WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The Flannels Group Limited v. Imran Ahmed
Case No. D2018-0557
1. The Parties
The Complainant is The Flannels Group Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Imran Ahmed of Dewsbury, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <flannels.family>, <flannels.irish>, <flannels.life>, <flannels.live>, <flannels.me>, <flannels.news>, <flannels.online>, <flannels.ooo>, <flannels.reviews>, <flannels.sale>, <flannels.site>, <flannels.social>, <flannels.store>, <flannels.studio>, <flannels.today>, <flannels.website>, and <flannels.world> (the “Domain Names”) are registered with Name.com, Inc. (Name.com LLC) (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 14, 2018. On March 14, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On March 14, 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 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 March 19, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 8, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 9, 2018.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on April 17, 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 of the FLANNELS trade mark registered, inter alia, in the United Kingdom from 2008. See, e.g., Registration No. UK00002440272, registered on May 9, 2008. The Complainant is a chain of high-end designer stores specializing in luxury fashion for men and women. It owns <flannels.com> which is also registered as a trade mark in the United Kingdom and the European Union. See European Union Registration No. 015723091 for FLANNELS.COM, registered on September 7, 2017.
The Domain Names registered in 2017 have been offered for sale by the Respondent to the Complainant for sums in excess of out of pocket costs of registration. At the time of Complaint filing the Domain Names all resolved to parking pages. The Respondent has been involved in a pattern of cybersquatting conduct involving a number of famous third party trade marks.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is the owner of the FLANNELS trade mark registered, inter alia, in the United Kingdom. It owns <flannels.com>, which is also registered as a trade mark, inter alia, in the United Kingdom.
The Domain Names are identical to the Complainant’s FLANNELS trade mark adding only various generic Top-Level Domains (“gTLDs”) which are disregarded on comparison for the purposes of the Policy.
The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Names. The Domain Names registered in 2017 have not been used. The Respondent has requested payment for the Domain Names in excess of its documented out of pocket costs.
The Respondent has registered domain names incorporating well-known trade marks in which the Respondent has no rights including <argos.irish>, <asda.ooo>, <burgerking.sale>, <hmv.store>, <houseoffraser.house>, <hugoboss.work>, <johnlewis.live>, <kfc.irish>, <lidl.ooo>, <mcdonalds.ooo>, <pcworld.today>, <pizzahut.reviews>, <spar.email>, <tesco.ooo>, <topshop.news>, <toyota.finance>, and <waitrose.us>. This is a pattern of conduct of cybersquatting. The Domain Names have not been used and have been offered for sale to the Complainant in excess of out of pocket costs of registration.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The gTLDS in the Domain Names do not serve to distinguish them from the Complainant’s FLANNELS mark as they are a necessary part of a domain name and they all have a generic meaning not a part of any trade mark involved in these proceedings.
Under the Policy the second level part of domain names subject to a complaint are compared with the Complainant’s trade mark as a first step.
The Domain Names consist of the Complainant’s FLANNELS mark (registered in the United Kingdom for clothing in 2008) and a gTLD. They are therefore identical to a mark in which the Complainant has rights under the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has not authorised the use of its mark. The Respondent has not answered this Complaint and there is no evidence or reason to suggest the Respondent is, in fact, commonly known by the Domain Names.
There has been no use of the Domain Names so they have not been used for a bona fide offering of goods and services or a legitimate noncommercial fair use.
As such the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Names and that the Complainant has satisfied the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad faith
The Respondent has registered a number of domain names containing well-known trade marks without explanation, which constitutes a pattern of cybersquatting conduct. It has also requested payment for the Domain Names from the Complainant in sums substantially above the out of pocket costs of registration of the Domain Names.
Accordingly the Panel finds that the Domain Names have been registered and used in bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(i) and (ii) of the Policy, and that the Complainant has satisfied the third element of the Policy.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Names <flannels.family>, <flannels.irish>, <flannels.life>, <flannels.live>, <flannels.me>, <flannels.news>, <flannels.online>, <flannels.ooo>, <flannels.reviews>, <flannels.sale>, <flannels.site>, <flannels.social>, <flannels.store>, <flannels.studio>, <flannels.today>, <flannels.website>, and <flannels.world> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 2, 2018