WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Klarna Bank AB v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot
Case No. D2018-1928
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Klarna Bank AB of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot of San Mateo, California, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <klarnascam.com> is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 24, 2018. On August 24, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 26, 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 September 5, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 25, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 26, 2018.
The Center appointed Anne-Virginie La Spada as the sole panelist in this matter on October 17, 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, founded in 2005, is a Swedish bank that provides online financial services such as payment solutions for online stores. According to its website, it provides today payment solutions for 60 million consumers across 70,000 merchants in 18 countries.
The Complainant owns a number of trademark registrations for the mark KLARNA, with or without graphic elements. For instance, the Complainant holds a European Union (“EU”) Trade Mark registration for the word mark KLARNA no. 010844462 (registered on September 24, 2012) in classes 35, 36, 42 and 45, and a United States Trade Mark registration for the word mark KLARNA no. 79138646 (registered on August 12, 2014) in classes 35, 36, 42 and 45.
The disputed domain name was registered on December 8, 2017.
The disputed domain name resolved to a website featuring sponsored links (entitled for example “email scam”, “fake email” or “call scam”) to sites that presumably provide information on “fake” or “scam” operations.
The Complainant sent a letter to the Respondent on April 17, 2018, demanding that the Respondent cease using the disputed domain name and transfer it to the Complainant. The Respondent did not reply to such letter.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the term “scam” does not sufficiently distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trademark, and that disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark KLARNA.
The Complainant further contends that Respondent is not known by the disputed domain name, and remarks that the Respondent has not claimed to have any relevant prior rights to the disputed domain name or to make a legitimate noncommercial fair use of it. According to the Complainant, using a domain name parking service is not illegitimate per se, but linking a domain name to such a service, with a trademark owner’s name in mind, in the expectation that Internet users searching for information about the activities of the trademark owner will be directed to that parking space does not provide legitimate interests to the domain name. The Complainant accordingly contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark and of the value of such trademark. The Respondent must furthermore have been aware that Internet users would be likely to believe that the disputed domain name and the website to which it resolved would be owned, controlled, established by or otherwise associated to the Complainant. The Complainant also points out that the Respondent did not reply to the cease and desist letter. The Complainant concludes that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, a complainant must assert and prove each of the following:
(i) the domain name registered by the respondent is 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 name; and
(iii) the domain name registered by the respondent has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant is the owner of trademark registrations for the mark KLARNA.
The disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s trademark entirely. In addition, the disputed domain name comprises the term “scam”, an informal term meaning “fraud”.
The consensus view among UDRP panelists is that a domain name consisting of a trademark and a negative or pejorative term (such as <[trademark]sucks.com> is considered confusingly similar to the complainant’s trademark for the purpose of satisfying standing under the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy. The merits of such cases, in particular as to any potential fair use, are typically decided under the second and third elements (see section 1.13 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”); for a case involving a domain name comprising the term “scam”, see Ironfx Global Limited v. MR Qaisar Saeed Butt / Moniker Privacy Services, WIPO Case No. D2015-1221.
The disputed domain name is therefore confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights according to paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The Complainant has thus satisfied the condition set forth in paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Based on the information submitted by the Complainant, the Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant, nor has the Complainant granted to the Respondent an authorization to use the disputed domain name. Moreover, there is no indication that the disputed domain name corresponds to the Respondent’s name.
The Respondent has used the disputed domain name in connection with a website featuring sponsored links promoting “fake” or “scam” operations. A number of UDRP panels have found that use of a domain name corresponding to the trademark of another for the purpose of offering sponsored links is generally not evidence of any rights or legitimate interests (see Woolworths Limited v. DomainAdminkPrivacyProtect.org / Smvs Consultancy Private Limited, WIPO Case No. D2010-1046; Aspen Holdings Inc. v. Rick Natsch, Potrero Media Corporation, WIPO Case No. D2009-0776; Mayflower Transit LLC v. Domains by Proxy Inc./Yariv Moshe, WIPO Case No. D2007-1695). When the sponsored links purport to provide information or services of a “fake” nature or amounting to a (possibly illicit) “scam”, the existence of a legitimate interest is even less likely.
Furthermore, the Respondent did not file a response to the Complaint. The Panel may draw from the lack of a Response the inferences that it considers appropriate, according to the Rules, paragraph 14(b). It is the Panel’s inference that the Respondent’s silence corroborates the Complainant’s assertion that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel rules that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the Complainant has satisfied the condition set out in paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the widespread reputation of the trademark KLARNA (alleged by the Complainant and undisputed by the Respondent), the Panel accepts that the Respondent most probably knew of the Complainant’s trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. It is indeed implausible that the Respondent selected the disputed domain name without having the Complainant’s trademark in mind.
Furthermore, the Respondent has used the disputed domain name in connection with a website featuring sponsored links. This shows, in the Panel’s opinion, an intention on the part of the Respondent to exploit and profit from the Complainant’s trademark, by attempting to generate financial gains by means of “click through” revenues. Such conduct constitutes bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy (see F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. James Lee, WIPO Case No. D2009-1199; Scania CV AB v. Michael Montrief, WIPO Case No. D2009-1149; Aspen Holdings Inc. v. Rick Natsch, Potrero Media Corporation, supra; and AllianceBernstein LP v. Texas International Property Associates, WIPO Case No. D2008-1230).
Moreover, the association of the Complainant’s trademark, which is used and known for payment services, with “scam” activities is likely to tarnish the reputation of the Complainant’s trademark, a risk that the Respondent could not have been unaware of.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith, and that the Complainant has satisfied the condition set forth in paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 <klarnascam.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Anne-Virginie La Spada
Date: October 31, 2018