WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
SCA Hygiene Products AB v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Joseph Adams
Case No. D2017-2431
1. The Parties
The Complainant is SCA Hygiene Products AB of Gothenburg, Sweden, represented by Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States / Joseph Adams of Manchester, Missouri, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <essityab.com> 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 December 7, 2017. On December 8, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 8, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 14, 2017 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed amended Complaint on December 18, 2017.
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 December 20, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 9, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 10, 2018.
The Center appointed Tuukka Airaksinen as the sole panelist in this matter on February 8, 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
On April 5, 2017 the Complainant announced that it will divide its business operations into two companies, one of which will be named Essity. The Complainant operates in the area of personal care, consumer tissue, and professional hygiene products and solutions. The Complainant had started filing trademark applications in several countries for the trademark ESSITY in January, 2017. The trademark has since been registered in numerous countries.
The disputed domain name was registered on November 17, 2017. Currently, the disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark since the trademark is incorporated in the disputed domain name in its entirety and combined with the generic abbreviation “ab”, which in Swedish means “aktiebolag”, or “limited company”.
The Complainant has no relationship with the Respondent and has not authorized the Respondent to use the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not making any legitimate noncommercial use of the disputed domain name and is not commonly known by the domain name.
The Respondent has used the disputed domain name to send fraudulent emails from a […]@essityab.com address. The purpose of these emails has been to defraud the recipients to send money to a third party by purporting to be the CEO of the Complainant’s parent company.
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 name is 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 name is identical or confusingly similar to this trademark.
The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety, combined with the abbreviation “ab”. In Swedish this abbreviation is for “aktiebolag”, in English “limited company”. The addition of “ab” does not prevent the confusing similarity with the Complainant’s trademark.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s respective 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 name.
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 name. 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 name has been registered and is 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 disputed domain name was registered after the Complainant publicly announced the adoption of the name Essity. The disputed domain name is not in any legitimate use and the Respondent has not contested the Complainant’s contentions.
Moreover, the Respondent has sent fraudulent emails that seem to have come from the email address of the CEO of the Complainant’s parent company. The purpose of these emails has obviously been to mislead the recipients into acting in accordance with the instructions in the email, in this case to send money to a third party.
The Panel considers that this is a typical case of cybersquatting, in which the sole purpose of registering the disputed domain name was to mislead Internet users by creating confusion with the Complainant’s trademark and thereby attempting to gain commercially from the confusion.
Hence the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Therefore, the Panel finds that the third element of the Policy is fulfilled.
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 <essityab.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 16, 2018