WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Occidental Petroleum Corporation v. Nuila Maian
Case No. D2017-1845
1. The Parties
Complainant is Occidental Petroleum Corporation of Houston, Texas, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Renner, Kenner, Greive, Bobak, Taylor & Weber, United States.
Respondent is Nuila Maian of Gauting, Bayern, Germany.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <occidentalpetroleumcorporation.com> 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 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 September 26, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 16, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 22, 2017.
The Center appointed David Perkins as the sole panelist in this matter on November 3, 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
4.A.1 Complainant is a multinational oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, the Middle East and Latin America. Complainant’s website is at “www.oxy.com”.
The OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION trademark
4.A.2 Complainant is the proprietor of the United States trademark OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION registered on August 10, 2010, under No. 3,831,062 in Class 35.
The OCCIDENTAL trademark
4.A.3 Complainant is also the proprietor of the trademark OCCIDENTAL in numerous other jurisdictions. Annexed to the Complaint are particulars of 23 registrations in nine such jurisdictions, the earliest dating from 1968, the registrations covering, variously, Classes 1; 2; 4-6; 17; 19; 35-37; 39; and 42. Those jurisdictions include Germany, which appears to be Respondent’s country of residence.
4.B.1 In the absence of a Response, what is known of Respondent is contained in the Complaint and its annexes.
4.B.2 The disputed domain name was registered on October 14, 2016.
4.B.3 Annexed to the Complaint is a printout from the Chevron website to which Complainant says the disputed domain name resolves. Chevron Corporation is, like Complainant, active in the oil, gas and chemical industries and a direct competitor with Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Identical or Confusingly Similar
5.A.1 Complainant’s case is that the disputed domain name is identical to both its corporate name and to its OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION registered trademark. It also incorporates in its entirety Complainant’s OCCIDENTAL registered trademark.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
5.A.2 Complainant’s case is that Respondent cannot demonstrate any of the circumstances set out in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. In particular, Complainant says there is no evidence that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. Further, there is no evidence, Complainant says, of any use by Respondent of the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Indeed, having regard to the use made of the disputed domain name to resolve to the website of its competitor, Chevron, Complainant asserts that it is being illegitimately used to misleadingly divert consumers to that website.
Registered and Used in Bad Faith
5.A.3 Complainant’s case is that the circumstances set out in paragraphs 4(b)(iii) and (iv) of the Policy apply citing decisions under the Policy which have held that, where the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the complainant’s trademark and is used to resolve to a competitor’s website, such constitutes bad faith. Additionally, given the fact that Complainant’s OCCIDENTAL trademark is widely registered around the world, Complainant says that it is inconceivable that Respondent did not have actual knowledge of that mark when registering the disputed domain name.
5.B.1 As noted, no Response has been filed.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1 The Policy, paragraph 4(a), provides that Complainant must prove each of the following in order to succeed in an administrative proceeding
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that 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.
6.2 The Policy, paragraph 4(c), sets out circumstances which, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved shall demonstrate Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name in issue.
6.3 The Policy paragraph 4(b) sets out circumstances which, again in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.
6.4 As stated, the circumstances set out in paragraph 4(b) and 4(c) of the Policy are not exclusive. They are without limitation. That is, the Policy expressly recognizes that other circumstances can be evidence relevant to the requirements of paragraphs 4(a)(ii) and (iii) of the Policy.
6.A Identical or Confusingly Similar.
6.A.1 As noted in paragraphs 4.A.2 and 4.A.3 above, Complainant has rights in the OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION and OCCIDENTAL trademarks.
6. A.2 The disputed domain name is identical to the OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION trademark and, in the Panel’s opinion, is also confusingly similar to the OCCIDENTAL trademark. Accordingly, the Complaint meets the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
6.B Rights or Legitimate Interests.
6.B.1 In the absence of a Response, there is no evidence that Respondent could demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The redirection of the disputed domain name to a competitor’s website is not a bona fide use of the disputed domain name within the meaning of the Policy, there is no evidence that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, and the use to which the disputed domain name has been put is neither noncommercial nor fair. Accordingly, the Complainant’s case summarised in paragraph 5.A.2 above is well made out and the Complaint succeeds under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
6.C Registered and Used in Bad Faith.
6.C.1 As noted in the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 3.1.4, redirecting the disputed domain name to a competitor’s website supports a finding under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. Further, given the widespread knowledge of the Complainant’s mark, with the fact that the disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s corporate name, in the Panel’s view, Respondent could not credibly claim to have been unaware of Complainant’s trademarks when registering the disputed domain name: see, in this respect, section 3.2.2 of the WIPO Overview 3.0. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complaint satisfies paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
For all 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 <occidentalpetroleumcorporation.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: November 7, 2017