WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Klarna Bank AB v. Fundacion Privacy Services LTD
Case No. D2020-2513
1. The Parties
Complainant is Klarna Bank AB, Sweden, represented by SILKA AB, Sweden.
Respondent is Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain names <klaarna.com>, <klanrna.com>, <klarnea.com>, <klarnsa.com>, and <klnarna.com> (the “Disputed Domain Names”) are registered with Media Elite Holdings Limited dba Register Matrix (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 29, 2020. On September 29, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Names. On October 12, 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 October 13, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 2, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on November 3, 2020.
The Center appointed Douglas M. Isenberg as the sole panelist in this matter on November 5, 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 states that it is “a Swedish e-commerce company that provides payment services for online storefronts”; that it was “founded in Stockholm in 2005 and is one of Europe’s fastest growing companies, and offers safe and easy-to-use payment solutions to e- stores”; that it has “more than 1,400 employees and is active on 18 markets”; and that it “serve[s] 45 million consumers and work with 65,000 merchants, attracting major international clients such as Spotify, Disney, Samsung, Wish and ASOS.”
Complainant states, and provides evidence to support, that it is the owner of the trademark KLARNA “in numerous of countries all over the world,” including International Reg. No. 1,066,079 (registered December 21, 2010) for use in connection with services in classes 35 and 36. These trademarks are referred to herein as the “KLARNA Trademark.”
The Disputed Domain Names were created on June 1, 2020 (<klaarna.com>), May 18, 2020 (<klanrna.com>), July 28, 2020 (<klarnea.com> and <klarnsa.com>), and August 4, 2020 (<klnarna.com>) and, according to the Complaint, resolve “to a website that provides links, of which some are directly referencing the Complainant and the Complainant’s line of business.”
Complainant states that it sent a cease and desist letter to Respondent on May 10, 2017, and a reminder on July 7, 2020, but never received a response.1
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends, in relevant part, as follows:
- Each of the Disputed Domain Names is confusingly similar to the KLARNA Trademark because they are “virtually identical to and an obvious misspelling of the Complainant’s KLARNA trademark” with “[t]he only difference between the Domain Names and the Complainant’s KLARNA trademark is the adding of the letters ‘a’, and ‘e’ and ‘s’ and the swopping [sic] of letters (a and n)” and, therefore, “Respondent is clearly engaged in ‘typosquatting’, whereby the Domain Names deliberately introduces slight deviations.”
- Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Names because, inter alia, “Respondent has made no claims to neither having any relevant prior rights of its own, or to having become commonly known by the Domain Name[s]”; and “linking a domain name to such service, with a trademark owner’s name in mind, and in the hope and expectation that internet users searching for information about the business activities of the trademark owner will be directed to that parking service page, is a different matter and does not provide a legitimate interest in that domain name under the… Policy.”
- The Disputed Domain Names were registered and are being used in bad faith because, inter alia, “Complainant’s trademarks predate the registration of the Domain Names”; “Complainant cannot find that [Respondent] has any registered rights in the name KLARNA or has become known under the name KLARNA”; Respondent has not responded to Complainant’s cease and desist letter;2 “use of the Domain Name[s] for a commercial website without the Complainant’s consent cannot be considered as good faith use of the Domain Name[s]”; and because “KLARNA is a well-known trademark in the financial industry… [i]t is highly unlikely that Respondent was not aware of the rights Complainant has in the trademark and the value of said trademark, at the point of the registration.”
The Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to the Policy, Complainant is required to prove the presence of each of the following three elements to obtain the relief it has requested: (i) the Disputed Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; (ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Names; and (iii) the Disputed Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith. Policy, paragraph 4(a).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Based upon the trademark registrations cited by Complainant, it is apparent that Complainant has rights in and to the KLARNA Trademark.
As to whether the Disputed Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to the KLARNA Trademark, the relevant comparison to be made is with the second-level portion of the Disputed Domain Names only (i.e., “klaarna”, “klanrna”, “klarnea”, “klarnsa” and “klnarna”) because “[t]he applicable Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) in a domain name (e.g., “.com”, “.club”, “.nyc”) is viewed as a standard registration requirement and as such is disregarded under the first element confusing similarity test”. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.1.
A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element.
This stems from the fact that the domain name contains sufficiently recognizable aspects of the relevant mark. Under the second and third elements, panels will normally find that employing a misspelling in this way signals an intention on the part of the respondent (typically corroborated by infringing website content) to confuse users seeking or expecting the complainant.
Examples of such typos include (i) adjacent keyboard letters, (ii) substitution of similar-appearing characters (e.g., upper vs lower-case letters or numbers used to look like letters), (iii) the use of different letters that appear similar in different fonts, (iv) the use of non-Latin internationalized or accented characters, (v) the inversion of letters and numbers, or (vi) the addition or interspersion of other terms or numbers.
Here, it is obvious that each of the Disputed Domain Names contains an intentional misspelling of the KLARNA Trademark and that the KLARNA Trademark is sufficiently recognizable in each of the Disputed Domain Names.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has proven the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant has argued that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Names because, inter alia, “Respondent has made no claims to neither having any relevant prior rights of its own, or to having become commonly known by the Domain Name[s]”; and “linking a domain name to such service, with a trademark owner’s name in mind, and in the hope and expectation that internet users searching for information about the business activities of the trademark owner will be directed to that parking service page, is a different matter and does not provide a legitimate interest in that domain name under the… Policy.”
WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1, states: “[w]hile the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of ‘proving a negative’, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element.”
The Panel finds that Complainant has established its prima facie case and without any evidence from Respondent to the contrary, the Panel is satisfied that Complainant has satisfied the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Whether a domain name is registered and used in bad faith for purposes of the Policy may be determined by evaluating four (non-exhaustive) factors set forth in the Policy: (i) circumstances indicating that the registrant has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the registrant’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or (ii) the registrant has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the registrant has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or (iii) the registrant has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or (iv) by using the domain name, the registrant has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the registrant’s website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the registrant’s website or location or of a product or service on the registrant’s website or location. Policy, paragraph 4(b).
Numerous UDRP panels have found the registration and use of a domain name that is confusingly similar to a complainant’s trademark to constitute bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy where, as here, the Disputed Domain Names are associated with a monetized parking page that contains links for goods or services competing with Complainant. See, e.g., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Whois Privacy, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2005-0850; Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. v. North West Enterprise, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2006-0951; and Dr. Martens International Trading GmbH, Dr. Maertens Marketing GmbH v. Private Whois Service, WIPO Case No. D2011-1753.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has proven the third 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 Names <klaarna.com>, <klanrna.com>, <klarnea.com>, <klarnsa.com>, and <klnarna.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Douglas M. Isenberg
Date: November 16, 2020
1 The Panel notes that the date of the letter as described by Complainant is more than three years before any of the Disputed Domain Names were created – so, perhaps Complainant intended to refer to the year 2020 instead of the year 2017, but the Panel cannot be sure. Furthermore, although the body of the Complaint purports to include a copy of the letter as an annex, no such letter is actually included in the case file as reviewed by the Panel but only an email to the Registrar asking to forward the cease and desist letter to the registrant of the Disputed Domain Names. Accordingly, the Panel does not consider this reference to a cease and desist letter in reaching its decision.
2 See footnote 1, supra.