WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Royal Unibrew A/S v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243504996 / Name Redacted
Case No. D2018-2812
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Royal Unibrew A/S of Denmark represented by Patrick Plucnar, Denmark.
The Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243504996 of Ontario / Name Redacted1.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <royalunibrews.com> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with Google Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 10, 2018. On December 10, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On December 10, 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 December 11, 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 amended Complaint on December 13, 2018.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 December 14, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 3, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 8, 2019.
The Center appointed John Swinson as the sole panelist in this matter on January 14, 2019. 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 Royal Unibrew A/S, a company incorporated in Denmark. The Complainant produces and distributes beverages including beer, malt drinks, and soft drinks. According to the Complaint, the Complainant is a leading regional player in a number of markets including in Europe.
The Complainant owns a number of registered trade marks for ROYAL UNIBREW, including European Union registered trade mark number 0854698 registered on June 7, 2005 (the “Trade Mark”). The Complainant also owns a domain name which incorporates the Trade Mark, being <royalunibrew.com>, which it registered on October 20, 2004.
The Respondent did not file a response, and consequently little information is known about the Respondent. The Disputed Domain Name was registered on November 19, 2018. There is no active website associated with the Disputed Domain Name.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant makes the following submissions.
Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Disputed Domain Name fully incorporates the Trade Mark, with the only addition being the letter “s” added to the end of the term “brew”. The Respondent has engaged in typosquatting as the Disputed Domain Name is only a slight variation of the Complainant’s Trade Mark. The Disputed Domain Name is therefore confusingly similar to the Trade Mark.
Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name because:
- the Respondent does not own any trade marks associated with the Disputed Domain Name;
- the Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name; and
- the Complainant is not affiliated with the Respondent nor has the Complainant authorized the use of the Trade Mark.
Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on November 19, 2018. The Complainant applied for the Trade Mark in 2005. The Respondent has registered an email address incorporating the Trade Mark and used this email address to send fraudulent emails attempting to lure a company to make payment to a false bank account. This is clear evidence of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied, namely:
(i) the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(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.
The onus of proving these elements remains on the Complainant even though the Respondent has not filed a Response.
The Respondent’s failure to file a Response does not automatically result in a decision in favor of the Complainant (see, e.g., Airbus SAS, Airbus Operations GmbH v. Alesini Pablo Hernan / PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2013-2059). However, the Panel may draw appropriate inferences from the Respondent’s lack of a Response.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.
Generally, the test for identity or confusing similarity involves a side-by-side comparison of the domain name and the trade mark to assess whether the trade mark is recognizable within the domain name (see section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”)).
In this case, the Disputed Domain Name includes the entire Trade Mark with the addition of the letter “s” at the end of the Trade Mark. It is well established that "typosquatting" can constitute confusing similarly (Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft v. New York TV Tickets Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-1314, DaimlerChrysler Corporation v. Worshipping, Chrisler, and Chr, aka Dream Media and aka Peter Conover, WIPO Case No. D2000-1272, and Playboy Enterprises v. Movie Name Company, WIPO Case No. D2001-1201).
The Panel considers this to be a clear case of typosquatting. The Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Trade Mark. The Complainant succeeds on the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainant is required to make out a prima facie case showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests.
The Panel considers that the Complainant has made out a prima face case. This finding is based on the following:
- The Respondent has not used, or made demonstrable preparations to use, the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Disputed Domain Name does not appear to have been used in connection with any active website.
- The Complainant has not authorized or otherwise given the Respondent permission to use the Disputed Domain Name.
- There is no evidence that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name, nor has registered or common law trade mark rights in relation to this name.
- The Respondent has not been making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Name without intent for commercial gain. As mentioned above, the Respondent does not appear to have made any use of the website at the Disputed Domain Name.
The Respondent had the opportunity to demonstrate his rights or legitimate interests, but did not do so. As such, the prima facie case established by the Complainant has not been rebutted and the Complainant succeeds on the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Respondent registered and subsequently used the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
The Complainant has had registered rights in the Trade Mark since 2005. The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name in 2018. Given that the Disputed Domain Name is a misspelling of the Trade Mark and the Complainant has a strong reputation in the beverage industry, the Panel finds it highly likely that the Respondent was aware of the Trade Mark at the time the Disputed Domain Name was registered.
Further, previous UDRP panels have found that if a respondent has engaged in typosquatting, that may be sufficient to establish registration and use in bad faith (Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, Inc. v. Oleg Techino, WIPO Case No. D2006-1537; Edmunds.com, Inc. v. Yingkun Guo, dba This domain is 4 sale, WIPO Case No. D2006-0694; Sephora v. WhoisGuard, WIPO Case No. D2006-0845). As previously mentioned, this is clear a case of typosquatting, where the Disputed Domain Name is identical to the Trade Mark save for the addition of one letter. The Respondent has registered a common misspelling of the Trade Mark to divert traffic from the Complainant’s website to the Respondent’s websites. The Panel finds that this constitutes bad faith registration and use.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent is using an email address associated with the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a possible phishing scam. However, on reviewing the evidence provided by the Complainant, the Panel notes that the email address that is used in the email referred to by the Complainant is not associated with the Disputed Domain Name. The email address uses the domain name <royalsunibrew.com>, as opposed to Disputed Domain Name, <royalunibrews.com>. The Complainant has not provided evidence to link the fraudulent email to the Disputed Domain Name or the Respondent.
However, in light of the above, and the Respondent’s failure to provide evidence to the contrary, the Panel considers that there is sufficient evidence to find that the Respondent has registered and used the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith. The Complainant has succeeded on the third element 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, <royalunibrews.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: January 24, 2019
1 On the basis of the case file presented to the Panel, it seems that Respondent is not the true holder and registrant of the disputed domain name. In light of a potential identity theft, the Panel, therefore, has redacted Respondent’s name from this decision. However, the Panel has attached as Annex 1 to this decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the disputed domain name, which includes the name and contact details of Respondent as listed in the WhoIs for the disputed domain name. The Panel has authorized the Center to transmit Annex 1 to the Registrar as part of the order in this proceeding, and has indicated Annex 1 to this Decision shall not be published due to the exceptional circumstances of this case. See: ASOS plc. v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2017-1520; Banco Bradesco S.A. v. FAST-12785241 Attn. Bradescourgente.net / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2009-1788.