WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Koninklijke KPN N.V. v. Irina Vasilenko
Case No. D2017-1143
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Koninklijke KPN N.V. of the Hague, Netherlands, internally represented.
The Respondent is Irina Vasilenko of Warminster, Pennsylvania, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <kpnmails.com> 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 June 12, 2017. On June 12, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 12, 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 June 16, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 6, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 7, 2017.
The Center appointed William A. Van Caenegem as the sole panelist in this matter on July 13, 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 the registered owner of a number of trade marks, inter alia, the word mark KPN, Benelux trade mark Reg. No. 0529431, registered on March 2, 1993; and the word mark KPN, European Union trade mark Reg. No. 005310099 registered on May 29, 2008 for goods and services in Nice classes 9, 35, 37, 38, 41 and 42, used in connection with the Complainant’s telecommunications business. The Complainant is also the registered owner of a number of figurative marks that include KPN.
The disputed domain name was registered on May 22, 2017.
The Panel notes that at the time of the decision, the disputed domain name was inactive. However, screenshots provided in the annexes to the Complaint indicate that the disputed domain name resolved to a website in Dutch which contained the Complainant’s KPN trademark and had a similar look to the Complainant’s official website. Further evidence provided by the Complainant suggests that the disputed domain name has been used in connection with a fraudulent email scheme.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts that it is the leading provider of telecommunications and ICT service in the Netherlands. It operates many KPN stores throughout the Netherlands and provides a wide variety of telecom services to millions of private and business clients. It has used the KPN mark very extensively and the Complainant asserts that KPN is therefore a well-known mark. It has a very large market share, inter alia, of 43 percent in the consumer mobile market. It operates the website “www.kpn.com.”
The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name infringes its trademark rights as the first part is identical to its registered trademark, and the second part (“mails”) refers to the concept of sending letters via the Internet which is also a service the Complainant prominently offers.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It has no approval to use the Complainant’s name or trademarks in any form. The Complainant is the only party who offers legitimate goods and services under the mark KPN; the Respondent does not do so, and is not commonly known under that mark or name.
According to the Complainant, the bad faith of the Respondent is established by the fact that it engages in phishing activities by way of the disputed domain name. The Complainant demonstrates that the Respondent has set up a look-alike website resembling that of the Complainant, using the same letter font and placing the logo in the same position. The Complainant maintains that the Respondent sends out letters requesting payment of false invoices via the website to which the disputed domain name resolves. The Complainant submits an email supplied by one of its clients to this effect. The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is most likely attempting to obtain personal information of its customers who will wrongly conclude that a targeted request comes from the Complainant itself. The Complainant contacted the relevant Registrar to have the website removed but received no response.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name is not identical to the registered trademark KPN of the Complainant. However, it incorporates the latter’s mark as the initial and most prominent part of the disputed domain name. The additional term “mails” is an ordinary dictionary word. The Complainant’s trademark is clearly recognizable in the disputed domain name. The combination of the two terms does not dispel any appearance of a connection between the disputed domain name and the Complainant. To the contrary, it may suggest that there is a connection as the Complainant is in the business of providing services that enable or facilitates the sending of mail or “mails” via the Internet.
Therefore the Panel holds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the registered trademark KPN of the Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not received any authorization from the Complainant to use its name or the mark KPN in any form. Nor is the Respondent known under the disputed domain name or does it conduct legitimate business under that name. According to material put before the Panel by the Complainant, the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to establish a deceptively similar website and to engage in phishing activities. Such attempts at fraudulent activities cannot give rise to rights or legitimate interests in the Complainant.
Therefore the Panel holds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The trademark KPN is highly distinctive and well established in the Netherlands. The Respondent chose to combine it with a term (“mails”) that is suggestive of the activities of the Complainant. It is undoubtedly the case that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant, the nature of its activities and its rights in the mark KPN at the time of registration. The subsequent activities of the Respondent, of which the Complainant has provided evidence to the Panel, establish that the disputed domain name was acquired with a dishonest intent, namely to use it to obtain personal data from Internet users in a phishing scheme. The fact that the Respondent established a look-alike website clearly establishes its intent and the extent of its bad faith. The Respondent hoped to create the false impression that certain invoices it produced and sent to Internet users, emanated from the Complainant. This demonstrates that the disputed domain name was both registered and used with bad faith intentions in mind.
Therefore the Panel holds that the disputed domain name was registered and 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 <kpnmails.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
WiIliam A. Van Caenegem
Date: July 27, 2017