WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Deutsche Kreditbank AG v. Martin Serge Babatounde

Case No. D2020-0763

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Deutsche Kreditbank AG, Germany, represented by K&L Gates, Germany.

The Respondent is Martin Serge Babatounde, Côte d’Ivoire.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <dkb-company.com> is registered with Hostinger, UAB (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 30, 2020. On March 31, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 1, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to the Complaint/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 April 3, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 23, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 27, 2020.

The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on May 4, 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

The Complainant is a German (online) Bank which has been operating under the commercial name “Deutsche Kreditbank” or short “DKB” since 1990.

The Complainant owns the German word mark “DKB” (Reg. No. 395 12 394, registered on March 21, 1995), the European Union trademark “DKB” (Reg. No. 006107569, registered on September 17, 2008) and the International word mark “DKB” (Reg. No. 943 513, with priority of July 30, 2007).

The Complainant further holds the domain name <dkb.de> under which the official website of the Complainant is available. The Complainant’s subsidiary, DKB Service GmbH, holds the domain name <dkb.com>, which also directs to the official website. The Complainant advertises and sells its services through its <dkb.de> domain name.

The disputed domain name was registered on March 10, 2020 and resolved to a website where banking services where offered in the German language. In the meantime, the website has been deactivated.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that it has satisfied all elements of the Policy, paragraph 4.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

On the basis of the facts and evidence introduced by the Complainant, and with regard to paragraphs 4(a), (b) and (c) of the Policy, the Panel concludes as follows:

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has submitted evidence to demonstrate its registered rights in the DKB trademark in the European Union and the DKB German and international word marks.

The DKB trademark is wholly reproduced in the disputed domain name <dkb-company.com>.

A domain name is “identical or confusingly similar” to a trademark for the purposes of the Policy when the domain name includes the trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of other terms in the domain name (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662). This includes dictionary terms like “company” because they do not constitute distinguishing elements in the domain name. Hence, the confusing similarity between the Complainant’s DKB trademark and the disputed domain name is not dispelled by the addition of the term “company”. See, WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7.

The Complainant has thus fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends that the Respondent is neither affiliated with the Complainant nor making any bona fide use of the disputed domain name.

The Respondent used the disputed domain name to host a website that offered the same or similar services as the Complainant. The website has been deleted in the meantime. Moreover, the Complainant has credibly demonstrated that the Respondent used the disputed domain name as well as an email address (“contact@dkb-company.com”) for collecting user data, especially addresses and contacts, by directing customers of the Complainant to the Respondent’s website. This cannot be considered as a bona fide offering of goods or services or a noncommercial use.

Based on the Complainant’s credible contentions, the Panel finds that the Complainant, having made out a prima facie case which remains unrebutted by the Respondent, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Under the circumstances of this case, it can be inferred that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name.

The evidence submitted by the Complainant supports a finding that the Respondent was engaged in an attempt to pass himself off as the Complainant and to attract Internet users to his website for his own commercial benefit. The Respondent therefore used the disputed domain name in bad faith (see CLAUDIE PIERLOT v. Yinglong Ma, WIPO Case No. D2018-2466).

Accordingly, the Complainant has also fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 <dkb-company.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Tobias Zuberbühler
Sole Panelist
Date: May 14, 2020