WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

JanSport Apparel Corp v. Feng Qi

Case No. D2017-2018

1. The Parties

The Complainant is JanSport Apparel Corp of Wilmington, Delaware, United States of America ("United States"), represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Feng Qi of Beijing, China.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <eastpakaa.com>, <eastpakpa.com> and <eastpaksnw.com> are 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 17, 2017. The following day, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On October 19, 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 31, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 20, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 21, 2017.

The Center appointed Matthew Kennedy as the sole panelist in this matter on November 29, 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 produces and sells the Eastpak brand of bags, luggage and accessories. The Complainant now has online shops that ship to ten countries as well as partner stores in other countries, including China. The Complainant owns multiple trademarks for EASTPAK, including United States trademark registrations numbers 3124488 and 4222471, registered on August 1, 2006 and October 9, 2012, respectively, and specifying retail store services in the field of apparel and outdoor gear and luggage, and backpacks, bags and other goods, respectively; and Chinese trademark registrations numbers 11748523 and 11748525, registered on July 28, 2016 and April 28, 2014, respectively, in respect of online advertising and other services, and textile bags and other goods, respectively. The Complainant has also registered multiple domain names that it uses in connection with its official websites, including <eastpak.com>, registered on September 15, 1995, and <eastpak.com.cn> registered on December 16, 2012.

The Respondent is an individual located in China. Due to the fact that his contact address in the Registrar's WhoIs database is incomplete or fictitious, the Written Notice of the Complaint could not be delivered by courier.

The disputed domain names were registered between July 21 and July 25, 2017. They do not resolve to any active website but are passively held.

As pointed out in the Complaint, the Complainant and the Respondent were parties to a previous proceeding under the Policy. See JanSport Apparel Corp v. Feng Qi, WIPO Case No. D2017-1486. That case concerned the domain names <eastpakba.com>, <eastpakbags.com>, <eastpakn.com>, <eastpaknow.com>, <eastpaksa.com>, <eastpaksale.com>, <eastpaksbuy.com>, <eastpaks.com> and <eastpakss.com> that were registered by the Respondent with the Registrar between June 14 and July 18, 2017. Seven of those domain names resolved to websites selling products under the Complainant's EASTPAK trademark, and two were inactive. The panel in that previous proceeding found that the Respondent had registered and was using those domain names in bad faith and ordered their transfer to the Complainant on September 16, 2017.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's EASTPAK trademark. The disputed domain names wholly incorporate that trademark, adding only the letters "aa", "pa" or "snw" and the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") suffix ".com".

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names. They are not used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor is the Respondent known by the name "Eastpak".

The disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith. The Respondent has registered at least four other domain names incorporating well-known fashion brands and generic words or letters and used them in connection with websites displaying their logotypes and offering for sale what are alleged to be their products. The Complainant's Chinese trademark registrations predate the registration of the disputed domain names. The Complainant has a business presence in China and the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant's trademark at the time of registration of the disputed domain names. The top search results for "Eastpak" in the Baidu and Google Internet search engines relate to the Complainant and its products. The Respondent is not making a legitimate use of the disputed domain names.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that the complainant must prove each of the following elements:

(i) the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

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

(iii) the disputed domain names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Based on the evidence submitted, the Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the EASTPAK trademark.

The initial and only distinctive element of each disputed domain name is the Complainant's trademark.

The only additional elements in each disputed domain name are the letters "aa", "pa" or "snw" and the gTLD suffix ".com". The letters are too minor to dispel confusing similarity between the disputed domain names and the Complainant's trademark, while a gTLD suffix may generally be disregarded for the purposes of the comparison of a disputed domain name and a trademark. See Lego Juris A/S v. Chen Yong, WIPO Case No. D2009-1611; Dr. Ing. H.c. F. Porsche AG v. zhanglei, WIPO Case No. D2014-0080.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights. The Complainant has satisfied the first element in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out the following circumstances which, without limitation, if found by the panel, shall demonstrate that the respondent has rights to, or legitimate interests in, a disputed domain name, for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy:

(i) before any notice to [the respondent] 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] (as an individual, business, or other organization) [has] been commonly known by the [disputed] domain name, even if [the respondent has] acquired no trademark 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 trademark or service mark at issue.

The disputed domain names do not resolve to any active website, hence they are not used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use. There is no evidence on the record of any preparations to use the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services either. According to the Registrar's WhoIs database, the Respondent's name is "Feng Qi", not "Eastpakaa", "Eastpakpa" or "Eastpaksnw" or anything like "Eastpak". Therefore, the Panel considers that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names. The Respondent failed to rebut that case because he did not respond to the Complaint.

Therefore, based on the record of this proceeding, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names. The Complainant has satisfied the second element in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that certain circumstances shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith but these circumstances are not exhaustive.

With respect to registration, the disputed domain names were registered in 2017, after the Complainant registered its EASTPAK trademark, including in China, where the Respondent is located. The disputed domain names incorporate the Complainant's trademark in its entirety, followed by two or three letters with no apparent meaning and a gTLD suffix, which is a technical requirement of registration. The Respondent previously registered and used other domain names that included the Complainant's EASTPAK trademark in connection with websites that offered for sale what were alleged to be the Complainant's products. This gives the Panel reason to find that the Respondent knew of the Complainant's trademark at the time that he registered the disputed domain names in this proceeding and that he did so in bad faith.

With respect to use, the Respondent makes only passive use of the disputed domain names but this does not preclude a finding of use in bad faith. See Telstra Corporation Ltd v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. In the present dispute, the Respondent passively held the disputed domain names at the same time that he used other, very similar, domain names that also incorporated the Complainant's EASTPAK trademarks, in connection with websites that offered for sale what were alleged to be the Complainant's products, in bad faith. According to the evidence submitted by the Complainant, the Respondent has also registered four other domain names that incorporate three other fashion brands, suggesting a pattern of bad faith registration on the part of the Respondent. All this evidence gives the Panel reason to find that the disputed domain names are being used in bad faith.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names have been registered and are being used in bad faith. The Complainant has satisfied the third element in 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 names <eastpakaa.com>, <eastpakpa.com> and <eastpaksnw.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Matthew Kennedy
Sole Panelist
Date: December 1, 2017