WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Monster Energy Company v. Nikita Serov, Serovangecy
Case No. D2020-2054
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Monster Energy Company, United States of America (“United States” or “U.S”), represented by Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, LLP, United States.
The Respondent is Nikita Serov, Serovangecy, Russian Federation.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <monsterenergy.cloud> (the “Domain Name”) 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 August 4, 2020. On August 4, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On August 5, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint.
The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on August 17, 2020, 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 August 22, 2020.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with 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 August 26, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 15, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 17, 2020.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on September 24, 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 the owner of the MONSTER ENERGY brand used in connection with beverages, clothing, sports gear, stickers, and other products and services. The Complainant has used the mark in commerce since 2002. The Complainant sells its beverage throughout the United States and most other countries. Since the launch in 2002, the Complainant has sold more than 28 billion cans worldwide, and now sells approximately 3.9 billion cans per year worldwide. The sales have generated more than USD 30 billion in gross worldwide sales.
The Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations in many countries, for example registrations for its MONSTER ENERGY trademarks in Russian Federation, where the Respondent appears to be located. The Complainant has marketed and promoted the trademark also on apparel and merchandise distributed in outlets, in magazines, through sponsorships and on the Complainant’s websites. The main web site has had over 62.7 million visits. The Complainant and its trademark are present on social media.
The Domain Name was registered on June 26, 2020. At the time the Complaint was submitted, the Complainant has provided evidence that the Domain Name resolved to a login page that was illegible. At the time of drafting the Decision, the Domain Name resolved to a blurred webpage with login access.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant provides evidence of trademark registrations. The Complainant argues that its trademark is well known, and that the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not authorized to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name as it has not made any use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The Complainant believes the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark when the Respondent registered the Domain Name, and the registration and use of the Domain Name therefore was in bad faith. According to the Complainant, the Respondent’s use of a proxy service to hide its identity is further evidence of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark MONSTER ENERGY.
The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark, save the omission of the space between the two words. For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel may ignore the Top-Level Domain “.cloud”; see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.11.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical and confusingly similar to trademarks in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made unrebutted assertions that it has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register the Domain Name containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of its mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights. There is no evidence that the Respondent can establish rights in the Domain Name, through use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted prima facie case. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s well-known trademark. Based on the case file, it is highly probable that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. It is likely that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent’s use of a proxy service to hide its identity is in this case further evidence of bad faith.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 Domain Name <monsterenergy.cloud> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 9, 2020