WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

DRAFT ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

AB Electrolux v. WhoisGuard, Inc. / Gold Hunt

Case No. D2018-1070

1. The Parties

The Complainant is AB Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is WhoisGuard, Inc. of Panama, Panama / Gold Hunt of Hannover, Germany.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <electrolux.press> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 14, 2018. On May 15, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 15, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on May 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 amendment to the Complaint on May 29, 2018.

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 of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 30, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 19, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent of its default on June 20, 2018.

The Center appointed Dennis A. Foster as the sole panelist in this matter on June 27, 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

Established in 1901, the Complainant is a large Swedish company that sells its products in some 150 countries worldwide. The Complainant markets many of its goods under its ELECTROLUX trademark, which is registered with authorities around the world, including with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”) (e.g., Registration No. 000077925; registered on September 16,1998).

The disputed domain name, <electrolux.press>, is owned by the Respondent, who registered it on June 5, 2017. The name is used for a website that offers pay-per-click links to other websites that offer products directly related to the Complainant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

- Founded in 1901, the Complainant is a Swedish company that is one of the world’s leading producers of kitchen appliances and equipment, and cleaning and floor care products. The Complainant’s ELECTROLUX trademark is one of several marks used in its yearly marketing of some 60 million products in 150 countries worldwide.

- The Complainant’s ELECTROLUX mark has been registered with trademark authorities around the world, including with the European Union. Also, since 1996 the Complainant has conducted online operations under several domain names that contain the mark, including <electrolux.com>.

- The disputed domain name, <electrolux.press>, is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s ELECTROLUX trademark. The main body of the name incorporates the mark in its entirety, and the added generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”), “.press”, is irrelevant in the comparison under the Policy.

- The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is in no way affiliated with the Complainant, and the Complainant has not authorized the Respondent to use the ELECTROLUX mark in domain names or otherwise. The disputed domain name is attached to a website that provides pay-per-click links to other websites that offer home appliances that are directly related to the Complainant’s business, which constitutes neither a bona fide offering nor a legitimate noncommercial use of the name per the Policy. Also, the Respondent’s failure to respond to a cease-and-desist letter sent by the Complainant is evidence of the Respondent’s lack of rights and legitimate interests in the name.

- The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The timing of the disputed domain name’s registration is evidence that the Respondent knew of the Complainant. Moreover, the use of the disputed domain name to host a website that provides pay-per-click links (i.e., “domain name parking”) is for the Respondent’s commercial gain based upon the likelihood of confusion between the name and the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent’s website. Finally, the failure of the Respondent to reply to the Complainant’s cease-and-desist letter represents bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Pursuant to Policy paragraphs 4(a)(i) - (iii), the Panel may find for the Complainant and grant a transfer of the disputed domain name, <electrolux.press>, if the Complainant demonstrates that:

- The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

- The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and

- The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

In accordance with evidence of the Complainant’s long, continuous use in commerce of its ELECTROLUX trademark and the Complainant’s submission to the Panel of relevant evidence of the mark’s registration with the EUIPO, the Panel concludes that the Complainant possesses the rights in that mark required under Policy paragraph 4(a)(i). See, AB Electrolux v. Protection of Private Person / PERAKT, LLC, WIPO Case No. D2017-1899 (“The Complainant has provided evidence and has thus established its rights in the ELECTROLUX trademark.”); and Training Channel, S.A v. Domain Asset Holdings, WIPO Case No. D2011-0875 (“...the Complainant has established trademark rights in TRAINING CHANNEL as evidenced by the EU trademark registration...”).

Upon simple visual inspection, the Panel can determine that the disputed domain name, <electrolux.press>, is identical to the Complainant’s ELECTROLUX trademark. The main body of the disputed domain name contains the same letters in the same order as the trademark. The gTLD, “.press”, is of no importance in assessing confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the mark for purposes of the Policy. Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s mark. See, Bobst Mex SA v. Steven Thompson, WIPO Case No. D2016-0949 (finding <bobst.press> to be identical or confusingly similar to the BOBST mark); and Audi AG v. Mohamed Maan, WIPO Case No. D2015-0756 (concluding that <audi.press> is identical to the AUDI trademark).

