WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. v. Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) / Turkce Wikipedia
Case No. D2017-1838
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. of San Francisco, California, United States of America (“United States”), internally represented.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) of Burlington, Massachusetts, United States / Turkce Wikipedia of Baku, Azerbaijan, self-represented.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The Disputed Domain Name <turkcewikipedia.org> 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 September 21, 2017. On September 22, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On September 23, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Disputed Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 4, 2017 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed the first amended Complaint on October 4, 2017 and the second amended Complaint on October 6, 2017.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended Complaints 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 9, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 29, 2017. The Respondent submitted an email communication on October 4, 2017 but did not submit any formal response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Parties that it would proceed to the Panel appointment on October 30, 2017.
The Center appointed Emre Kerim Yardimci 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 is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development, and distribution of free, multilingual and educational content. The Complainant was founded in 2003, and today manages eleven free knowledge projects built and maintained by a community of volunteers.
In particular, the Complainant operates a well-known website located at “www.wikipedia.org” providing information in the field of general encyclopedic knowledge via the Internet.
The Complainant obtained a United States trademark registration WIKIPEDIA on January 10, 2006, and the registration indicates first use of the mark in January, 2001. The Complainant owns more than 100 trademark registrations worldwide for the WIKIPEDIA mark and foreign equivalents.
The Complainant’s WIKIPEDIA trademark has been recognized as a well-known trademark in previous UDRP decisions.
The Complainant registered the domain name <wikipedia.org> on January 13, 2001.
The Disputed Domain Name <turkcewikipedia.org> was registered on August 26, 2017.
The Respondent at the time of filing the Complaint used the Disputed Domain Name to point to a web page in Turkish that contains the same layout and content with the Complainant’s website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant claims that the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the registered trademark WIKIPEDIA.
The Complainant asserts that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s recognized WIKIPEDIA trademark, since it includes the trademark WIKIPEDIA and the word “turkce” which means “Turkish” in Turkish language. The Complainant argues that the presence of the word “turkce” would increase the likelihood of confusion.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. It has not been authorized or licensed by the Complainant to use the WIKIPEDIA trademark.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith. The Complainant claims that the Respondent must have known the Complainant’s trademark when registering the Disputed Domain Name since the Respondent is using the same content and the layout with the Complainant’s well-known “www.wikipedia.org” website.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant is required to prove the presence of each of the following three elements to obtain the remedy it has requested:
(i) the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark 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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy requires the Complainant to show that the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
A registered trademark provides a clear indication that the rights in the mark shown on the trademark certificate belong to its respective owner. As indicated above, WIKIPEDIA is the Complainant's registered trademark since 2006 and the Complainant holds multiple registrations for WIKIPEDIA all around the world.
The Disputed Domain Name <turkcewikipedia.org> integrates the Complainant’s WIKIPEDIA trademark as a dominant element and the word “turkce” is descriptive with respect to the activity of the Complainant which is an online encyclopedia. As a matter of fact, the term “turkce” reinforces the confusion similarity between the Disputed Domain Name and the trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
As regards the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.org”, it is typically disregarded under the confusing similarity test.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights and satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has alleged that the Respondent has not indicated any sort of legitimate reason for having registered the Disputed Domain Name and has not provided any plausible bona fide reason for having it registered.
The Complainant has made a prima facie case in support of its allegations and, therefore, the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, according to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions and, therefore, did not submit any evidence of rights or legitimate interests over the Disputed Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.
Moreover, it appears from the content of the “www.turkcewikipedia.org” that the Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use; on the contrary, it appears that he is using the same layout and content in a misleading way for his own commercial gain by taking unfair advantage of the Complainant’s trademark at issue.
The Complainant, having made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, which remains unrebutted, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
At the time of registration of the Disputed Domain Name, the Complainant’s trademark WIKIPEDIA was a well-known trademark for a long time. As the Complainant submits, it is inconceivable that the Respondent would not have known of the Complainant’s trademark.
It appears from the screenshot (in Annex 3) of the website at the Disputed Domain Name, submitted within the Complaint (in Annex 3), that the Disputed Domain Name resolves to a website which consist of same layout and content with Complainant’s well-known website and the Respondent’s website contains millions of articles in Turkish language.
The Panel is persuaded that the Respondent’s registration and use of the Disputed Domain Name for redirecting Internet users to itself, constitutes bad faith registration and use of the Disputed Domain Name. The only reason for the registration of the Disputed Domain Name must have been with bad faith intent to use it to exploit, for commercial gain, the Complainant’s reputation. As demonstrated above, the Respondent has used the Disputed Domain Name for precisely that purpose. See Groupe Auchan v. xmxzl, WIPO Case No. DCC2006-0004.
Therefore, in the view of cumulative circumstances, the Panel finds that the requirement of registration and use in bad faith is satisfied, according to the Policy, 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 <turkcewikipedia.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Emre Kerim Yardimci
Date: November 21, 2017