WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

AB Electrolux v. Dyoshin Yu Aleksandr

Case No. D2019-0869

1. The Parties

The Complainant is AB Electrolux, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Dyoshin Yu Aleksandr, Russian Federation.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <electrolux-service.moscow> is registered with RU-CENTER-MSK (Regional Network Information Center, JSC dba RU-CENTER) (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 17, 2019. On April 17, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 18, 2019, 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. On April 29, 2019, the Center sent an email to the Parties in English and Russian regarding the language of the proceedings. The Complainant requested English to be the language of the proceedings. The Respondent did not reply on the language of the proceedings.

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 May 10, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 30, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 31, 2019.

The Center appointed Taras Kyslyy as the sole panelist in this matter on June 12, 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 a Swedish company founded in 1901, a producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen and cleaning products and floor care products. The Complainant markets its products internationally, including in the Russian Federation in respect of its ELECTROLUX products. The Complainant owns a portfolio of trademark registrations for ELECTROLUX (both word and device marks) in about 150 jurisdictions, covering the Respondent’s home jurisdiction Russian Federation, including ELECTROLUX international trademark registration No.1260775 registered on January 27, 2015.

The Complainant also owns a number of domain names capturing its trademark, including <electrolux.com> and <electrolux.ru>.

The disputed domain name was registered by the Respondent on November 12, 2018. It directed to a website that had the look and feel of an official Electrolux website without any disclaimer that the website was not endorsed by the Complainant. Currently, it does not resolve to any active webpage.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The disputed domain name incorporates well-known registered trademarks ELECTROLUX. The additions of generic word “service”, dash and generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) “.moscow” do not add distinctiveness and do not prevent finding of confusing similarity of the disputed domain name with the Complainant’s trademark.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not commonly known with the disputed domain name. There is no evidence that the Respondent was using or preparing to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services. The disputed domain name was registered to take advantage of the Internet traffic generated due to incorporation of the Complainant’s well-known trademark. The Respondent suggested repair services for the Complainant’s products. The Complainant prohibits authorized repair providers to use Complainant’s trademark in the providers’ domain names. The Respondent fails to pass all or at least three elements of the Oki Data test, namely no disclaimer on the challenged website, the Respondent deprives Complainant of reflecting its trademark in the disputed domain name, the Respondent presents itself as the trademark owner using Complainant’s trademark and logo at its website. The Respondent have not made legitimate, non-commercial fair use of the disputed domain name. The Respondent did not provide any compelling arguments that it has rights in the disputed domain name.

The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Registrations of the Complainant’s trademark preceded registration of the disputed domain name, so it seems highly unlikely that the Respondent was not aware of such trademark registrations and the unlawfulness of its actions. The Respondent fail to react to the Complainant’s cease and desist letter and further reminder. The Respondent takes advantage of the Complainant’s trademark by intentionally attempting to attract visitors to its website by creating likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, affiliation, sponsorship and endorsement of the Respondent’s website or a products or service on the Respondent’s website. The Respondent chose the disputed domain name to generate more traffic to its business. The Respondent did not disclose its relation to the Complainant.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Language of Proceedings

The language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is Russian. Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules provides that “unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding”. The Panel may also order that any documents submitted in a language other than that of the proceeding be translated.

However, as noted by previous UDRP panels, paragraph 11 of the Rules must be applied in accordance with the overriding requirements of paragraphs 10(b) and 10(c) of the Rules that the parties are treated equally, that each party is given a fair opportunity to present its case and that the proceeding takes place with due expedition (see, e.g., General Electric Company v. Edison Electric Corp. a/k/a Edison Electric Corp. General Energy, Edison GE, Edison-GE and EEEGE.COM, WIPO Case No. D2006-0334).

In deciding whether to allow the proceedings to be conducted in a language other than the language of the Registration Agreement, and to require the Complainant in an appropriate case to translate the Complaint into the language of that agreement, the Panel must have regard to all “the relevant circumstances” of the case. The factors that the Panel should take into consideration include whether the Respondent is able to understand and effectively communicate in the language in which the Complaint has been made and would suffer no real prejudice, and whether the expenses of requiring translation and the delay in the proceedings can be avoided without at the same time causing injustice to the Parties.

According to section 4.5.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) previous panels have found that certain scenarios may warrant proceeding in a language other than that of the registration agreement. Such scenarios include (i) evidence showing that the respondent can understand the language of the complaint, (ii) the language/script of the domain name particularly where the same as that of the complainant’s mark, (iii) any content on the webpage under the disputed domain name, (iv) prior cases involving the respondent in a particular language, (v) prior correspondence between the parties, (vi) potential unfairness or unwarranted delay in ordering the complainant to translate the complaint, (vii) evidence of other respondent-controlled domain names registered, used, or corresponding to a particular language, (viii) in cases involving multiple domain names, the use of a particular language agreement for some (but not all) of the disputed domain names, (ix) currencies accepted on the webpage under the disputed domain name, or (x) other indicia tending to show that it would not be unfair to proceed in a language other than that of the registration agreement.

