WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
VCK Holding B.V. v. Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp.
Case No. D2020-0508
1. The Parties
Complainant is VCK Holding B.V., Netherlands, represented by Novagraaf Nederland B.V., Netherlands.
Respondent is Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp., Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <vcklogistics.net> is registered with Internet Domain Service BS Corp (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 3, 2020. On March 3, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 4, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 9, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 29, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on March 30, 2020.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on April 23, 2020. 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
Complainant is based in the Netherlands and is in the business of providing transport, distribution and storage services, business management services for transport companies and design and development of computer software for logistics. Complainant has used the mark VCK LOGISTICS in connection with its business since 2007.
Complainant is the owner of the following trademark registrations for VCK LOGISTICS in word and design form:
- Benelux trademark registration No. 0967486, filed on November 17, 2014 and registered on March 4, 2015;
- International Registration No. 1248977, registered on March 18, 2015.
Complainant operates a website at “www.vcklogistics.com”, registered on January 27, 2010. Complainant previously operated a website at “www.vcklogistics.nl”, registered on August 23, 2006. This domain name now redirects to Complainant’s international website at “www.vcklogistics.com”.
The disputed domain name was created on February 9, 2020. Complainant provided evidence that the disputed domain name resolved to a website offering escrow and shipping services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to or confusingly similar with Complainant’s trademark, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in their claim, Complainants must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainants have rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to decide a complaint “on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable”.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has demonstrated that it has rights in the trademark VCK LOGISTICS in connection with transportation, distribution and storage services, and other services related thereto. The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s mark in its entirety. The differences between Complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name are the removal of the space between “vck” and “logistics” and addition of Top-Level Domain (“TLD”). These differences do not add any distinguishing feature. In addition, the Panel notes that Respondent has registered the “.net” TLD, whereas Complainant’s domain name uses the “.com” TLD.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to or confusingly similar with Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant contends that Respondent is not affiliated with or connected to Complainant in any way. At no time has Complainant licensed or otherwise endorsed, sponsored or authorized Respondent to use Complainant’s mark or register the disputed domain name. The record is devoid of any facts that establish any rights or legitimate interests of Respondent in the disputed domain name. There is no evidence that Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name or that it has any rights that might predate Complainant’s adoption and use of the VCK LOGISTICS mark, domain name <vcklogistics.com> and associated website. Complainant’s first use of the VCK LOGISTICS mark dates back to as early as 2007, over a decade ago and well before the registration of the disputed domain name in February 2020.
The disputed domain name resolves to a website offering escrow and shipping services from a business address in Kalochori, Greece. Complainant attached evidence of actual examples of consumers being misled by the disputed domain name into thinking that they were conducting business with Complainant while they were in fact in contact with Respondent.
Respondent has not made, and is not making, a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with the bona fide offering of goods or services. The disputed domain name is being used to misdirect consumers to Respondent’s website offering competing services.
In addition, as demonstrated by Respondent’s use of Complainant’s mark in connection with competing services, the record indicates that Respondent was well aware of Complainant’s mark and knowingly adopted Complainant’s mark in the disputed domain name in an effort to divert Internet consumers searching for Complainant to Respondent’s website.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Respondent appears to have registered the disputed domain name through a privacy service – Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp. in Nassau, Bahamas. The Registrar has confirmed this privacy service is the registrant of the disputed domain name. The Panel notes that the website at the disputed domain name provides the contact information as […]@vcklogistics.net, which is different from the email address confirmed by the Registrar for Respondent.
The record indicates that the disputed domain name is being used to mislead and lure Internet consumers seeking Complainant’s services to a website offering competing services in Greece. This is not a bona fide use of the disputed domain name. The record indicates that Respondent most likely had actual knowledge of Complainant’s trademark rights prior to registering the disputed domain name and that Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name for commercial gain by intentionally creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name 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 <vcklogistics.net> be transferred to Complainant.
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Date: May 17, 2020