WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Royal Unibrew A/S v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243506790 / John Michael Stolp

Case No. D2019-1205

1. The Parties

Complainant is Royal Unibrew A/S, Denmark, represented internally.

Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243506790, Canada / John Michael Stolp, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <royalsunibrew.com> is registered with Google LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 27, 2019. On May 27, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 27, 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 Complainant on May 31, 2019 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on June 4, 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 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. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 26, 2019.

The Center appointed David Perkins as the sole panelist in this matter on July 16, 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

4.A. Complainant

4.A.1 Complainant produces, markets, sells and distributes under the ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark a variety of beverages including beer, malt drinks and soft drinks, including soda water, mineral water and fruit juices as well as cider and long drinks. The Amended Complaint states that Complainant, which is headquartered in Denmark, “...is a leading regional player in a number of markets in Western and Eastern Europe and in the international malt drinks market.”

4.A.2 Complainant refers to its website for additional information about the company. This provides information about its various brands and refers to its partnerships with Heineken and PepsiCo under which it sells their products under license in Northern Europe. Complainant’s own brands include “Ceres”, “Faxe”, “Albani” and “Royal.” In its 2018 Annual Report Complainant describes its markets in the following terms:

“Our main markets are Denmark, Finland, Italy, France and Germany, as well as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. To these should be added the International markets comprising a number of established markets in the Americas region and major cities in Europe and North America as well as emerging markets in for example Africa.”

Complainant, then called Bryggerigruppen, was founded in 1989 through the merger of several breweries with an additional merger in 2000. In 2005 it changed to its current name, Royal Unibrew.

The Report states that Complainant has 2,416 employees and in 2018 generated net revenues DDK 7,298 million.

The ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark:

4.A.3 Exhibited to the Amended Complaint are particulars of the following registered trade marks:

Country

Registration No.

Mark

Classes of goods/services

Date of registration

Denmark

2005-00738

ROYAL UNIBREW

5, 32 and 33

May 16, 2005

European Union Trade Mark (“EUTM”)

0854698

ROYAL UNIBREW

5 and 32

June 7, 2005

EUTM

0854695

ROYAL UNIBREW & device

5 and 32

June 7, 2005

As noted in the preceding paragraph, Complainant changed to the Royal Unibrew corporate name in 2005. It appears from the Exhibit relating to the Danish registered trade mark that it was applied for on December 8, 2004.

The ROYAL UNIBREW domain name:

4.A.4 Exhibited to the Amended Complaint are particulars of Complainant’s <royalunibrew.com> domain name, which was created on October 20, 2004.

4.A.5 Complainant’s 2018 Annual Report (referred to above) is at its website, which resolves from that domain name.

4.B Respondent

4.B.1 In the absence of a Response, what is known of Respondent is contained in the Amended Complaint and its exhibits.

4.B.2 The disputed domain name was created on November 20, 2018.

4.B.3 The disputed domain name does not appear to resolve to an active website. The print out from the disputed domain name exhibited to the Amended Complaint merely reads:

“There are no results for royalsunibrew.com. Check your spelling or try different keywords.”

4.B.4 However, exhibited to the Amended Complaint is an email dated November 20, 2018 from an unidentified third party using the name […] to […], an employee of one of Complainant’s customers. The email address of the third party sender was “[…]@royalsunibrew.com”. In fact, Mr. […] is an actual employee of Complainant. The email was forwarded to him by Complainant’s customer.

4.B.5 As is apparent from the text of the email, it was an attempt to obtain money from Complainant’s customer. The email read:

“Hello […]

Our account on file or in your system is currently undergoing the annual audit, therefore. We want to update our Bank wire instructions. We will like to receive payment in our international account until the annual audit is complete.

Our updated wire instructions attached and your statement attached, please update our wire instructions accordingly.

Best regards,

[…]
Regional Sales & Marketing Manager
The Danish Brewery Group, Inc.”

