WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A. v. Yusufu Mieraili
Case No. D2017-1943
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A. of Pully, Switzerland, represented by Valea AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Yusufu Mieraili of Beijing, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <tatrepak.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 October 5, 2017. On October 5, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 7, 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 October 12, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 1, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 2, 2017.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on November 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 part of the Tetra Laval Group which also includes the Tetra Pak Group, a food processing and packaging company. The Complainant owns the Tetra Pak Group’s trademarks in a large number of companies and licenses them to companies within that group to use in connection with their businesses. An example of one of the Complainant’s trademarks for TETRA PAK is the United States of America trademark registration number 0586480, registered on March 9, 1954. The disputed domain name was registered on October 1, 2017. The Complainant owns a number of domain names which it uses to market its goods, including <tetrapac.com>, registered on May 24, 2000.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The disputed domain name is a deliberate misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark by switching the letters “a” and “e” in the first word of that trademark. The Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use the former’s trademark. The Respondent has no registered trademark or trade name corresponding to the disputed domain name. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name many years after the Complainant developed its worldwide reputation.
The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to obtain personal and financial information by using the disputed domain name and contact information from an employee in the Tetra Pak group in fraudulent email communications. This shows the Respondent’s intention to use the disputed domain name for dishonest purposes.
When registering the disputed domain name, the Respondent must have known of the Complainant’s TETRA PAK trademark. The Respondent could not have chosen or subsequently used the word “tatrepak” other than to trade-off the goodwill and reputation of the Complainant’s trademark and otherwise create a false association with the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(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
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark with the “e” and the first “a” transposed and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. The Complainant’s trademark is extremely well-known. The gTLD is irrelevant here because it does not affect the meaning of the disputed domain name. This is an example of typo-squatting. As section 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) explains:
“A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element.
This stems from the fact that the domain name contains sufficiently recognizable aspects of the relevant mark. …Examples of such typos include … (v) the inversion of letters…”
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called “Tatrepak” or anything similar. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use its trademark. For these reasons, and in the absence of any response on this point, notably one contradicting the Complainant’s claim that the Respondent has never been connected to it in any way, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
On October 3, two days after the disputed domain name’s registration, an individual used the disputed domain name to send an email whose subject was “Tetra Pak Open items” followed by an eight-digit serial number. The message supplied bank details and sought confirmation as to when payment was expected so that the sender could inform its bank. The sender’s email address was a name followed by “@tatrepak.com”. This suggests that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with a view to committing some form of financial fraud.
On top of this, as section 3.1.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 sets out,“Panels have consistently found that the mere registration of a domain name that is … confusingly similar (particularly domain names comprising typos …) to a famous or widely-known trademark by an unaffiliated entity can by itself create a presumption of bad faith.”
“Panels will normally find that employing a misspelling in this way signals an intention on the part of the respondent (typically corroborated by infringing website content) to confuse users seeking or expecting the complainant.”
The combination of typosquatting, an uncontradicted allegation of attempted fraud and the well-known nature of the Complainant’s trademark all lead to the view that the disputed domain name was registered and is being 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, <tatrepak.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 13, 2017