WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Lanxess Deutschland GmbH v. Cimpress Schweiz GmbH
Case No. D2019-0076
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Lanxess Deutschland GmbH of Cologne, Germany represented by Partridge Partners PC, United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Cimpress Schweiz GmbH of Zurich, Switzerland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <lannxess.com> is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 15, 2019. On January 15, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 15, 2019, 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 January 16, 2019 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 January 21, 2019.
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 January 22, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 11, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 13, 2019.
The Center appointed Fabrizio Bedarida as the sole panelist in this matter on February 18, 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 in this proceeding is Lanxess Deutschland GmbH, a German company. The Complainant has used its LANXESS trademarks in connection with the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics since 2004.
The Complainant has proven to be the owner of the LANXESS mark.
The Complainant is, inter alia, the owner of the following trademarks:
LANXESS, Canadian trademark registration No. TMA673821, registered on September 29, 2006;
LANXESS, US trademark registration No. 3,154,793, registered on October 10, 2006;
LANXESS, European Union trademark registration No. 003696581, registered on June 27, 2005.
The disputed domain name <lannxess.com> was registered on December 14, 2017.
The Complainant’s trademark registrations predate the registration of the disputed domain name.
The website under the disputed domain name <lannxess.com> resolves to a parking page featuring links to credit cards, car insurance, and online colleges.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a registered trademark in which the Complainant has rights; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests whatsoever with respect to the disputed domain name; and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order for the Complainant to obtain a transfer of the disputed domain name, paragraphs 4(a)(i) – (iii) of the Policy require that the Complainant must demonstrate to the Panel that:
(i) The disputed domain name 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 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 Complainant has established rights in the LANXESS trademark.
The disputed domain name <lannxess.com> consists of a clear misspelling of the Complainant’s LANXESS trademark. In fact the only difference between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark is given by the addition of a second “n” to the word “lanxess”.
This Panel agrees with the Complainant’s assertion that this minor alteration of the Complainant’s trademark results in a domain name that is confusingly similar to the LANXESS mark.
It is well established that where the Complainant’s trademark is recognizable within the disputed domain name, misspellings of the same are not sufficient to prevent a finding of confusing similarity.
On the contrary, obvious misspellings such as the one in the present case can signal an intention on the part of the Respondent to confuse and mislead users seeking the Complainant’s disputed domain name (see section 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”)).
Therefore, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to be confusingly similar to the LANXESS trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
This Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has no connection to or affiliation with the Complainant, and the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use or register any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent does not appear to be engaged in any legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, nor in any use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. In addition, the Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by the disputed domain name or by a similar name. Moreover, in response to the Complainant’s contentions, the Respondent has not claimed any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that, based on the record, the Complainant has demonstrated the Respondent’s bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent registered and began using the disputed domain name long after the Complainant’s adoption and registration of its renowned trademark. The Complainant provides its services under its well-known mark throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and other international jurisdictions.
The Respondent registered a domain name that consist of an obvious misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark.
The Respondent uses the disputed domain name as a parking page to display pay-per-click links, featuring advertisements to credit cards, car insurance, and online colleges.
This is the Respondent’s second domain name dispute involving a domain name that is a misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark. See Lanxess Deutschland GmbH v. Cimpress Schweiz GmbH, WIPO Case No. D2018-0506 (WIPO April 30, 2018) (disputed domain name: <ianxass.com>).
It can therefore be assumed that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s marks and intentionally intended to create an association with the Complainant and its areas of business at the time of registration of the disputed domain name. In other words it appears that the Respondent, when registering the disputed domain name, had actual knowledge of the Complainant’s LANXESS mark.
Further evidence of the Respondent’s bad faith in registering and maintaining the disputed domain name is also evidenced by the Respondent’s pattern of abusive domain name registrations. In fact, as documented by the Complainant, the Respondent has already been involved in at least 16 domain name disputes since 2017. In all these disputes, which were resolved in favor of the complainants, the disputed domain names were for the most part misspellings of the complainants’ trademarks.
Finally, the Respondent has not responded to (nor denied) the assertions made by the Complainant in this proceeding.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied 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 <lannxess.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 22, 2019