WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Technogym S.p.A. v. Zhang Juan

Case No. D2017-1775

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Technogym S.p.A. of Cesena (FC), Italy, represented by Studio Turini, Italy.

The Respondent is Zhang Juan of Beijing, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <technogymcn.com> is registered with Xiamen Nawang Technology Co., Ltd (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 14, 2017. On September 14, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 25, 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.

On September 25, 2017, the Center sent an email communication to the Parties in both Chinese and English regarding the language of the proceeding. On September 26, 2017, the Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding by the specified due date.

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 October 2, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 22, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 23, 2017.

The Center appointed Sok Ling MOI as the sole panelist in this matter on November 2, 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, an Italian company founded in 1983, is a fitness and wellness solutions provider present in over 100 countries with an estimated 35 million end users. It provides a range of gym equipment such as treadmills, exercise bikes, stair climbers and weights and has equipped 65,000 wellness centers and over 100,000 homes around the world.

The Complainant has registered the trade mark TECHNOGYM in several jurisdictions around the world, including the following trade mark registrations:

Jurisdiction

Mark

Registration No.

Registration Date

International

TECHNOGYM

508094

November 17, 1986

International designating China

TECHNOGYM

645891

August 2, 1995

International designating China

TECHNOGYM

866986

February 18, 2005

European Union

TECHNOGYM

433268

February 10, 1999

European Union

TECHNOGYM

497404

November 27, 1998

European Union

TECHNOGYM

501965

March 8, 1999

European Union

TECHNOGYM

13685151

May 21, 2015

China

泰诺健

4227937

April 14, 2008

China

太空

9118604

December 21, 2013

United States of America

TECHNOGYM

1694572

June 16, 1992

United States of America

TECHNOGYM

2254728

June 22, 1999

The Complainant also owns several domain name registrations incorporating its trade mark TECHNOGYM, including the following:

- <technogym.com>

- <technogymchina.com>

- <technogym-china.com>t

These domain names all direct user traffic to the Complainant’s main website at “www.technogym.com”.

The disputed domain name was registered on July 9, 2015, long after the Complainant had first used and registered its trade mark TECHNOGYM. According to the evidence submitted by the Complainant, the disputed domain name resolved to a website which purported to offer after-sales service for the Complainant’s fitness and gym products under the TECHNOGYM trademark.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trade mark.

The Complainant contends that as the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use its trade mark, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name has been registered and used to create confusion and mislead Internet users into believing that the Respondent’s website is in some way connected with or endorsed by the Complainant. The Complainant therefore contends that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

For all of the above reasons, the Complainant requests for the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

6.1. Procedural Issue: Language of the Proceeding

Pursuant to paragraph 11(a) of the Rules, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.

Paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules require the Panel to ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition and that the Parties are treated equitably and given a fair opportunity to present their respective cases.

The language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is Chinese. From the evidence on record, no agreement appears to have been entered into between the Complainant and the Respondent regarding the language issue. The Complainant filed its Complaint in English and has requested that English be the language of the proceeding.

The Panel finds persuasive evidence in the present proceeding to suggest that the Respondent has sufficient knowledge of English. In particular, the Panel notes that:

(a) the disputed domain name is registered in Latin characters, rather than Chinese script;

(b) the website to which the disputed domain name resolves contains English terms and phrases (such as “T-Research & Development” and “Wellness ON THE GO”); and

(c) according to a reverse WhoIs search independently conducted by the Panel using the Respondent’s email address, the Respondent has registered several other domain names comprising entirely Latin characters, such as <littleswancn.com>, <aeonfit.net>, <cn-orient.net>, <startraccn.com> and <omafitnesscn.com>.

Additionally, the Panel notes that:

(a) the Center has notified the Respondent of the proceeding in both Chinese and English;

(b) the Respondent has been given the opportunity to present its case in this proceeding and to respond to the issue of the language of the proceeding but failed to do so; and

(c) the Center has informed the Respondent that it would accept a Response in either English or Chinese.

Considering the above circumstances, the Panel finds that the choice of English as the language of the present proceeding is fair to both Parties and is not prejudicial to either one of the Parties in its ability to articulate the arguments for this case.

