WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Klarna Bank AB v. Yuan Bing
Case No. D2017-2476
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Klarna Bank AB of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Yuan Bing of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, self-represented.
2. The Domain Names and Registrars
The disputed domain names <klarnabank.biz>, <klarnabank.info> and <klarnabank.mobi> are registered with HiChina Zhicheng Technology Ltd.; the disputed domain names <klarnabank.online> and <klarnabank.site> are registered with Alibaba Cloud Computing Ltd. d/b/a HiChina (www.net.cn) (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 14, 2017. On December 15, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On December 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. On January 2, 2018, the Center sent an email in English and Chinese regarding the language of the proceeding. The Complainant requested that English be the language of the proceeding on January 3, 2018, and submitted an amendment to the Complaint in response to the Center's Complaint Deficiency Notification.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 in English and Chinese of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on January 9, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 29, 2018. The Center notified the Respondent Default on January 30, 2018. On January 31, 2018, the Respondent submitted an informal email in Chinese indicating that it is unable to understand the Complaint.
The Center appointed Francine Tan as the sole panelist in this matter on February 1, 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 was founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden as an e-commerce company that provides payment services for online storefronts. Its core service has been to assume stores' claims for payments and handle customer payments, thus eliminating the risk for seller and buyer. The Complainant has some 1,600 employees. It is now one of Europe's largest banks and provides payment solutions for 60 million customers across 70,000 merchants in 18 countries.
On June 19, 2017, a day before the disputed domain names were registered, the Complainant announced that it had been granted a full banking licence by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority ("the announcement").
The Complainant is the registered owner of the trade mark KLARNA in many countries including International Registration Nos. 1217315 and 1182130. The trade mark registrations were obtained before the registration of the disputed domain names.
The Complainant's domain name registrations include <klarna.com>, registered on December 12, 2008, <klarnabank.com>, registered on May 6, 2009 and <klarnabank.se>, registered on May 6, 2009.
The Complainant has a significant presence on various social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
The disputed domain names were registered on June 20, 2017 and do not resolve to any active websites.
5. Parties' Contentions
1. The disputed domain names incorporate the Complainant's KLARNA trade mark and the associated term "bank". The disputed domain names are therefore confusingly similar to the KLARNA trade mark.
2. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. There is no bona fide offering of goods or services by the Respondent, nor is the Respondent known by the name "Klarna".
3. The disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith. The disputed domain names were registered only a day after the announcement of the granting of the licence of the Complainant's banking service. It was highly unlikely that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant and its rights in the KLARNA trade mark. The Complainant's trade mark database searches, Google search engine searches, and searches on business registers have not surfaced any registered rights belonging to the Respondent in the name "klarna". The passive holding of the disputed domain names does not constitute fair use given the widespread reputation of the Complainant and its KLARNA trade mark. The Complainant tried to contact the Respondent on July 10, 2017 via a cease and desist letter. No response was received despite a reminder sent on September 11, 2017.
The Respondent did not file any formal Response apart from a single line email in Chinese, stating that it does not understand the Complaint which was filed in English.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1 Preliminary Issue: Language of the Proceeding
The Registration Agreement pertaining to the disputed domain names is in Chinese. The Complainant requested that English be applied as the language of the proceeding as requiring the case file to be translated into Chinese would risk delaying the proceeding and bring an undue burden on the Complainant. The Complainant's second language is English. Considering that the Respondent registered the disputed domain names under the generic Top-Level ("gTLD") domains ".mobi", ".info", ".site", ".biz", and ".online", and combined the trade mark KLARNA with the English word "bank", the Panel finds it to be unlikely that the Respondent is not at least familiar with the English language.
Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules states that the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, "subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding". Paragraph 10(c) states that "the Panel shall ensure that the administrative proceeding takes place with due expedition".
The Respondent claimed it was unable to understand the Complaint which was in English, but the fact remains that it would have understood, at least, the nature of the proceeding since communications from the Center were also provided in Chinese. The Respondent made no effort at all to seek assistance from the Center, or to even file a response in Chinese. The Respondent was given the opportunity to put forward evidence and facts to refute the Complainant's challenge on the disputed domain names, but failed to.
The fact that the disputed domain names the Respondent chose to register contain the English word "bank" in combination with gTLDs made up of English abbreviations/words, is an indicator that the Respondent is familiar with the English language.
Requiring the Complainant to translate the Complainant and annexes into Chinese would have entailed substantial costs and caused a significant delay in the proceeding. There is nothing in the circumstances from which the Panel finds to be sufficient cause to merit such a requirement.
The Panel therefore determines that English is to apply in the proceeding.
6.2 Substantive Issues
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain names are made up of the registered KLARNA trade mark of the Complainant and the generic word "bank". The addition of the word "bank" and the gTLDs ".mobi", ".info", ".site", ".biz", and ".online" do nothing to remove the confusing similarity with the Complainant's KLARNA trade mark as the trade mark is clearly identifiable therein and the gTLD is but a technical requirement of domain name registrations.
The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition ("WIPO Overview 3.0") provides that:
"While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of 'proving a negative', requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element."
The Respondent did not respond substantively to the Complaint nor present any evidence to demonstrate it has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. None of the circumstances in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, which sets out how a respondent can demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests, are present in this case.
The Complainant, on the other hand, established a prima facie case that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. Considering how established the KLARNA trade mark is and the reputation of the Complainant, as well as the questionable timing of the registration of the disputed domain names, it is indeed inconceivable (in the absence of compelling evidence from the Respondent) that the Respondent, could have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.
The second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel concludes from the circumstances of this case that the disputed domain names were registered and are used in bad faith. When one considers the timing of the registration of the disputed domain names in relation to the announcement, the reputation of the Complainant and that of KLARNA trade mark, the specific combination of the Complainant's mark with the word "bank" (which corresponds to the new status acquired by the Complainant to operate as a bank), and the Respondent's virtual silence in this proceeding, the Panel finds no reason to conclude otherwise. The word KLARNA is not a word which one can expect the Respondent devised on its own, without reference to the Complainant, under the circumstances of this case.
The combination of the Complainant's trade mark with the word "bank" is an obvious tell-tale sign of opportunistic bad faith. Although the disputed domain names are not being used, this does not prevent a finding of bad faith. (See Section 3.3 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.)
The third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
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, <klarnabank.biz>, <klarnabank.info>, <klarnabank.mobi>, <klarnabank.online> and <klarnabank.site> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 15, 2018