WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Intel Corporation v. Nombre Administracion
Case No. D2020-2540
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Intel Corporation, United States of America (“United States”), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services Group AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Nombre Administracion, Portugal.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <intelcore.com> is registered with DropExtra.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 1, 2020. On October 1, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 7, 2020, 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 October 7, 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 October 9, 2020.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the 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 October 9, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 29, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 8, 2020.
The Center appointed Gareth Dickson as the sole panelist in this matter on November 19, 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 global technology company headquartered in Silicon Valley in the United States. The Complainant manufactures semiconductor chips, microprocessors, and motherboard chipsets in addition to other devices related to communications and computing.
The Complainant is the owner of a number of trade mark registrations around the world for INTEL CORE (the “Mark”), including the following registrations:
- European Union Trade Mark registration number 004632691 for INTEL CORE, registered on August 2, 2006; and
- United States trade mark registration number 3349705 for INTEL CORE, registered on December 4, 2007.
The disputed domain name was registered on July 8, 2020. The disputed domain name resolves to a parking page populated with advertising links related to laptops, laptop desks, computer and systems design questions and gaming parts for PCs. At the bottom of this page is a notice stating that the disputed domain name may be for sale.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant argues that it has rights in the Mark by virtue of its ownership of various trade mark registrations for the Mark around the world. It contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Mark since it is comprised solely of the Mark, without the space, under the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”.
It alleges that the disputed domain name is being used to direct Internet users to pay-per-click links and that the Respondent has listed the disputed domain name for sale.
The Complainant states that the Respondent is not affiliated with or connected to the Complainant in any way and has not been given any permission to use the Marks, in the disputed domain name or otherwise.
The Complainant submits that there is no evidence to suggest that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name or has ever used or demonstrated preparations to use it in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The Complainant failed to renew the registration for the disputed domain name and inadvertently allowed this domain to lapse and it submits that the registration of the disputed domain name by the Respondent, an unrelated third party, is evidence of the Respondent’s lack of rights and legitimate interests.
It argues that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant when choosing the disputed domain name as the Mark, according to the Complainant, is known internationally and has no other meaning than as a designation of the Complainant.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Mark, contrary to the Policy. It contends that the current use of the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to pay‑per‑click links is use in bad faith under the Policy. Finally, it argues that offering to sell the disputed domain name, for valuable consideration in excess of their out-of-pocket expenses, demonstrates the Respondent’s bad faith.
The Complainant notes too that the Respondent has used a privacy service to conceal its identity for as long as possible.
Together, the Complainant submits that it is more likely than not that the Respondent knew of and targeted the Complainant’s Mark, and that it should be found to have registered and be using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant bears the burden of proving that:
a) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
b) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
c) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
These criteria are cumulative. The failure of the Complainant to prove any one of these elements means the Complaint must be denied.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel accepts that the Complainant is the owner of, and therefore has rights in, the Mark.
Section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) provides that “[w]hile each case is judged on its own merits, in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark for purposes of UDRP standing”. Such consideration applies here, where the disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of the Mark, minus the space (which cannot in any event be reproduced in a domain name).
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Mark. The addition of the generic gTLD “.com” does not alter this conclusion.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Although a complainant is required to demonstrate that a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, as explained in section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0, the consensus view of previous UDRP panels is that where a complainant establishes 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 disputed domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element.
In the current proceeding, the Complainant has established its prima facie case. The Complainant states that it has not given the Respondent permission to use the Mark, in a domain name or otherwise, and submits that the Respondent has not been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
There is no evidence that the Respondent has acquired any common law rights to use the Mark, is commonly known by the disputed domain name or has chosen to use the Mark in the disputed domain name in any descriptive manner or is making any use of the disputed domain name that would establish rights or legitimate interests as a result of a noncommercial or fair use of it.
The redirection of Internet users to a website offering pay-per-click links does not constitute a bona fide sale of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use within the meaning of the Policy. Section 2.9 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 states that: “Panels have found that the use of a domain name to host a parked page comprising PPC links does not represent a bona fide offering where such links compete with or capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of the complainant’s mark or otherwise mislead Internet users”. The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to provide links relating to the business the Complainant has built through use of the Mark, without the Complainant’s authorisation and without any return to the Complainant, means that the Respondent’s links both compete with the Complainant and capitalise on its reputation and goodwill in the Mark.
By not participating in these proceedings, the Respondent has failed to refute the Complainant’s prima facie case that it has met its burden under the second UDRP element.
As clearly stated in section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0, “a panel’s assessment will normally be made on the basis of the evidence presented in the complaint and any filed response. The panel may draw inferences from the absence of a response as it considers appropriate, but will weigh all available evidence irrespective of whether a response is filed”. Having reviewed and weighed the available evidence, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel notes that the disputed domain name was registered many years after the Mark was registered and accepts the evidence that the disputed domain name was chosen by reference to the Mark.
As a result, and in the absence of evidence from the Respondent that the similarity of the disputed domain name to the Mark is coincidental or permitted, the Panel must conclude that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s rights in the Mark when it registered the disputed domain name, and that it registered it in bad faith since it attempted to appropriate for the Respondent, without the consent or authorisation of the Complainant, rights in the Complainant’s Mark.
The disputed domain name is also being used in bad faith. It is being used for a commercial purpose that involves redirecting Internet users (in particular those seeking the Complainant) to competitors of the Complainant.
The Respondent has not sought to explain its registration and use of the disputed domain name, has attempted to conceal its identity, and has not participated in these proceedings. There is also no obvious use of the disputed domain name by the Respondent that would not be illegitimate and therefore there is no basis for the Panel to conclude that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is justified.
Therefore, and on the basis of the information available to it, the Panel must, and does, find that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to use of the disputed domain name to capitalize on, or otherwise take advantage of, the Complainant’s Mark, is without justification and is inconsistent with the Complainant’s exclusive rights in the Mark. Consideration of these and other factors militates in favour of a finding of bad faith.
For the reasons discussed under this and the preceding heading, the Panel considers that the Respondent’s conduct in this case constitutes bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name 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 disputed domain name, <intelcore.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 5, 2020