established in 2008 and offers since then on different platforms to over 6 million people worldwide a handpicked selection of fashion trends and products. Complainant has online presences in numerous countries worldwide, including in Germany and in Sweden.
Complainant claims that its STYLIGHT trademark is highly distinctive and to the best of Complainant's knowledge solely connected to it and not used in commerce by any third party.
Complainant submits that the disputed domain name is identical with Complainant's STYLIGHT trademark as it incorporates the latter in its entirety. Moreover, Complainant asserts that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name since (1) Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted Respondent to use the STYLIGHT trademark and has not permitted Respondent to apply for or use any domain name incorporating it, (2) the website at the disputed domain name is used in connection with an online shop offering shoes for sale and is, thus, capitalizing on Complainant's trademark and (3) there is no evidence which suggests that Respondent is commonly known by said domain name or by the name "Stylight" whatsoever. Finally, Complainant argues that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith since (1) the term "Stylight" is an invented term made up of the words "style" and "light" which, upon Complainant's information and believe, is not a combination used by any third party in commerce or elsewhere, (2) it is inconceivable that Respondent registered the disputed domain name unaware of Complainant's STYLIGHT trademark which is evidenced, inter alia, by the fact that Complainant also holds the domain name <stylight.com> which Respondent doubtlessly took note of when registering the disputed domain name, (3) the use of the disputed domain name in connection with a website offering products in competition to those offered by Complainant must be found to qualify as bad faith.
Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be transferred to Complainant.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, Complainant carries the burden of proving:
(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.
Respondent's default in the case at hand does not automatically result in a decision in favor of Complainant, however, paragraph 5(f) of the Rules provides that if Respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel may decide the dispute solely based upon the Complaint. Further, the Panel may draw such inferences as are appropriate from Respondent's failure to submit a Response.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel concludes that the disputed domain name <stylight.vip> is identical to the STYLIGHT trademark in which Complainant has rights.
The disputed domain name incorporates the STYLIGHT trademark in its entirety absent any other distinguishing element. The applicable generic Top-Level-Domain (gTLD) ".vip" is viewed as a standard registration requirement and as such disregarded under the first element test in determining identity or confusing similarity (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition ("WIPO Overview 3.0"), section 1.11.1).
Therefore, Complainant has established the first element under the Policy set forth by paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel is further convinced on the basis of Complainant's undisputed contentions that Respondent has not made use of the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor has Respondent been commonly known by the disputed domain name, nor can it be found that Respondent has made a legitimate noncommercial or fair use thereof without intent for commercial gain.
Respondent has not been authorized to use Complainant's STYLIGHT trademark, either as a domain name or in any other way. Also, there is no reason to believe that Respondent's name somehow corresponds with the disputed domain name and Respondent does not appear to have any trademarks rights associated with the name "Stylight".
Finally, Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services nor for a legitimate or fair purpose. On the contrary, Respondent uses the disputed domain name for a website at "www.stylight.vip" that is headed "Stylight.vip" and offers the online sale of shoes, therefore directly competing with Complainant's core business.
Accordingly, Complainant has established a prima facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name. Having done so, the burden of production shifts to Respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1). Given that Respondent has defaulted, she has not met that burden.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has also satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) and, thus, the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finally holds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used by Respondent in bad faith. The use of the disputed domain name, which is identical to Complainant's STYLIGHT trademark, to resolve to a website at "www.stylight.vip" which is headed "Stylight.vip" and offers products which directly compete with those offered by Complainant for online sale, is a clear indication that Respondent was aware of the Complainant's mark and intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to her own website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's STYLIGHT trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent's website. Such circumstances are evidence of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
In connection with this finding, it also carries weight in the eyes of the Panel that Respondent apparently has provided false WhoIs contact information, since the delivery of the Written Notice of the proceeding sent to Respondent via courier on May 8, 2017 failed due to an apparent invalid postal address. This fact at least throws a light on Respondent's behavior which supports the conclusion of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has also satisfied the third element under the Policy as set forth by 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 <stylight.vip> be transferred to Complainant.
Stephanie G. Hartung
Date: June 14, 2017