WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Inter IKEA Systems B.V. v. Jennifer Kaiser
Case No. D2018-0022
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Inter IKEA Systems B.V. of Delft, Netherlands, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Jennifer Kaiser of Bad Birnbach, Germany.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ikeastore.top> is 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 January 8, 2018. On the same day, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 9, 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 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 January 11, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 31, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 1, 2018.
The Center appointed Desmond J. Ryan as the sole panelist in this matter on February 9, 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 owner or franchisor of retail stores operating throughout the world under the trademark IKEA. According to information provided by the Complainant there are 412 IKEA stores in 49 countries which employ around 183,000 people with an annual turnover in 2016 of EUR 36.4 billion.
The Complainant is the owner of more than 1,500 trademark registrations for the trademark IKEA or variants of that mark in more than 80 jurisdictions, including in Germany, the location of the Respondent. Amongst these, the Complainant holds a European Union trademark registration for IKEA, registered on October 1, 1998, with registration number 000109652. The Complainant’s stores offer a wide range of goods and services particularly, furniture and household goods. The Complainant is the owner of more than 300 domain names and operates its online business and promotion through its website at “www.ikea.com”. It’s ownership of and reputation in the trademark IKEA has been recognised in over a hundred successful complaints filed under the Policy with the Center.
The disputed domain name was registered on August 26, 2017, and resolves to a website prominently featuring the words “ikea store” and offering for sale online a wide range of categories of goods and services from antiques, art and automotive parts to toys, travel and vehicle accessories and including goods in the "home and garden" and “home, furniture and DIY” categories. The “Contact Us” tab invites Internet users to supply a full name and email address. Under the “About Us” tab, there are assurances as to quality of goods, security of shipping and security of commercial and credit card information. There is nothing by way of disclaimer or information which would displace the prima facie impression that the site is associated with the trademark and business of the Complainant.
The Complainant sent letters of demand to the Respondent on November 14, 22 and 29,2017. The Respondent did not reply to any of those letters.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions may be summarised as follows:
(i) The Complainant has well established rights in the trademark IKEA through its numerous registrations in various jurisdictions and its strongly developed reputation.
(ii) The disputed domain name wholly contains the Complainant’s trademark and is therefore deceptively similar to it.
(iii) The Complainant has not authorised the Respondent to use its trademark in the disputed domain name or in any other way.
(iv) The Complainant’s IKEA trademark is a famous mark and is well known throughout the world including Germany and the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s rights in that trademark when registering the disputed domain name.
(v) The Complainant’s IKEA trademark is inherently distinctive and the addition of the generic term “store” does not negate the confusing similarity between the mark and the disputed domain name, as that term is closely linked and associated with the Complainant’s trademark it only serves to underscore and increase the confusing similarity.
(vi) The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and the Respondent’s use of it is neither a bona fide offering of goods or services nor a legitimate non-commercial or fair use.
(vii) The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name creates a likelihood confusion as to the affiliation of its website for the purpose of confusing consumers and diverting customers to its own website where it offers for sale household products, home furnishing products and accessories in direct competition with the Complainant.
(viii) The Respondent has ignored the Complainant’s attempt to resolve the matter and its failure to respond to the Complainant’s cease and desist letters is a further indicator of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant’s IKEA trademark is an invented word and is one of the world’s most widely recognised marks and its rights in that trademark are amply demonstrated by the many registrations which it holds in many countries. The disputed domain name comprises the IKEA trademark together with the descriptive word “store” which aptly describes the business carried on by the Complainant.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The fact that the disputed domain name comprises a combination of the Complainant’s famous and distinctive trademark and the description of the business which it carries on, leads to the compelling conclusion that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and its rights in the IKEA trademark when adopting the disputed domain name. Subsequent use of the disputed domain name to direct to an online site offering goods and services in direct competition with the Complainant cannot constitute a use of the disputed domain name in the bona fide offering of goods or services. There is no evidence, nor is it likely, that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name and it is readily apparent that the Respondent’s use is not legitimate, noncommercial or fair. The Panel is therefore satisfied, on the evidence provided by the Complainant that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
As discussed above, it is inconceivable that at the time of registration of the disputed domain name the Respondent was not fully aware of the Complainant’s mark and reputation. That fact together with the way in which the Respondent has subsequently used the disputed domain name leads to the inevitable conclusion that the Respondent’s purpose in registering the disputed domain name was to use it to profit from the Complainant’s reputation and that it was adopted in bad faith.
The Respondent’s use of the Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name is clearly intended to confuse and mislead consumers and to direct them to a site offering goods and services in direct competition to the rightful owner of the trademark. That is precisely a form of bad faith behavior which the Policy is designed to remedy and falls squarely within the categories of bad faith use exemplified in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith.
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, <ikeastore.top> be transferred to the Complainant.
Desmond J. Ryan AM
Date: February 21, 2018