WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Nitesh Nigam

Case No. D2019-1159

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Inter IKEA Systems B.V., Netherlands, represented by Fidus Law Chambers, India.

The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, Unites States of America / Nitesh Nigam, India.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <ikeahyderabad.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 18, 2019. On May 20, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 21, 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 on May 27, 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 May 29, 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 June 5, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 25, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 26, 2019.

The Center appointed Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira as the sole panelist in this matter on July 2, 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 Inter IKEA Systems BV, brand owner for the Inter IKEA Group, which comprises service companies and companies selling IKEA products in several markets.

The mark IKEA originated in 1943 when the Complainant’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad created it, as an acronym of the initials of his own name, the farm he grew up in (Elmtaryd) and his hometown, (Agunnaryd). This acronym – IKEA – has no meaning and is completely original and creative.

The Complainant now comprises over 428 stores worldwide, operating in 52 countries including throughout European Union, the United States of America and Australasia.

The Complainant is the owner of the IKEA trademark and company name, and owns several trademark registrations granted worldwide for the IKEA Mark, including the India trade mark No: 616434, registered on January 12, 1994. The Complainant has been using the IKEA Mark since the forties.

As evidenced by the documents attached to the Complaint, the Complainant’s IKEA Mark was extensively promoted, without limitation, in print advertisements, promotional materials, Internet forums, etc. As stated, the Complainant has a significant portfolio of trademark registrations, domain registrations and a reputation in the IKEA brand.

The disputed domain name was registered on June 7, 2018 and resolved to a webpage that mirrored the official webpage of the Complainant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant is the owner of the trademark IKEA, which is object of a considerable number of registrations worldwide. The Complainant also owns several domain name registrations. Proof of these allegations were presented as annexes F and G to the Complaint. The Complainant further submits that due to the Complainant’s operations, the IKEA Mark has acquired international recognition and is necessarily linked to the Complainant.

The IKEA Mark is associated to the Complainant’s core business. It was created by the founder of the Complainant as an acronym that comprises the initials of his own name, Ingvar Kamprad, the farm he grew up in (Elmtaryd) and his hometown (Agunnaryd). This acronym – IKEA – has no meaning and is completely original and creative.

The use of the mark started more than 70 years ago. The Complainant submits it has been recognized for its business services and brand recognition, as demonstrated by the compilation of documents presented with the Complaint.

Further, the registration and use of the IKEA Mark predates the registration of the disputed domain name, and the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the IKEA Mark.

The disputed domain name contains the IKEA Mark in association with the name “hyderabad”. The disputed domain name contains the IKEA trademark in its entirety, associated with the name of the city of Hyderabad, India, where it is particularly known, which demonstrates in the Complainant’s view a clear attempt to create confusion and mislead consumers.

Furthermore, the disputed domain name was registered immediately after the announcement of the opening of an establishment from the Complainant in the city of Hyderabad, India.

The Complainant submitted evidence of the renown of the Complainant and of the IKEA Mark in India, as well as news on the opening of the new establishment in Hyderabad, as annexes E, F, H and L of the Complaint.

The disputed domain name directs to a webpage that mirrored the official webpage of the Complainant, as shown in annex M to the Complaint. Further, the Complainant alleges that by clicking any of the photographs displayed on the website, the visitor is redirected to “www.ikea.com/in/en/”

Additionally, the Complainant alleges that the registration and use of the disputed domain name intentionally misleads Internet users, as it gives the impression that it is associated with or is sponsored by the Complainant, which shows that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

The Policy, in its paragraph 4(a), determines that three elements must be presented and duly proven by a complainant to obtain relief. These elements are:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(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 disputed domain name is, indeed, confusingly similar to the IKEA Mark, as the latter is entirely incorporated in the disputed domain name with the addition of the geographic name “Hyderabad”.

The Complainant has presented consistent evidence of ownership of the IKEA Mark in jurisdictions throughout the world, including in India, by presenting international trademark registrations, as well as comprehensive evidence of the use of the trademark.

The use of the IKEA Mark with the addition of the geographical term “Hyderabad” in the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.8.

Given the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has met the requirements under the first element of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

There is clear evidence that the IKEA Mark is registered in the Complainant’s name and is widely known as identifying the Complainant’s activities, and that the Complainant has not licensed this trademark to the Respondent. Hence, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. In the absence of a Response, the Respondent has not rebutted such prima facie case.

It has also been shown that the Respondent is making a questionable use of the disputed domain name, redirecting it to a website that reproduces the one of the Complainant’s.

The Panel, thus, finds for the Complainant under the second element of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Given the circumstances of this case, the facts evidence the Respondent’s bad faith in the registration and use of the disputed domain name.

The Respondent intended to give an overall impression that the disputed domain name is associated with the Complainant’s business, and the Panel accepts that the disputed domain name may be intended for unlawful purposes. The Respondent’s redirection to a copy of the Complainant’s website further shows that it is attempting to mislead consumers into believing that the disputed domain name is associated or affiliated with the Complainant, when it is not.

All the points above lead to the conclusion by this Panel that the Respondent was fully aware of the Complainant and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has also proved the third element 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 <ikeahyderabad.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira
Sole Panelist
Date: July 16, 2019