WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

AB Electrolux v. Domains By Proxy, LLC, DomainsByProxy.com / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico

Case No. D2021-0874

1. The Parties

The Complainant is AB Electrolux, Sweden, represented by SILKA AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Domains By Proxy, LLC, DomainsByProxy.com, United States of America / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, Panama.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <elecrrolux.com> 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 March 23, 2021. On March 24, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 25, 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 March 26, 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 March 26, 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 March 29, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 18, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 19, 2021.

The Center appointed Tuukka Airaksinen as the sole panelist in this matter on April 27, 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 was founded in 1901 and is one of the world’s leading producers of kitchen appliances and equipment and cleaning products as well as floor care products. In 2016, the Complainant employed about 55.000 people. The Complainant’s trademark ELECTROLUX is registered in over 150 countries all over the world, for example as an International Trademark Registration No. 77925, registered on September 16, 1998 and in force in several countries. The Complainant also owns and operates the domain name <electrolux.com>.

The disputed domain name was registered on October 1, 2020. At the time of filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name resolved to a website displaying pay-per-click (“PPC”) links redirecting to third parties’ websites where the disputed domain name was offered for sale. At the time of the decision, the disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark ELECTROLUX, with the only difference being that one letter has been replaced by another letter. This typo is not accidental and the Respondent has intentionally registered a misspelled version of the Complainant’s trademark.

The Complainant has not authorized or licensed the Respondent to use or register a domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademark. There is no relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent and the Respondent has no right or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant has used and registered its trademark for nearly a hundred years before the registration of the disputed domain name. The Complainant’s trademark enjoys widespread reputation worldwide. It is therefore highly unlikely that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name.

The disputed domain name resolves to a PPC website offering commercial links to other service providers and generating revenue for the Respondent. The disputed domain name has also been offered for sale for nearly USD 900, which exceeds standard out-of-pocket costs generated by the registration and maintenance of the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to obtain the transfer of a domain name, a complainant must prove the three elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, regardless of whether the respondent files a response to the complaint or not. The first element is that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights. The second element a complainant must prove is that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. The third element a complainant must establish is that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy requires that the Complainant establish that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights. Consequently, the Complainant must prove that it has rights to a trademark, and that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to this trademark.

The disputed domain name differs from the Complainant’s trademark by only one letter, as the letter “t” of the Complainant’s trademark has been replaced by the letter “r” in the disputed domain name. The Panel considers that the disputed domain name is merely a typo of the Complainant’s trademark and that the dominant feature of the Complainant’s trademark is fully recognizable in the disputed domain name. See section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).

This means that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar with the Complainant’s trademark and hence the first element of the Policy has been fulfilled.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy requires that the Complainant establish that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests to the disputed domain name.

It is widely accepted among UDRP panels that once a complainant has made a prima facie showing indicating the absence of the respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with evidence of such rights or legitimate interests. If the respondent fails to do so, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element of the Policy. See, e.g., Document Technologies, Inc. v. International Electronic Communications Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0270, and section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.

The Complainant has credibly submitted that the Respondent is neither affiliated with the Complainant in any way nor has it been authorized by the Complainant to use and register the disputed domain name, that the Respondent has no prior rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the Respondent has not made and is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name and is not commonly known by the disputed domain name in accordance with paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the Policy.

Moreover, the Panel finds that the nature of the disputed domain name carries a high risk of implied affiliation with the Complainant’s trademark. See section 2.5.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that has not been rebutted by the Respondent. Considering the Panel’s findings below, the Panel finds that there are no other circumstances that provide the Respondent with any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Therefore, the Panel finds that the second element of the Policy is fulfilled.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires that the Complainant establish that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:

“(i) circumstances indicating that [the respondent has] registered or has 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 respondent’s] documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or

(ii) [the respondent 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 respondent has] engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) [the respondent has] registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business or competitor; or

(iv) by using the domain name, [the respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [the respondent’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 respondent’s] website or location or of a product or service on [the respondent’s] website or location.”

Considering that the Complainant has been using and registering its trademark for nearly a hundred years and that the trademark has been held by previous UDRP panels to be well known, it is evident that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith.

The Respondent has offered the disputed domain name for sale at the price of USD 900. This sum is clearly in valuable excess of the Respondent’s out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name also resolves to a website containing PPC links redirecting to third parties’ websites thus generating revenue for the Respondent when Internet users click on the links.

It is therefore evident that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name to intentionally attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website and to sell the disputed domain name to the Complainant for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name. The Panel considers that the Respondent is just the sort of cyber-squatter that the Policy was designed to foil.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the third element of the Policy is fulfilled.

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 <elecrrolux.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Tuukka Airaksinen
Sole Panelist
Date: May 10, 2021