WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
DPDgroup International Services GMBH & Co. KG v. Eden Crowin
Case No. D2018-0887
1. The Parties
The Complainant is DPDgroup International Services GMBH & Co. KG of Aschaffenburg, Germany, represented by Fidal, France.
The Respondent is Eden Crowin of Kaduna, Zaria town, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <dpdservicesdelivery.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 April 20, 2018. On April 20, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 23, 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 April 24, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 14, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 16, 2018.
The Center appointed Alistair Payne as the sole panelist in this matter on May 28, 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 company is part of an international corporate group that operates a parcel and postal services business. The Complainant owns a very substantial portfolio of trade marks that incorporate the DPD mark and dates from as early as 2000. In particular, the portfolio includes European Union trade mark 302945665 filed on March 21, 2014 and registered on August 14, 2014 which is a logo mark comprising the letters DPD in fancy font. The Complainant also owns a corresponding United States trade mark registration for this logo that was filed on March 28, 2014 under number 1217471. In addition, the Complainant also owns numerous domain names featuring “dpd”, including the domain name <dpd.com>.
The disputed domain name was registered on November 27, 2017.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that it owns registered trade mark rights in the DPD mark as set out above. It says that the disputed domain wholly incorporates its DPD mark. It says further that the addition of the words “services” and “delivery” does not distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s DPD mark. It notes that both are common English words and when added to DPD the Complainant submits that they have the effect of enhancing the potential degree of confusion as they make reference to the Complainant and its parcel and postal delivery service. As a result, the Complainant says that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the DPD mark in which it has registered rights.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent is not commonly known under the “dpdservicedelivery.com” name and neither is it offering bona fide products or services and to the best of the Complainant’s knowledge does not make any use of a business name or trade mark composed of the DPD sign. It says that it has not authorised the Respondent to use the DPD mark and there is no business relationship between the parties.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent’s conduct in using the disputed domain name to resolve to a website that promotes the same services as those offered by the Complainant. The website, says the Complainant, also reproduces without authority the Complainant’s various trade marks and logos, its graphic layout, red and grey colours and square block forms and the overall look and feel of the Complainant’s website and amounts to an attempt to confuse Internet users into thinking that they have arrived at the Complainant’s website and amounts to identity theft. The Complainant notes that the Respondent’s website at the disputed domain name even includes the phrase “DPD Group is the international network bringing together DPD, Chronopost and SEUR” and refers to the “Predict” and “Pickup” services which are marks for services operated by the Complainant.
The Complainant notes that its legal representatives sent various emails and on March 12, 2018, a cease and desist letter to the Respondent followed by a reminder, but none of these communications have elicited any response. Attempts to communicate with the Registrar in an effort to have the website or the disputed domain name disabled have also failed. As a result, the Complainant says that the Respondent has registered and has used the disputed domain name in bad faith in order to prevent the Complainant from registering the disputed domain name or in order to take advantage of the Complainant’s reputation.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has demonstrated that it owns registered trade mark rights under registration number 302945665 in the European Union and a corresponding registration in the United States under number 1217471. This logo mark consists of the Complainant’s DPD mark in fancy font and the mark DPD is the key element of each of the registered trade mark. As a result the Panel finds that the Complainant has demonstrated that it owns registered rights in its DPD mark for the purposes of the Policy.
The disputed domain name wholly incorporates the DPD mark and adds to it the common English words “services” and “delivery”. The Panel finds that the addition of these words does not distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s DPD mark and such use in fact merely serves to heighten potential Internet user confusion with the Complainant’s domain names, website and the postal and delivery services that it offers through them. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a registered trade mark in which the Complainant owns rights and the Complaint succeeds under this element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has submitted that the Respondent is not commonly known by the “dpdservicedelivery.com” name and also says that it is not offering bona fide products or services under that mark or domain name. It has also asserted that to the best of the Complainant’s knowledge it does not make any use of a business name or trade mark composed of the DPD sign and that it has not authorised the Respondent to use the DPD mark and that there is no business relationship between the Parties.
It is apparent that the Respondent has sought to make its website at the disputed domain name emulate the Complainant’s website. The Respondent has blatantly made use of various of the Complainant’s trade marks and logos, used a similar colour and graphical scheme to the Complainant’s and even referred to various of the Complainant’s services and group companies. Clearly, the Respondent has sought to confuse Internet users who arrive at its website into thinking that it is the Complainant’s website or is associated with it when this is not the case. This does not amount to legitimate or bona fide conduct and supports an inference that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. In circumstances that the Respondent has not rebutted this inference, the Panel finds that the Complainant’s case also succeeds under this element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name was registered in November 2017 many years after the year 2000 when the Complainant commenced registering its international trade mark portfolio of marks incorporating the DPD mark. The Complainant’s DPD mark is not a common abbreviation or combination of letters and as a result enjoys a level of distinctiveness in relation to the services for which it is used by the Complainant. There is no reason to think that the Respondent chose to incorporate the letters “dpd” in the disputed domain name by coincidence and considering the use by the Respondent of the Complainant’s brand indicia, colour and graphical schemes on its website promoting similar or identical services at the disputed domain name, it is apparent that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and its DPD trade mark and service offering at the time that it registered the disputed domain name.
Under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy there is deemed evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith where it is found that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users for commercial gain to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion as to source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement. The Respondent in this case has used the disputed domain name with a view to confusing Internet users into thinking that that the Respondent’s website is the Complainant’s, or has some affiliation or connection with the Complainant, when this is not the case. Upon arriving at the Respondent’s website, Internet users seeing representations of the Complainant’s logo and trade marks, a similar graphical scheme, look and feel and overall colour scheme are likely to think that they are at the Complainant’s website, or that the services being promoted have been authorised or approved by the Complainant. It is apparent that the Respondent has set out to use the disputed domain name in order to divert Internet users to its website for its own commercial purposes. The Panel finds that this is a classic example of
cyber-squatting under the Policy and that the Respondent’s conduct fulfills the requirements of paragraph (4)(b) (iv). The fact that the Respondent failed to engage with the Complainant following delivery of the Complainant’s cease and desist letter and follow-up emails only serves to reinforce the Panel’s view in this regard.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has both registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith and the Complaint succeeds under this 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 disputed domain name <dpdservicesdelivery.com> be cancelled as requested by the Complainant.
Date: June 11, 2018