WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

HACKETT, S.A.R.L. v. Tom Cosby

Case No. D2017-2116

1. The Parties

The Complainant is HACKETT, S.A.R.L. of Luxembourg, represented by UBILIBET, Spain.

The Respondent is Tom Cosby of Pleasantville, Ohio, United States of America (“United States”).

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <hacketteshop.com> (“Domain Name”) is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 30, 2017. On October 30, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 31, 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 November 6, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 26, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 27, 2017.

The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on December 14, 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 clothing company, founded in London in 1983, that specializes in formal shirts and menswear.

The Complainant is the owner of a number of trade mark registrations consisting of the word “hackett” (the “HACKETT Mark”), the most relevant of which was registered on October 4, 2005 (European Union Registration Number 003106151) in various jurisdictions in Europe for various goods including inter alia clothing, footwear and headgear in Class 25. The Complainant also operates a website at “www.hackett.com” through which residents of certain countries can purchase the Complainant’s clothing products. The Complainant’s website also predominantly features in the top left hand corner the words “Hackett London”.

The Domain Name <hacketteshop.com> was registered on May 17, 2013. The Domain Name resolves to an Internet site (“the Respondent’s Website”) which features the Complainant’s name, the words “Hackett London” in the top left hand corner and appears to offer for sale clothing that is either the Complainant’s products or, as stated in the Complaint, counterfeit Hackett products.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant makes the following contentions:

(i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s HACKETT Mark;

(ii) that the Respondent has no rights nor any legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and

(iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Complainant is the owner of the HACKETT Mark, having registered the HACKETT Mark internationally. The Domain Name consists of the HACKETT Mark, the descriptive term “eshop” and the generic Top-Level Domain “.com”, which gives the appearance of being an official online shop of the Complainant.

There are no rights or legitimate interests held by the Respondent in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name, nor does the Respondent have any authorization from the Complainant to register the Domain Name. The Respondent is using the Domain Name to operate the Respondent’s Website where the Respondent offers counterfeit products, which is an illegal activity. This constitutes prima facie evidence of no rights or legitimate interests.

The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. By using the Domain Name for its online store selling counterfeit products, the Respondent gives the (false) impression of that its products are official products of the Complainant. The Respondent’s intention is to attract consumers to its website by using the Domain Name and to profit from this confusion. Such an activity is not only bad faith but is also a criminal activity that may cause serious damages for the Complainant, its employees and distributors, and also consumers. The Respondent’s conduct amounts to registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

To prove this element the Complainant must have trade or service mark rights and the Domain Name must be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade or service mark.

The Complainant is the owner of the HACKETT Mark, having registrations for the HACKETT Mark as a trade mark in various countries in Europe.

Discounting the gTLD “.com”, the Domain Name consists of the HACKETT Mark with the addition of the descriptive term “eshop”, a term often used to describe an online store. The addition of the term “eshop” does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. (An individual viewing the Domain Name may be confused into thinking that the Domain Name refers to an online store in which it is possible to purchase the Complainant’s products.) The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s HACKETT Mark. Consequently, the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

To succeed on this element, a complainant must make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If such a prima facie case is made out, then the burden of production shifts to the respondent to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy enumerates several ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:

“Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii):

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

(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”

The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way. It has not been authorized by the Complainant to register or use the Domain Name or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the HACKETT Mark or a mark similar to the HACKETT Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or any similar name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a legitimate non-commercial use.

The Respondent has used the Domain Name to operate a website to sell apparel that, through the use of the HACKETT Mark, purports to be legitimate HACKETT products. The Complainant asserts, and this is not contested, that the products sold through the Respondent’s Website are counterfeit products.

If the clothing products sold on the Respondent’s Website are not genuine Hackett products, the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name does not grant it rights or legitimate interests since it is using the Complainant’s HACKETT Mark for a site selling counterfeit products.

Even if the Respondent is offering genuine Hackett products from the Respondent’s Website, such use does not automatically grant it rights and legitimate interests. The principles that govern whether a reseller of genuine goods has rights or legitimate interests have been set out in a variety of UDRP decisions, starting with the case of Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903.

The WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) paragraph 2.8 summarizes the consensus views of UDRP panels in assessing claims of nominative (fair) use by resellers or distributors in the following manner:

“… Panels have recognized that resellers, distributors, or service providers using a domain name containing the complainant’s trademark to undertake sales or repairs related to the complainant’s goods or services may be making a bona fide offering of goods and services and thus have a legitimate interest in such domain name. Outlined in the “Oki Data test”, the following cumulative requirements will be applied in the specific conditions of a UDRP case:

(i) the respondent must actually be offering the goods or services at issue;

(ii) the respondent must use the site to sell only the trademarked goods or services;

(iii) the site must accurately and prominently disclose the registrant’s relationship with the trademark holder; and

(iv) the respondent must not try to “corner the market” in domain names that reflect the trademark.

The Oki Data test does not apply where any prior agreement, express or otherwise, between the parties expressly prohibits (or allows) the registration or use of domain names incorporating the complainant’s trademark.”

In this case, the Respondent’s Website does not accurately or prominently disclose the Respondent’s relationship with the Complainant, in particular that it is not an authorized dealer or has any particular connection with the Complainant. Rather, its prominent display of the HACKETT Mark and words “Hackett London” gives the impression that the Respondent’s Website is an official website of the Complainant. This impression is reinforced by the “about us” page which strongly implies that the Respondent’s Website is the Complainant’s official website. Members of the public who are interested in the Complainant’s products may visit the Respondent’s Website on the assumption that the Respondent is the Complainant itself or an authorized dealer or reseller of Hackett products. This is not the case. Even in the event that the Respondent is reselling genuine Hackett products, its use of the Domain Name for the Respondent’s Website does not grant it rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.

The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent has had the opportunity to put on evidence of its rights or legitimate interests, including submissions as to why its conduct amounts to a right or legitimate interest in the Domain Name under the Policy. In the absence of such a response the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following circumstances, 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:

(i) circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or has acquired the 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 its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or

(ii) The Respondent has registered the 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 Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the Domain Name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line 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. (Policy, paragraph 4(b)).

The Panel finds that it is likely that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its reputation in the HACKETT Mark at the time the Domain Name was registered. The Domain Name resolves to a website that displays the HACKETT Mark, copies elements of the Complainant’s website and sells products that purport to be the Complainant’s products.

In the circumstances, the Respondent’s conduct in registering the Domain Name when it was aware of the Complainant’s rights and lacked rights or legitimate interests of its own amounts to registration in bad faith.

The Respondent registered the Domain Name for the purposes of operating a website specifically to sell either the Complainant’s products or counterfeit products that compete with the Complainant’s apparel. The Respondent is using the Domain Name that is confusingly similar to the HACKETT Mark to sell products, be they genuine or otherwise, in competition with the Complainant and without the Complainant’s approval and without meeting the Oki Data test. Consequently the Panel finds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant and the Complainant’s HACKETT Mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s Website.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith under paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 Domain Name <hacketteshop.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Nicholas Smith
Sole Panelist
Date: December 17, 2017