WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Syngenta Participations AG v. Privacy service provided by Withheld for Privacy ehf/ Rafael arenas
Case No. D2021-1388
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Syngenta Participations AG, Switzerland, represented internally.
The Respondent is Privacy service provided by Withheld for Privacy ehf, Iceland / Rafael Arenas, Mexico.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <berryproconsyngentas.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 5, 2021. On May 5, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 5, 2021, 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 May 10, 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 May 10, 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 May 11, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 31, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 29, 2021.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on July 15, 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 global agricultural technology company with 28,000 employees in 90 countries that offers products and services to customers such as agrochemicals for crop protection and seeds.
The Complainant has registered and protected the SYNGENTA mark worldwide, such as International trademark no. 732663 on March 8, 2000 with designations in, United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, the Russian Federation, and Viet Nam, among many others, and United States trademark no. 3036058 registered on December 27, 2005.
The Complainant has registered numerous domain names, such as <berryproconsyngenta.com>, <syngenta.com>, <syngenta.com.mx> and <syngenta.cn>.
According to the Registrar, the Respondent registered the Domain Name on April 8, 2021. At the time of the Complaint and the time of drafting the Decision, the Domain Name resolves to a website that appears to be a copy of the Complainant’s website “www.berryproconsyngenta.com”.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant provides evidence of trademark registrations. The Complainant argues that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The trademark is incorporated in the Domain Name. The addition of the prefix “berryprocon” (berry pro with) reinforces potential confusion because the Complainant sells products used to assist farmers cultivating berries. Moreover, the letter “s” is the only difference between the Domain Name and the Complainant’s preexisting domain name <berryproconsyngenta.com>.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not authorized to use the Complainant’s trademark. 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. On the contrary, the Respondent uses the Domain Name for a website that is a duplicate of the content and design of the Complainant’s website.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement. The use of a confusingly similar Domain Name coupled with the duplication of copyrighted content from the Complainant’s official website is meant to confuse the public and it redirects traffic away from the Complainant’s website. The Domain Name may potentially be used for phishing or other fraudulent acts.
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 SYNGENTA. The test for confusing similarity involves a comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark with the addition of “berryprocon” and a plural “s”. The additions do not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.8. For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel generally ignores the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”; see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is 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 asserted 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 trademarks. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name on the basis of use of the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering as the Domain Name resolves to a webpage that is a duplicate of the content and design of the Complainant’s website. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Name is not bona fide, but rather evidence of bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted 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
Based on the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name registration, the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Panel agrees with the Complainant that the Respondent has used the Domain Name to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement. The use of a confusingly similar Domain Name coupled with the duplication of copyrighted content from the Complainant’s official website is evidence of bad faith. The Respondent’s use of a privacy service to hide its identity and lack of response are in the context of 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 <berryproconsyngentas.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 4, 2021