WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
TP-Link International Limited v. Fateh Singh
Case No. D2017-0919
1. The Parties
The Complainant is TP-Link International Limited of Hong Kong, China, represented by LTL Attorneys LLP, United States of America ("United States").
The Respondent is Fateh Singh of Panchkula, Haryana, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <tplinkloginnet.net> 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 May 6, 2017. On May 8, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 9, 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 17, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 6, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on June 8, 2017.
The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on June 29, 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 company registered in Hong Kong. Its associate company, TP-Link Technologies, Co Ltd, is a company registered in China and is a manufacturer and supplier of computer hardware networking products including routers. The Complainant is the registrant of trademarks on behalf of the manufacturing company, including United States trademark number 3175495 for the standard character mark TP-LINK, registered on November 21, 2006 in Class 9 for goods and services including modems and related products.
In the remainder of this Decision, the term "Complainant" is used to refer interchangeably to the manufacturing company and the associated trademark referred to above.
The disputed domain name was registered on March 19, 2016.
The Complainant has produced evidence by way of a screen shot that the disputed domain name has resolved to a website at "www.tplinkloginnet.net" which was headed "TP-LINK ROUTER LOGIN" and "Welcome to Tp-link" and purported to offer services including telephone support related to the Complainant's routers.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant states that it is a leading manufacturer of computer networking hardware in the United States and worldwide. It states that it operates a website at "www.tp-link.com" and also uses geographically localized URLs such as "www.tp-link.us" and "www.to-link.de". The Complainant states that it has used the mark TP-LINK in commerce since at least 1996.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name <tplinkloginnet.net> is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights. The Complainant states that the disputed domain name wholly incorporates its trademark TP-LINK. It also submits that the Respondent's website referred to above exacerbates the risk of confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant's trademark.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant states that the Respondent has no relationship with the Complainant, that the Complainant has never authorized the Respondent to use its trademark TP-LINK and that the Respondent has never been known by any name incorporating that mark. The Complainant also denies that the Respondent has made demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with any bona fide offering of goods or services or that the Respondent has made any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. In particular, the Complainant contends that the Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name to appropriate the Complainant's trademark TP-LINK for the purposes of a misleading website which presents itself as the Complainant's authorized service provider. The Complainant contends that, in addition to using its trademark TP-LINK, the Respondent's website also uses copyrighted images taken from the Complainant's own website. The Complainant states that it is aware of a customer who was confused by the Respondent's website and was defrauded by the Respondent. The Complainant also submits evidence that it sent cease and desist letters to the prior registrant of the disputed domain name on March 9, 2017 and to the Respondent on April 26, 2017, but states that neither party has replied to those letters.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in the Complaint, the Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) that the 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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it is the owner of registered trademark rights in the mark TP-LINK in connection with computer hardware products including routers. The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant's trademark in its entirety together with the terms "login" and "net". The Panel finds that the inclusion of these generic terms does not dispel any risk of confusion with the Complainant's trademark, but on the contrary suggests a link between the disputed domain name and the Complainant and its products. The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In the view of the Panel, the Complainant's submissions referred to above give rise to a prima facie case for the Respondent to answer that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent has not participated in this proceeding and has not therefore offered any explanation for his registration and use of the disputed domain name, whether in accordance with any of the criteria set out in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise. Having no other evidence of any rights or legitimate interests on the part of the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the lack of any explanation from the Respondent for its choice of the disputed domain name and the use that the Respondent has made of the disputed domain name as described above, the Panel finds it overwhelmingly likely that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the Complainant's trademark in mind and with the intention of taking unfair advantage of the goodwill attaching to that trademark. The Panel finds in particular that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name for the purposes of a website which appropriates the Complainant's trademark and copyright images and misrepresents itself as a website operated by or affiliated with the Complainant. The Panel therefore finds that, by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant's trademark (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy). In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <tplinkloginnet.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Steven A. Maier
Date: July 11, 2017