WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Marlink SA v. Steve Co, Stave Co Ltd
Case No. D2018-1412
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Marlink SA of Brussels, Belgium, represented by Inlex IP Expertise, France.
The Respondent is Steve Co, Stave Co Ltd of Adana, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <marlink.top> 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 June 26, 2018. On June 26, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 27, 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 June 28, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 18, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 19, 2018.
The Center appointed Mario Soerensen Garcia as the sole panelist in this matter on August 1, 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 Marlink SA, a Belgium international technology-independent satellite communication provider, with more than 70 years’ experience. It is one of the world’s leading providers of end-to-end managed connectivity and IT solutions, with more than 1,000 employees worldwide.
The Complainant owns several trademark registrations in multiple jurisdictions for the trademark MARLINK, which has been registered since 1996, including the following:
- European Union trademark MARLINK, No. 015333487, registered on October 4, 2016 in class 38, claiming seniority of the national trademarks No. 0607403 (Benelux), filed on June 24, 1996, No. 39628128 (Germany), filed on June 26, 1996, No. F129809 (Greece), filed on June 26, 1996 and No. VR 1996 04789 (Denmark), filed on June 27, 1996;
- International trademark registration MARLINK, No. 1309586, registered on July 13, 2016, in class 38.
The Complainant also owns numerous domain names consisting of MARLINK, including the domain names <marlink.com>, registered in 1996, <marlink.asia>, registered in 2008, and <marlink.be>, registered in 2007.
The disputed domain name was registered on May 24, 2018 and resolves to an inactive page.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name entirely reproduces the Complainant’s mark MARLINK and should be considered as confusingly similar to its prior marks.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent has not been authorized to use and register its trademarks and there is no business or relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent.
The Complainant alleges that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that it resolves to an inactive page.
With regard to registration and use in bad faith of the disputed domain name, the Complainant mentions that the Respondent sent emails to the Complainant’s customers informing them of a new and fake Marlink bank account to be used for the payment of their services and that the bank account did not belong to the Complainant. The Complainant, therefore, concluded that the registration of the disputed domain name should be considered as bad faith and that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to mislead the Complainant’s consumers, for illegal gaining purposes, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the origin of the fraudulent emails they received.
Finally, the Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
As per paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The evidences presented demonstrate that the Complainant is the owner of various trademark registrations for MARLINK, particularly the European Union trademark MARLINK, No. 015333487, registered on October 4, 2016 in class 38.
The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety.
As numerous prior UDRP panels have recognized, the incorporation of a trademark in its entirety or a dominant feature of a trademark is sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the complainant’s mark. See section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
The Panel finds that paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been proved by the Complainant, i.e., the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not submitted a response to the Complaint.
There is no evidence that the Respondent has any authorization to use the Complainant’s trademark or to register domain names containing the trademark MARLINK.
There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.
There is no evidence that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name or that before any notice of the dispute the Respondent has made use of, or demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has been satisfied, i.e., the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The trademark MARLINK is registered by the Complainant in several jurisdictions around the world. Also, the Complainant registered many domain names consisting of its trademark MARLINK. The mentioned trademark registrations and domain names owned by the Complainant predate the registration of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name comprises the MARLINK trademark in its entirety and the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in it.
The Complainant’s MARLINK mark is a leader mark and well known in its segment. Thus, the fact that the disputed domain name comprises such a mark, in the circumstances of this case, is evidence of the Respondent’s bad faith, as it is impossible that the Respondent did not know the Complainant’s marks at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name.
The evidences showed that the Respondent sent emails to the Complainant’s customers providing fraudulent bank details, in an attempt to divert money from the Complainant. In addition, it has been proven that the Respondent has already registered around 500 domain names incorporating third parties’ famous brands of distinct sectors, which evidently demonstrates the Respondent’s desire to take some kind of undue advantage with them.
In view of the above and taking also into account that the disputed domain name resolves to an inactive page, this Panel finds under the circumstances that the Respondent has intentionally targeted the Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name.
For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied, i.e., the disputed 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 disputed domain name <marlink.top> be transferred to the Complainant.
Mario Soerensen Garcia
Date: August 15, 2018