WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Nike Innovate C.V. v. Melikssa Svensson

Case No. D2017-2357

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Nike Innovate C.V. of Beaverton, Oregon, United States of America ("United States"), represented by Stobbs IP Limited, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("UK").

The Respondent is Melikssa Svensson of Lyon/Aubervilliers/Bergerac, France.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <nikameetsworld.com>, <nike-sg.com>, <nikeukshops.com>, <nkfrshop.com> and <shopnike99.com> are registered with Hosting Concepts B.V. d/b/a Openprovider (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on November 28, 2017. On November 28, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On November 29, 2017, and January 7, 2018, 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 Complainant filed an amended Complaint on January 10, 2018.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 January 12, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 1, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on February 2, 2018.

The Center appointed Tuukka Airaksinen as the sole panelist in this matter on February 23, 2018. 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 the trademark owner and a subsidiary of Nike, Inc., based in Oregon, United States. The Complainant is the owner of the trademark NIKE, which has been used and registered in many countries of the world since 1971.

The disputed domain names were registered as follows:

<nike-sg.com> was registered on October 17, 2017
<nikeukshops.com> was registered on August 3, 2017
<nkfrshop.com> was registered on August 2, 2017
<nikameetsworld.com> was registered on August 3, 2017
<shopnike99.com> was registered on April 11, 2017

The disputed domain names resolve to different websites selling what appear to be counterfeit products or goods of the Complainant's competitors.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant's trademark NIKE enjoys significant reputation worldwide and is constantly ranked among the highest value brands in the world by Interbrand.

The disputed domain names <nike-sg.com>, <shopnike99.com> and <nikeukshops.com> incorporate the Complainant's trademark in its entirety and combine it with generic or descriptive words, the country abbreviation UK and the numbers 99.

The disputed domain name <nikameetsworld.com> contains an obvious misspelling of the Complainant's trademark. The disputed domain name <nkfrshop.com> contains a common abbreviation of the Complainant's trademark.

The Respondent is not commonly known by the name NIKE and has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. The goods sold on the websites of the disputed domain names are counterfeit goods, or goods of the Complainant's competitors.

By using the disputed domain names, the Respondent has attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent's websites by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark. In particular, the Respondent has used the disputed domain names to sell counterfeit goods under the NIKE or the Swoosh Design figurative trademark.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to obtain the transfer of a domain name, a complainant must prove the three elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, regardless of whether the respondent files a response to the complaint. The first element is that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights. The second element a complainant must prove is that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. The third element a complainant must establish is that the 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 that the Complainant establishes that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights. Consequently, the Complainant must prove that it has rights to a trademark, and that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to this trademark.

The disputed domain names <nike-sg.com>, <shopnike99.com> and <nikeukshops.com> incorporate the Complainant's trademark in its entirety and combine it with descriptive words, the country abbreviation UK and the numbers 99.

In the disputed domain name <nike-sg.com> the letters "sg" refers to the country code of Singapore therefore creating an impression that the disputed domain name is related to the Complainant's operations in Singapore.

The disputed domain name <shopnike99.com> contains the Complainant's trademark combined with the term "shop" and the non-distinctive element "99". It creates the impression that the disputed domain name relates to the Complainant's shops and the number 99 may be seen as referring to discounts or the price of the goods.

The disputed domain name <nikeukshops.com> includes the United Kingdom country code UK and the term "shops", thereby creating the impression that the disputed domain name relates to the Complainant's shops in the United Kingdom.

The disputed domain name <nikameetsworld.com> contains an obvious misspelling of the Complainant's trademark NIKE and combines this with the words "meets" and "world". Considering also that the website to which the disputed domain name resolves, offers sporting shoes, which is one of the product categories for which the Complainant's mark is well-known, this domain name gives the impression that it is also related to the Complainant.

Concerning the disputed domain name <nkfrshop.com>, the Complainant argues that "nk" is a common abbreviation of its trademark and has submitted evidence that the letters "nk" are used together with its trademark NIKE (such as NIKE NK). It is clear that the letters "fr" refer to the country code of France and that the word "shop" is a dictionary or descriptive term. Hence this domain name may give the impression that it relates to the Complainant's shops in France.

In addition, the Panel notes that the words and number that precede and follow the trademark are dictionary or descriptive terms and do not prevent a finding that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark and hence the first element of the Policy has been fulfilled.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy requires that the Complainant establish that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests to the disputed domain name.

The consensus view among UDRP panels is that once a complainant has made a prima facie showing indicating the absence of the respondent's rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with evidence of such rights or legitimate interests. If the respondent fails to do so, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element of the Policy. See, e.g., Document Technologies, Inc. v. International Electronic Communications Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0270 and section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition ("WIPO Overview 3.0").

The Complainant has credibly submitted that the Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant, nor has been otherwise allowed by the Complainant to use the Complainant's trademark in a domain name or otherwise. The Complainant has also credibly submitted that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests to the disputed domain names.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that has not been rebutted by the Respondent. In light of the Panel's findings below, the Panel finds that there are no other circumstances which provide the Respondent with any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. Therefore, the Panel finds that the second element of the Policy is fulfilled.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires that the Complainant establishes that the disputed domain names have been registered and are being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that 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 trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of [the respondent's] 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 trademark 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 or competitor; or

(iv) by using the domain name, [the respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [the respondent's] website or other online 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."

The Panel accepts that the Complainant's trademark NIKE is a well-known trademark all over the world. The Complainant has also submitted that the products sold on the relevant websites are counterfeit goods, or, in the case of the disputed domain <nikameetsworld.com>, goods of the Complainant's competitors.

The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain names are being used to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent's websites by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's famous trademark.

Hence the Panel finds that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith. Therefore, the Panel finds that the third element of the Policy is fulfilled.

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, <nikameetsworld.com>, <nike-sg.com>, <nikeukshops.com>, <nkfrshop.com> and <shopnike99.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Tuukka Airaksinen
Sole Panelist
Date: March 9, 2018