WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Dell Inc. v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Vijay Anand, Raj Kumar, Trading as Laptop store (previously known as Itel Computers)
Case No. D2019-1560
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Dell Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by AZB & Partners, India.
The Respondents are Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, United States / Vijay Anand, India, and Raj Kumar, Trading as Laptop store (previously known as Itel Computers), India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <dellservicescentre.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 July 3, 2019. On July 5, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 5, 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 July 12, 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 July 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 July 30, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 19, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 20, 2019.
The Center appointed Alistair Payne as the sole panelist in this matter on September 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 a direct seller of computer systems. It has operated since 1984 and since that time has become one of the leading providers of computer systems to large enterprises and sells more than 100,000 systems every day to customers in 180 countries, including in India. It owns numerous trade mark registrations worldwide for its DELL trade mark including in particular Indian registration 575115 for DELL registered on June 15, 1992, and its products have been available in India under the DELL mark since 1993 both through channel partners, authorised distributors and resellers, and directly through its website at “www.dell.com”.
The disputed domain name is registered in the name of the Respondent, Mr Vijay Anand. Mr Raj Kumar, trading as The Laptop Store and previously known as Itel Computers, is also listed as a Respondent, because the email address for the disputed domain name includes the “itelcomputer” name. Both Respondents are based in India. The disputed domain name was registered on June 12, 2019.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that it owns registered trade mark rights for its DELL mark as set out above and, that as a consequence of very substantial use its DELL mark, it is a well-known mark. It notes that it provides post sale maintenance and repair services and that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name incorporating the DELL mark in relation to identical services.
The Complainant further says that the Respondent has no right to use the DELL mark and such use has not been authorised or licensed by the Complainant. It also says that the Respondent is not making a noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
As far as bad faith is concerned, the Respondent says that the disputed domain name has been registered and used by the Respondent with a dishonest intention to mislead the public into thinking that the Respondent is operating an authorised service center for the Complainant. The Complainant notes that the website to which the disputed domain name redirects incorporates language, including use of the DELL mark itself, that is intended to confuse Internet users into thinking that the Respondent’s business is affiliated with the Complainant, or in the alternative, is a genuine Dell service center. It says that in doing this, the Respondent has sought to lure Internet users to its website rather than the Complainant’s for its own illegal gains.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has demonstrated that it owns registered trade mark rights in Indian trade mark registration 575115 for DELL registered on June 15, 1992. The disputed domain name wholly contains the Complainant’s DELL mark and is therefore confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trade mark. The other element of the disputed domain name, namely the expression “servicecentre” is a common term that does not distinguish the disputed domain name or detract from a finding of confusing similarity. As a result, the Panel finds that the Complaint succeeds under this element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has submitted that the DELL mark is well known as a consequence of very considerable use worldwide and in India for many years. It says that the Respondent has no right to use the DELL mark and that such use has neither been authorised nor licensed by the Complainant. It has submitted that the Respondent is neither making a noncommercial nor a fair use of the disputed domain name and that unauthorized use of the Complainant’s DELL mark in the disputed domain name and on the website to which it resolves, is calculated to mislead Internet users and amounts to dishonest and illegal use of the Complainant’s trade mark.
Based in particular on the very high degree of renown attaching to the DELL mark and the apparent use of the disputed domain name by the Respondent to mislead Internet users, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. This case has not been rebutted by the Respondent and accordingly and also for the reasons set out under Part C below, the Panel finds that the Complaint also succeeds under this element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant’s Indian registration 575115 for DELL was registered on June 15, 1992, and its products have been available in India under the DELL mark since 1993. In view of the degree of renown attaching to the DELL mark and considering that the Respondent has even used the DELL mark on the website to which the disputed domain name re-directs in attempting to represent itself as being a service agent for DELL products, the Panel infers that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and of its DELL trade marks at the date of registration of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent has used the disputed domain name to resolve to a website on which it uses the DELL mark and logo and sets out a list of “authorized and non-authorized service centers contacts” for DELL products together with an email enquiry form for the “dell laptop service centre in bangalore”. This is an apparent attempt to confuse Internet users into thinking that the Respondent’s business is somehow affiliated with the Complainant, or in the alternative, is a genuine Dell service center in order for the Respondent to profit from the confusion. The Panel finds that such use amounts to intentionally attempting to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the affiliation or sponsorship of the Respondent’s website under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy and this amounts to evidence of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Panel’s view in this regard is only reinforced by the first Respondent’s use of a privacy service and by the evidence put forward by the Complainant that the contact email address for the disputed domain name is an email address for the second Respondent who has been involved in various proceedings involving disputed domain names containing the DELL mark.
As a result, the Panel finds that the Respondent has both registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith and that the Complaint also succeeds under this 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 <dellservicescentre.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 10, 2019