The Complainant has submitted a request that the language of the proceedings be English. The Complainant contends that the Respondent must be familiar with the English language since the disputed domain name captures Complainant’s trademark adding English word “service”. The Complainant also believes that the language of the proceedings shall be English, otherwise due to additional costs and undue delay the Complainant would be unfairly disadvantaged by being forced to translate the Complaint to Russian.

The Panel further notes that no objection was made by the Respondent to the proceeding being in English nor any request made that the proceedings be conducted in Russian, the language of the Registration Agreement. This was despite the Center notifying the Respondent in Russian and English that the Respondent is invited to present its objection to the proceedings being held in English and if the Center did not hear from the Respondent by a certain date, the Center would proceed on the basis that the Respondent had no objection to the Complainant’s request that English be the language of the proceedings. The Respondent had the opportunity to raise objections or make known its preference, but did not do so.

The Panel also finds that substantial additional expense and delay would likely be incurred if the Complaint had to be translated into Russian.

Taking all these circumstances into account, the Panel finds that it is appropriate to exercise its discretion and allow the proceedings to be conducted in English.

B. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The gTLD “.moscow” in the disputed domain name is viewed as a standard registration requirement and may be disregarded for the purposes of the confusing similarity test (see, e.g., Rexel Developpements SAS v. Zhan Yequn, WIPO Case No. D2017-0275).

According to section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 where the relevant trademark is recognizable within the disputed domain name, the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless, or otherwise) would not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the first element. The Panel finds that the Complainant has Trademark rights in ELECTROLUX and further in the present case the addition of descriptive term “service” and dash to the disputed domain name does not prevent its confusing similarity with the Complainant’s trademark.

Considering the above the Panel finds the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark, therefore, the Complainant has established its case under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

C. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has established prima facie that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Furthermore, the Respondent provided no evidence that it holds a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.

The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, which could demonstrate its right or legitimate interest (see, e.g., World Natural Bodybuilding Federation, Inc. v. Daniel Jones TheDotCafe, WIPO Case No. D2008-0642).

The Complainant did not license or otherwise agree for use of its priory registered trademarks by the Respondent, thus no actual or contemplated bona fide or legitimate use of the disputed domain name could be reasonably claimed (see, e.g., Sportswear Company S.P.A. v. Tang Hong, WIPO Case No. D2014-1875).

According to section 2.8.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 resellers, distributors using a domain name containing complainant’s trademark to undertake sales related to the complainant’s goods may be making a bona fide offering of goods and thus have a legitimate interest in such domain name. Outlined in Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903 (the “Oki Data Test”), the following cumulative requirements will be applied in the specific conditions of a UDRP case:

(i) the respondent must actually be offering the goods at issue;

(ii) the respondent must use the site to sell only the trademarked goods;

(iii) the site must accurately and prominently disclose the registrant’s relationship with trademark holder; and

(iv) the respondent must not try to “corner the market” in domain names reflecting trademark.

The Panel finds that the Respondent failed to satisfy at least the third above requirement and did not in any way disclose its actual relationship with the Complainant, and thus failed to pass the Oki Data Test. The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name misleads consumers into thinking that the website is operated by or affiliated with the Complainant. As such, the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name cannot be considered bona fide.

Considering the above the Panel finds the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Therefore, the Complainant has established its case under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to purport to provide repair services for the Complainant’s products shows that at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name the Respondent clearly knew and targeted Complainant’s prior registered and famous trademark, which confirms the bad faith (see, e.g., The Gap, Inc. v. Deng Youqian, WIPO Case No. D2009-0113).

According to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith: by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location. In this case, the disputed domain name was resolving to a website featuring the Complainant’s trademark and making and impression of being official Complainant’s or licensed local website to intentionally attract Internet users by creating likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source of the website and its services. The Panel finds the above confirms the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith.

Although at the time of this decision the disputed domain name resolves to inactive web-page, its previous bad faith use and lack of explanation of possible good faith use from the Respondent makes any good faith use of the disputed domain name implausible. Thus, the current passive holding of the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of bad faith (see, e.g., Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. v. Privacy Protection, Hosting Ukraaine LLC / Виталий Броцман (Vitalii Brocman), WIPO Case No. DPW2017-0003).

Moreover, the Respondent failed to respond to the Complainant’s cease and desist letter, and did not provide any good reason to justify this, which further suggests bad faith (see, e.g., Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin v. Vaclav Novotny, WIPO Case No. D2009-1022).

Considering the above the Panel finds the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Therefore, the Complainant has established its case under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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, <electrolux-service.moscow> be transferred to the Complainant.

Taras Kyslyy
Sole Panelist
Date: June 24, 2019