WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

LANXESS Deutschland GmbH v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1247573614 / Billy Golooba, Incept Uganda, Uganda

Case No. D2021-0006

1. The Parties

The Complainant is LANXESS Deutschland GmbH, Germany, represented by Wolpert Rechsanwälte, Germany.

The Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1247573614, Canada / Billy Golooba, Incept Uganda, Uganda.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <lanxesschem.com> is registered with Google LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 4, 2021. On January 4, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 4, 2021, 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 January 5, 2021, 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 amendment to the Complaint on January 7, 2021.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on January 22, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 11, 2021. On January 22, 2021, the Center received an informal email communication from the Respondent. The Respondent did not submit any formal Response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Commencement of Panel Appointment Process on February 16, 2021.

The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on February 23, 2021. 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 pharmaceutical company located in Cologne, Germany.

The Complainant claims to have rights in the following trademarks:

- European Union Trade Mark number 003696581 for the word mark LANXESS, registered on June 27, 2005 in International Classes 1, 2, 4, and 17, for goods and services including “chemicals used in industry”; and,

- European Union Trade Mark number 006596514 for the word mark LANXESS, registered on February 13, 2009 in International Classes 16, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28, 35, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, and 45.

The Panel notes that these trademarks are registered not by the Complainant itself, but by a company named LANXESS Trademark GmbH & Co. KG. The Complainant does not explain its relationship with this company or its entitlement to use the trademarks. However, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the lack of any Response disputing the Complainant’s rights, the Panel is prepared to infer that the Complainant is duly licensed or authorized to use the trademarks in question.

The Complainant operates a website at “www.lanxess.com”.

The disputed domain name was registered on June 28, 2020. The disputed domain name has been used to resolve to the Complainant’s website at “www.lanxess.com” and for the purpose of emails as further discussed below.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant submits that its LANXESS trademark is known in connection with its development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals, and plastics. It refers in this regard to its website at “www.lanxess.com”.

The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its LANXESS trademark. It contends in particular that the disputed domain name incorporates that trademark in its entirety, together with the additional term “chem”, which is an abbreviation for the term “chemicals”, representing the Complainant’s core business.

The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. It contends that the Respondent has not been known by the disputed domain name, but uses it to redirect to the Complainant’s own website in order falsely to give an impression of an association with the Complainant.

The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant alleges that by using the disputed domain name misleadingly to redirect to the Complainant’s own website, the Respondent has sought to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. The Complainant further alleges that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name for the purposes of email fraud. In particular, the Complainant exhibits an email sent from an email address associated with the disputed domain name, containing the Complainant’s contact details and supposedly signed with the name of one of the Complainant’s genuine sales managers. The email is addressed to one of the Complainant’s suppliers and purports to order ascorbic acid in the name of the Complainant for delivery to Uganda.

The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

The email received by the Center on January 22, 2021 contained no substantive reply to the Complainant’s submissions and no further communication or Response has been received from the Respondent.

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to succeed in the Complaint, the Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are:

(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and

(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has registered trademark rights in the mark LANXESS. The disputed domain name comprises the whole of that trademark together with the additional term “chem”. The Panel accepts the Complainant’s submission that the inclusion of this term does not prevent the Complainant’s trademark from being recognizable within the disputed domain name. The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In the view of the Panel, the Complainant’s submissions set out above give rise to a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent has not filed a Response in this proceeding and has not submitted any explanation for its registration and use of the disputed domain name, or evidence of rights or legitimate interests on its part in the disputed domain name, whether in the circumstances contemplated by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise. There being no other evidence before the Panel of any such rights or legitimate interests, 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 disputed domain name comprises the Complainant’s trademark LANXESS, which the Panel finds to be distinctive, together with a descriptive term that alludes to the Complainant’s business activities. The Panel finds therefore that the disputed domain name is inherently misleading and can have no credible purpose in the hands of the Respondent other than to impersonate the Complainant.

The Panel also accepts the Complainant’s evidence, which the Respondent has not disputed, that the Respondent has further impersonated the Complainant by directing the disputed domain name to the Complainant’s own website and by sending a fraudulent email to one of the Complainant’s suppliers under the pretence that it emanated from the Complainant.

The registration and use of a domain name for the purposes of impersonation and fraud plainly amount to circumstances of bad faith and the Panel therefore concludes that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

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, <lanxesschem.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Steven A. Maier
Sole Panelist
Date: March 3, 2021