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the disputed domain name is identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, <electrolux.press>, as it has been shown that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and the Complainant asserts without reservation that the Respondent can claim neither affiliation with the Complainant nor authorization to use the Complainant’s mark in any manner. The Respondent must then bear the onus of coming forward with compelling evidence that it does have those rights or legitimate interests. See, Banco Itau S.A. v. Laercio Teixeira, WIPO Case No. D2007-0912 (“A complainant is required to make out an initial prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to do so, a complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.”); and Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110.

The Respondent has not filed a Response, and thus the Panel will accept all of the Complainant’s reasonable contentions as true and examine the record in this case to determine whether creditable support for the Respondent’s position exists. See, RX America, LLC. v. Matthew Smith, WIPO Case No. D2005-0540 (“A respondent is not obliged to participate in a domain name dispute proceeding, but if it were to fail to do so, asserted facts that are not unreasonable would be taken as true...”); and LCIA (London Court of International Arbitration) v. Wellsbuck Corporation, WIPO Case No. D2005-0084.

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is attached to a website that provides pay-per-click links to other websites that offer products directly related to the Complainant’s business. Based on the evidence, the Panel accepts this reasonable contention and concludes that the use to which the disputed domain name is being put does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods and services per Policy paragraph 4(c)(i); nor is the Respondent commonly known by the disputed domain name per Policy paragraph 4(c)(ii); nor is the Respondent using the disputed domain name in a legitimate noncommercial or fair use manner per Policy paragraph 4(c)(iii). See, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company v. Wang De Bing, WIPO Case No. D2017-0363; and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Domain Administrator, PrivacyGuardian.org / George Ring, DN Capital Inc., WIPO Case No. D2017-0302 (“...using a domain name incorporating the Complainant’s mark to host sponsored links associated with the Complainant’s area of business cannot be a bona fide offering of goods or services.”). Accordingly, the Panel’s examination of the record yields no effective rebuttal to the Complainant’s prima facie case.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the Complainant’s ELECTROLUX trademark is world famous. In keeping with many prior Policy decisions regarding famous trademarks, the Panel believes that the Respondent, who has no known connection with the Complainant or its famous mark, must have registered the disputed domain name, which is identical to the mark, in bad faith. See, AB Electrolux v. Tran Thanh Phong, WIPO Case No. D2017-0976 (“The Panel notes that the ELECTROLUX mark has acquired extensive international reputation...”); and Guinness UDV North America, Inc. v. Dallas Internet Services, WIPO Case No. D2001-1055 (“Registration of a domain name containing a famous mark is strong evidence of bad faith.”).

Also, the Panel accepts the Complainant’s reasonable contention that the disputed domain name is attached to a website that provides pay-per-click links to other websites that offer products which are directly related to the Complainant’s offerings. Taking into account that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s famous trademark, the Panel concludes that the Respondent intends to gain commercially from the likelihood of Internet user confusion between the disputed domain name and that mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent’s website. As a result, the Panel determines that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith under Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv). See, Volkswagen AG v. Fabiano Barretto, WIPO Case No. D2017-2013 (“...Respondent...was using the disputed domain name to point to an undeveloped website with pay-per-click links related to Complainant’s business, possibly generating commercial gain to Respondent. This, in the Panel’s view, is evidence of bad faith use for the purposes of the Policy.”); and Archer-Daniels-Midland Company v. Wang De Bing, supra (“...the Respondent is operating under the disputed domain name a pay-per-click website with sponsored links connected to the Complainant’s business...The Panel...finds that the Respondent’s attempt...falls under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.”).

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the disputed domain was registered and is being used in bad faith.

7. Decision

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, <electrolux.press>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Dennis A. Foster
Sole Panelist
Date: July 11, 2018