WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The Carphone Warehouse Limited, Carphone Warehouse Europe Limited v. Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC / Nigel Andrew
Case No. D2018-0347
1. The Parties
The Complainant is The Carphone Warehouse Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”) and Carphone Warehouse Europe Limited of London, United Kingdom, represented by Fieldfisher LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC of Burlington, Massachusetts, United States of America / Nigel Andrew of London, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <carphonewarehouse-eu.com> (the “Domain Name”) 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 February 16, 2018. On February 16, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On February 17, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on February 22, 2018, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on February 22, 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 February 26, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 18, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 19, 2018.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on March 29, 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 comprises two companies incorporated in England and Wales within the “Carphone Warehouse” Group. Carphone Warehouse is a mobile phone retailer. It was founded in 1989 and has over 2,400 stores across Europe. It operates a website at “www.carphonewarehouse.com” for the advertisement and sale of consumer electronic products such as mobile phones and related telecommunication services. The domain name associated with the website was registered on June 11, 1997.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of many trademarks comprising CARPHONE WAREHOUSE, including United Kingdom trademark number 2147367 registered on November 26, 1999 and European Union trademark number 1925122 registered on October 31, 2002, both in respect of the word mark CARPHONE WAREHOUSE.
The Domain Name was registered on November 24, 2017. The Domain Name does not currently resolve to an active website. At the time of preparation of the Complaint, it resolved to a website used for the advertisement and sale of mobile phones and other consumer electronic products such as computers and tablets (the “Website”). On its contact page, the Website gave its address including a postcode which was in fact the postcode of one of the retail stores operated by the Complainant in London, United Kingdom. Its contact telephone numbers included the International Dialing Code for Romania.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its CARPHONE WAREHOUSE trademarks (the “Mark”), that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name, and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
For this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has uncontested rights in the Mark, both by virtue of its many trademark registrations and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its widespread use of the mark over a number of years. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”, the Domain Name differs from the trademark only by the addition of a hyphen and the letters “eu”, denoting Europe. In the view of the Panel, these additions do not detract from the confusing similarity between the Complainant’s mark and the Domain Name. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent could have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent has used the Domain Name for website advertising and offering for sale mobile phones and other consumer products using the Complainant’s well-known name and trademarks and claiming one of the Complainant’s trading addresses. In the Panel’s view, this cannot possibly give rise to rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name on the part of the Respondent. Indeed, the Panel cannot conceive of any legitimate purpose to which the Respondent could put the Domain Name. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In light of the nature of the Domain Name, the Panel is in no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its rights in the Mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. As noted above, the Panel cannot conceive of any legitimate use to which the Respondent could put the Domain Name. In the Panel’s view, the Respondent registered the Domain Name for commercial gain with a view to taking unfair advantage of the Complainant’s rights in the Mark, by confusing Internet users into believing that the Domain Name was being operated by or authorized by the Complainant for legitimate purposes related to the Complainant’s activities. The Panel is in no doubt that this amounts to paradigm bad faith registration and use for the purposes of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being 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 Domain Name, <carphonewarehouse-eu.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 2, 2018