WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Emirates v. Thanh Tung Nguyen

Case No. D2017-1292

1. The Parties

Complainant is Emirates of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, represented by BMVN International LLC, Viet Nam.

Respondent is Thanh Tung Nguyen of Ha Noi, Viet Nam.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <emirates-vn.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with LiquidNet Ltd. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 5, 2017. On July 5, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On July 6, 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 July 12, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 1, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on August 2, 2017.

The Center appointed Robert A. Badgley as the sole panelist in this matter on August 17, 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 has been a major international airline for decades. Complainant operates in Viet Nam, and holds several registered trademarks in that country (including for example, EMIRATES [Vietnam trademark no. 223283 with priority date of September 23 2005] and dating back to as early as 1996.

The Domain Name was registered on September 30, 2014. Until recently, the Domain Name resolved to a website in the Viet Namese language displaying Complainant’s mark and offering to sell airline tickets of airlines in competition with Complainant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that it has satisfied all three elements required under the Policy for a transfer of the Domain Name.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements which Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Domain Name:

(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and

(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and

(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel concludes that Complainant has rights in the mark EMIRATES through registration and use. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the EMIRATES mark, inasmuch as it incorporates that mark in its entirety and adds the initials “vn” which can be understood as shorthand for Viet Nam.

Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, Respondent may establish its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, among other circumstances, by showing any of the following elements:

(i) before any notice to you [Respondent] of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) you [Respondent] (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you [Respondent] are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

The Panel concludes that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Respondent has not been authorized by Complainant to use its EMIRATES mark as a domain name or in any other manner. The record indicates that Respondent has used the Domain Name to sell airline tickets not of Complainant but of Complainant’s competitors. This type of bait-and-switch is decidedly not a legitimate use of the Domain Name.

Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, “in particular but without limitation,” are evidence of the registration and use of the Domain Name in “bad faith”:

(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the Domain Name registration to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out of pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or

(ii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) that by using the Domain Name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other on line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.

For much the same reasons as are set forth above in the context of “rights or legitimate interests,” the Panel concludes that Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith. First, it is clear that Respondent had Complainant’s well-known EMIRATES mark in mind when registering the Domain Name. The content at the website, which includes not only the EMIRATES mark but also imagery employed in Complainant’s advertising, makes it clear that Respondent was well aware of the EMIRATES mark.

The Panel also concludes that Respondent has used the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv), quoted above. This is an obvious case of abusive domain name registration and use.

Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).

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 <emirates-vn.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Robert A. Badgley
Sole Panelist
Date: August 21, 2017