WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
SAP SE v. Bollepalli Karunakumar, Oasis Technologies
Case No. D2018-1691
1. The Parties
Complainant is SAP SE of Walldorf, Germany, represented by RNA IP Attorneys, India.
Respondent is Bollepalli Karunakumar, Oasis Technologies of Hyderabad, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <oasissap.com> (the "Domain Name") 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 July 26, 2018. On the same day, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On July 27, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 31, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 20, 2018. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on August 22, 2018.
The Center appointed Robert A. Badgley as the sole panelist in this matter on August 30, 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
Complainant describes itself as "the market leader in enterprise application software, business analytics and mobile solutions." Complainant states that it develops "application software products for real time business processing efforts." According to Complainant, it has more than 404,000 customers (which are businesses rather than individual consumers) in 180 countries.
Complainant has been using the mark SAP since 1972 to identify and distinguish its products and services. Complainant holds registered marks for SAP in more than 75 countries (including India, Respondent's location), with the earliest registration in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, registered on January 6, 1995, with trademark registration number UK00001326038. Complainant commenced doing business in India in 1992.
The Domain Name was registered on December 22, 2014. The Domain Name resolves to a commercial website where Respondent displays Complainant's stylized SAP mark and purports to offer SAP software and SAP educational and training services.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant holds the domain name <sap.com>, and uses it to host a sophisticated commercial website in aid of its business. Complainant's total revenue for 2017 was EUR 23.77 billion. In 2017, the branding consulting agency Interbrand ranked SAP as the 21st most valuable global brand.
Complainant states that its software requires trained software professionals to load, execute, access, store, and use the software. Accordingly, Complainant has developed an education and training program, and any entity using the SAP software must have a license agreement with Complainant. Similarly, no person or entity is allowed to provide access to the SAP software for any purpose, including training, without a license from Complainant.
Complainant alleges that the SAP software is pirated and all of Respondent's SAP-related activities at the website are unauthorized. Complainant asserts that it has established the three elements required under the Policy for a transfer of the Domain Name.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements which Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Domain Name:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel concludes that Complainant has rights in the mark SAP through extensive registration and longstanding use. The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the SAP mark. The Domain Name merely adds the dictionary word "oasis" to the mark. In the Panel's view, this additional term does not eliminate the confusing similarity between the SAP mark and the Domain Name. See, e.g., SAP AG v. Domain Admin, WIPO Case No. D2006-1526 (involving <sapeductation.com>).
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, Respondent may establish its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, among other circumstances, by showing any of the following elements:
(i) before any notice to you [Respondent] of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you [Respondent] (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you [Respondent] are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
The Panel concludes that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Respondent has not come forward to articulate or defend its motives in registering the Domain Name. It is undisputed that Respondent is unaffiliated with Complainant and has not been authorized by Complainant to use the SAP mark. The unauthorized offering of products and services at a website which plainly manifests an effort by Respondent to pass himself off as Complainant is not a bona fide offering of goods and services.
Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, "in particular but without limitation," are evidence of the registration and use of the Domain Name in "bad faith":
(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the Domain Name registration to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out of pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or
(ii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) that by using the Domain Name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent's website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent's website or location or of a product or service on Respondent's website or location.
The Panel concludes that Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith. Given the fact that Respondent uses Complainant's SAP mark (including in its stylized form) at the website to which the Domain Name resolves, it is clear that Respondent had Complainant's well-known SAP mark in mind when registering the Domain Name.
Respondent has also used the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of the above-quoted Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv). The undisputed record is that Respondent is making unauthorized use of Complainant's SAP mark in order to sell pirated software and unauthorized services to consumers apt to be confused by the Domain Name and the website content into believing that Respondent is somehow affiliated with or authorized by Complainant.
Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <oasissap.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Robert A. Badgley
Date: September 13, 2018