WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Robert Bosch GmbH v. Macho Marketing
Case No. D2018-1161
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Robert Bosch GmbH of Gerlingen-Schillerhöhe, Germany, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Macho Marketing of Austin, Texas, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <boschaftermarket.com> and <boschaftermarketparts.com> (the “Domain Names”) are registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 24, 2018. On May 24, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On the same date, 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 May 31, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 20, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 21, 2018.
The Respondent sent informal email communications on June 21, 2018, June 22, 2018, June 25, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on July 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 a privately owned multinational engineering and electronics company based in Gerlingen, Germany, founded by German engineer Robert Bosch in Stuttgart, Germany in 1886. It is part of the Bosch Group (“Bosch”) and manufactures a wide variety of products ranging from automotive components (brakes, controls, fuel systems, starter motors and steering systems) to industrial products and consumer goods including household appliances, power tools, security systems and thermotechnology. Bosch employs around 402,000 associates globally in around 440 subsidiaries and regional companies across 60 countries. It achieved Euros 78.1 billion sales revenue in 2017.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of numerous trademark registrations in a number of jurisdictions around the world in respect of the word mark BOSCH including United States trademark number 72178525 BOSCH registered on August 2, 1966 and Germany trademark number 45920 stylized word “Bosch” registered on October 8, 1900.
The Domain Names were registered on February 19, 2009 and resolve to pay-per-click parking pages featuring links to a number of third party websites including those of competitors of the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to its BOSCH trademarks, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names, and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Names in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. The email received by the Center on June 21, 2018, referred to above, stated: “what would you like us to do? we can transfer the domain. who should we send it to?”
6. Discussion and Findings
For this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Names the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the Domain Names are 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 Names; and
(iii) the Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has uncontested rights in the BOSCH trademarks, both by virtue of its trademark registrations and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its widespread use of the mark over more than 100 years. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”, the Domain Names differ from the trademark only by the addition of the words “aftermarket” and “aftermarket parts” respectively. In the view of the Panel, these additions do not detract from the confusing similarity between the Complainant’s marks and the Domain Names. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Names are 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 Names. The Respondent has not used the Domain Names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Domain Names resolve to parking pages comprising pay-per-click links to third party websites including websites of competitors of the Complainant. The Respondent has chosen not to respond formally to the Complaint or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. On the contrary, in its informal emails to the Center it indicated that it was willing to transfer the Domain Names in response to the Complaint, but this was not effected. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In light of the nature of the Domain Names, the Panel is in no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its rights in the BOSCH mark in mind when it registered the Domain Names. In the Panel’s view, the obvious inference is that the Respondent registered the Domain Names for commercial gain with a view to taking unfair advantage of the Complainant’s rights in the BOSCH mark, by confusing Internet users into believing that the Domain Names were being operated by or authorized by the Complainant for legitimate purposes related to the Complainant’s activities. The Panel considers that this amounts to paradigm bad faith registration and use for the purposes of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Names have been registered and are 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 Names <boschaftermarket.com> and <boschaftermarketparts.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 16, 2018