WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Sandvik Intellectual Property AB v. Bin Shen
Case No. D2019-2258
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Sandvik Intellectual Property AB, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Bin Shen, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sandviktool.com> is registered with Alibaba Cloud Computing (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 17, 2019. On September 18, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 24, 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 September 24, 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 amendment to the Complaint in English on September 26, 2019.
On September 24, 2019, the Center transmitted an email in English and Chinese to the Parties regarding the language of the proceeding. The Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceeding on September 26, 2019. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 in English and Chinese of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on October 7, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 27, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 28, 2019.
The Center appointed Sebastian M.W. Hughes as the sole panelist in this matter on November 5, 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 company incorporated in Sweden in 1986 and is the intellectual property holding company for the Sandvik group of companies, a high-tech global engineering group (the “Group”). In 2018, the Group had approximately 42,000 employees and sales of SEK 100 billion in more than 150 countries.
The Group’s subsidiary company in China, and the operator of the Group’s Chinese language website at “www.home.sandvik/cn”, is Sandvik China Holding Co. Ltd, with its headquarters in Beijing.
The Complainant is the owner of several registrations in jurisdictions worldwide for the word and device mark SANDVIK (the “Trade Mark”), including international trade mark registration No. 1039878, with a registration date of February 2, 2010 (designating China); and Chinese trade mark registration No. 287182, with a registration date of May 20, 1987. The Complainant has used the Trade Mark for several decades worldwide in respect of its high-tech engineering products and services.
The Respondent is apparently an individual resident in China.
C. The Disputed Domain Name
The disputed domain name was registered on November 11, 2018.
D. Use of the Disputed Domain Name
Prior to the filling of the Complaint, the disputed domain name was resolved to a Chinese language website apparently operated by a former customer of the Complainant in China, and offering for sale the Complainant’s products under the Trade Mark (the “Website”). At the date of this Decision, the Website had been taken down, and the disputed domain name was not being used.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Trade Mark, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1. Language of the Proceeding
The language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is Chinese. Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11, in the absence of an agreement between the Parties, or unless specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement.
Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules allows the panel to determine the language of the proceeding having regard to all the circumstances. In particular, it is established practice to take paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules into consideration for the purpose of determining the language of the proceeding, in order to ensure fairness to the parties and the maintenance of an inexpensive and expeditious avenue for resolving domain name disputes. Language requirements should not lead to undue burdens being placed on the parties and undue delay to the proceeding.
The Complainant has requested that the language of the proceeding be English, for the following reasons:
(i) The disputed domain name is an English language domain name;
(ii) The Respondent has not responded to the Complainant’s cease and desist letter and its reminders; and
(ii) There would be unnecessary additional cost and delay if the proceeding were to be conducted in Chinese.
The Panel would have accepted a response in Chinese, but the Respondent did not file a response and did not file any submissions with respect to the language of the proceeding.
In exercising its discretion to use a language other than that of the Registration Agreement, the Panel has to exercise such discretion judicially in the spirit of fairness and justice to both Parties, taking into account all relevant circumstances of the case, including matters such as the Parties’ ability to understand and use the proposed language, time and costs.
Although there appears to be insufficient evidence before the Panel to support a firm conclusion that the Respondent is conversant in English, the Panel notes that the Respondent has chosen not to contest this proceeding; and that all of the Center’s communications with the Parties have been sent in the Chinese and English languages. The Panel is also mindful of the need to ensure the proceeding is conducted in a timely and cost effective manner.
In all the circumstances, the Panel therefore finds it is not foreseeable that the Respondent would be prejudiced, should English be adopted as the language of the proceeding.
Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that the language of the proceeding shall be English.
6.2. Substantive Elements of the Policy
The Complainant must prove each of the three elements in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to prevail.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the Trade Mark acquired through use and registration.
The disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of the Trade Mark (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7) together with the word “tool”, a word directly descriptive of the Complainant’s products.
Where a relevant trade mark is recognisable within a disputed domain name, the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless, or otherwise) does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the first element (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.8).
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Trade Mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of non-exhaustive circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that a respondent has rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name:
(i) before any notice to the respondent of the dispute, the respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the disputed domain name even if the respondent has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.
The Complainant has not authorised, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the disputed domain name or to use the Trade Mark. The Panel finds on the record that there is therefore a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the burden is thus on the Respondent to produce evidence to rebut this presumption.
The Respondent has failed to show that he has acquired any trade mark rights in respect of the disputed domain name or that the disputed domain name has been used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
Although the Website apparently previously offered for sale the Complainant’s products, it did not “accurately and prominently disclose the registrant’s relationship with the trademark holder” (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.8.1). To the contrary, the operator of the Website was holding itself out as a “Sandvik agent”, contrary to the fact.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
In all the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In light of the manner of the prior use of the disputed domain name highlighted in Section 6.2.B. above, the Panel finds that the requisite element of bad faith has been made out, under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Panel finds the Respondent’s conduct in taking down the Website after notification of the Complaint, and taking no part in this proceeding, provides further support for a finding of bad faith for the purposes of the Policy.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <sandviktool.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sebastian M.W. Hughes
Dated: November 19, 2019