4.B.6 Complainant explains that it became aware of the disputed domain name when this email was forwarded to it by its customer.

5. Parties’ Contentions

5.A Complainant

Identical or Confusingly Similar

5.A.1 Complainant’s case is that the disputed domain name amounts to typosquatting, which has been held in previous decisions under the Policy to constitute confusing similarity. The decision in M.F.H. Fejlesztõ Korlátolt Felelõsségû v. Galib Gahramanov, WIPO Case No. D2012-1249 is cited as an example. In this case, Complainant points to the fact that the disputed domain name is identical to the ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark but for the addition of the letter “s” after “royal.”

Rights or Legitimate Interests

5.A.2 Complainant states that it has no affiliation with Respondent, nor has it authorised Respondent to use the ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark.

5.A.3 Complaint asserts that there is no evidence that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.

5.A.4 Complainant further points to the confusing similarity of the disputed domain name with its ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark (which, as explained above, dates from 2004) and the manner in which it has been used as summarised in paragraphs 4.B.4 and 5 above as indicating Respondent’s lack of rights to or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Registered and Used in Bad Faith

5.A.5 Complainant’s case is that, given the existence of its ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark since 2005 and its extensive trading activities since then, clearly the disputed domain name, which is so plainly confusingly similar to that mark, was registered in bad faith some 13 years later.

5.A.6 Further, Complainant asserts that using “@royalsunibrew.com” as an email address and attempting thereby to divert one of its customers into paying money into the sender’s bank account constitutes bad faith use of the disputed domain name.

5.B. Respondent

As noted above, no response was submitted by Respondent.

6. Discussions and Findings

6.1 The Policy paragraph 4(a) provides that Complainant must prove each of the following in order to succeed in an administrative proceeding

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

(ii) that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and

(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

6.2 The Policy paragraph 4(c) sets out circumstances which, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved shall demonstrate Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name in issue.

6.3 The Policy paragraph 4(b) sets out circumstances which, again 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.

6.4 As stated, the circumstances set out in paragraph 4(b) and 4(c) of the Policy are not exclusionary. They are without limitation. That is, the Policy expressly recognizes that other circumstances can be evidence relevant the requirements of paragraphs 4(a)(ii) and (iii) of the Policy.

Identical or Confusingly Similar

6.5. From the particulars of the registered trade marks (set out in paragraph 4.A.3 above), clearly Complainant has rights in the ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark.

6.6 Equally clearly, since the disputed domain name incorporates that trade mark in its entirety with the addition of the letter “s” after ”royal”, this is a classic case of typosquatting and, as such, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark. It is precisely within the type of confusing similarity identified in section 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).

6.7 Consequently, Complainant meets the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

6.8 There is nothing in the material contained in the Amended Complaint or its exhibits to indicate that Respondent could demonstrate any of the circumstances set out in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or other circumstances, as constituting rights to or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

6.9 Further, in the Panel’s view, the use (described in paragraphs 4.B.4 and 5 above) of the core element – “royal[s]unibrew” —of Complainant’s ROYAL UNIBREW trade mark as an email address constitutes use of the disputed domain name for an illegal activity, and as such, cannot confer rights to or legitimate interests on a respondent. See, in this respect, section 2.13.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.

6.10 Accordingly, Complainant has established its case under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

Registered and Used in Bad Faith

6.11 The Panel finds that Respondent’s typosquatting in and of itself constitutes bad faith registration of the disputed domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

6.12 As noted in paragraph 4.B.3 above, the disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website. It is established from numerous decisions under the Policy that bad faith use of a domain name — identified in section 3.4 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 — can include sending deceptive emails. For example, to solicit payment of fraudulent invoices by complainant’s customers. Such is precisely the use described in paragraphs 4.B.4 and 5 above. The Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is in bad faith.

6.13 Consequently. The Complainant satisfies the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For all 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 <royalsunibrew.com> be transferred to Complainant.

David Perkins
Sole Panelist
Date: July 19, 2019