The Panel has taken into consideration the fact that to require the Complaint and all supporting documents to be re-filed in Chinese would, in the circumstances of this case, cause an unnecessary cost burden to the Complainant and would unnecessarily delay the proceeding.

Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that it shall accept the Complaint and all supporting materials as filed in English, that English shall be the language of the proceeding, and that the decision will be rendered in English.

6.2. Panel Findings and Decision

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that a complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order for the disputed domain name to be transferred:

(i) the disputed domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;

(ii) the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

On the basis of the evidence introduced by the Complainant, the Panel concludes as follows:

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel accepts that the Complainant has rights in TECHNOGYM by virtue of its use and registration of the same as a trade mark.

The disputed domain name effectively incorporates the Complainant’s trade mark TECHNOGYM in its entirety. The addition of the letters “cn” does not serve to sufficiently distinguish or differentiate the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trade mark. In fact, the addition of “cn” (being the country code abbreviation for China) may contribute further to the confusion as Internet users may mistakenly believe the disputed domain name to be the Complainant’s official website targeting the China market. The addition of the generic Top-Level-Domain (gTLD) “.com” does not impact on the analysis of whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark in this case.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark.

Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the first element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, a complainant bears the burden of establishing that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. However, once the complainant makes a prima facie showing under paragraph 4(a)(ii), the burden of production shifts to the respondent to establish its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It may do so by demonstrating any of the following, without limitation, under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy:

(i) before any notice to it of the dispute, the respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) the respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name, even if it has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or

(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.

See Taylor Wimpey PLC, Taylor Wimpey Holdings Limited v.honghao Internet foshan co, ltd, WIPO Case No. D2013-0974.

The Complainant has clearly established that the Respondent is not in any way affiliated with the Complainant or otherwise authorized or licensed to use the TECHNOGYM trade mark. There is also no evidence suggesting that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name or that the Respondent has any rights in the term “technogym”.

The Panel notes that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to publish a website that purports to offer after-sale service for the Complainant’s fitness and gym products under the TECHNOGYM brand and banner. Given the long standing use and fame of the Complainant’s trade mark, it appears that the Respondent has intent to, for commercial gain, mislead Internet users into believing that its website is somehow connected with the Complainant, and divert Internet users looking for the Complainant’s products and services to the Respondent’s website. There is nothing on the Respondent’s website to indicate that it is, in fact, not affiliated with the Complainant. The Panel does not find such use to be bona fide use of the disputed domain name for the purposes of the Policy.

The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has made out a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The burden of production thus shifts to the Respondent to establish his rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Since the Respondent has failed to respond, the prima facie case has not been rebutted. The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the second element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four circumstances which, without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith, namely:

(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trade mark or service mark or to a competitor of the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or

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

(iii) the respondent has registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the disputed domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the respondent’s website or other online location, 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.

There is no doubt that that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its trade mark when it registered the disputed domain name, given that it has purported to offer after-sales service for Complainant’s fitness and gym products under the Complainant’s TECHNOGYM brand and banner on its website. The Panel determines that the Respondent’s purpose of registering the disputed domain name was to trade on the reputation of the Complainant and its trade mark by diverting Internet users seeking the Complainant’s fitness and gym products and services to its own website for financial gain.

Irrespective of whether the products offered on the Respondent’s website are counterfeit, the reproduction of the Complainant’s trade mark on the Respondents’ website without also displaying a clear disclaimer of a lack of relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant is indication of bad faith. In fact, the Panel notes that the said website pretends to be an official website of the Complainant. The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent intends to take advantage of the fame of the Complainant’s trade mark to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website. As such, the Panel is satisfied that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name for mala fide purpose and illegitimate financial gain, and the Panel finds that the circumstances referred to in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy are applicable to the present case.

The Panel also notes that efforts to contact the Respondent at the facsimile number and physical address provided to the Registrar failed which suggests that the Respondent had provided false contact details.

Taking into account all the circumstances, it is adequate to conclude that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the third element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

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 disputed domain name <technogymcn.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Sok Ling MOI
Sole Panelist
Date: November 20, 2017