WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Dell Inc. v. Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) / Naresh Singh, ABC LTD.
Case No. D2021-1444
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Dell Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by AZB & Partners, India.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org), United States / Naresh Singh, ABC LTD., India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <delllaptoprepaircenter.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 10, 2021. On May 10, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 11, 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 May 11, 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 amended Complaint on May 11, 2021.
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 May 18, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 7, 2021. An informal communication was sent by the Respondent to the Center on June 11, 2021.
The Center appointed Dr. Clive N.A. Trotman as the sole panelist in this matter on July 8, 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 world-scale direct supplier of computers, software, peripherals, phones, tablets, and related devices, and of services related to those products. The scale of the Complainant is reflected in its average sales of about 100,000 systems every day to customers in 180 countries.
Since 1993 the Complainant has had a prominent presence, distribution network, and service agents in India, being the stated domicile of the Respondent. The Complainant has at least eight registered and current Indian trademarks, of which the following are sufficiently representative:
DELL, Indian trademark, registered June 5, 1992, registration number 575115, in class 9;
DELL, Indian trademark, registered September 24, 2003 registration number 1239350, in class 37;
DELL, Indian trademark, registered September 24, 2003 registration number 1239349, in class 42.
The Complainant also owns and makes extensive use of the websites “www.dell.co.in” and “www.dell.com”.
The Respondent has not provided any background information. The Respondent appears to operate a computer repair business in Delhi, India. The disputed domain name was registered on June 9, 2020, and has resolved to a website offering what seem to be repair services for Dell laptop computers. At the time of filing the Complaint, a screen capture showed that the related website noted inter alia: “DELL Laptop Service Center in Delhi”, but that text no longer appears. The disputed domain name now redirects to <laptoprepaircenters.in>.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark (“trademark”) in which the Complainant has rights. The disputed domain name includes the Complainant’s trademark and resolves to a website offering goods or services identical to those for which the Complainant holds registered trademarks.
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant says the Respondent has no right or licence to use the Complainant’s trademark, which is the sole property of the Complainant.
The Complainant says any information given by the Respondent to a client acknowledging that the Respondent is not related to the Complainant does not confer on the Respondent any right to use the Complainant’s trademark.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent has intended to mislead people into believing, at least initially, that its website and its computer repair business are those of the Complainant, which they are not. The Respondent is intending to make illegal profits by misrepresenting itself as the Complainant.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not submit a timely formal Response. The Respondent did however send a belated email to the Center, copied to the Complainant and others, the text of which it is appropriate to reproduce in full in this instance:
Please Cancel or transfer this domain name if disputed delllaptoprepaircenter.com.
Although it is already expired and not running any website...
Please close it..
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that the Respondent is required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that the Complainant asserts to the applicable dispute resolution provider, in compliance with the Rules, that:
“(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith”.
The Complainant has made the relevant assertions as required by the Policy. The dispute is properly within the scope of the Policy and the Panel has jurisdiction to decide the dispute. The Respondent has informally stated its acquiescence to the transfer of the disputed domain name but the Parties did not proceed to a settlement. The Complainant must therefore prove its case to the satisfaction of the Panel.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is satisfied by the documentary evidence that the Complainant has rights in the registered trademark DELL.
The disputed domain name <delllaptoprepaircenter.com> may be read as 4 separate terms (excluding the .com extension) i.e., “Dell laptop repair center .com” and thereby features (prominently) the Complainant’s registered trademark. The generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” may be disregarded. The Panel finds the disputed domain name, by displaying the Complainant’s trademark, to be confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and accordingly finds for the Complainant under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has based on the facts and arguments set out above, stated a prima facie case in that the Respondent has no right or licence to use the Complainant’s trademark and thereby does not have rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
It is open to the Respondent to contest the Complainant’s prima facie assertion that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name by invoking the provisions of paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise. The Respondent has made no such showing but rather has instructed to cancel or transfer the same and is found by the Panel not to have or to be reasonably likely to have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel finds for the Complainant under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant must prove under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four alternative circumstances that shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith by a respondent, including:
“(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location”.
The Panel has examined the screen captures, produced in evidence, of the website to which the disputed domain name has resolved. These project an image of a laptop computer repair business of some substance, extolling the virtues of its technicians and engineers, and mentioning a list of specific significant repair services such as “keyboard replacement” and “motherboard replacement”. Several staff are featured in cameo. The website prominently uses the Complainant’s trademark many times, including a repeated logo design incorporating a picture of a laptop computer above “DELL LAPTOP REPAIR CENTER” and a second line “Post Warranty Support”, and a prominent first page heading “WELCOME TO DELL LAPTOP REPAIR CENTER”. Other facilities include a customer enquiry form, and a list of towns where the Respondent says it offers “DOORSTOP SUPPORT”.
On the evidence, the Panel finds it more probable than not that many Internet visitors to the Respondent’s website would gain the impression that the website, and the goods and services it offered, belonged to or were authorised or endorsed by the Complainant – and indeed that would have been the Respondent’s intention. The Respondent is found thereby to have intended to attract Internet users to its website by confusion with the Complainant’s trademark for commercial gain, and to have registered the disputed domain name for that purpose. The Panel moreover notes that the disputed domain name redirects to <laptoprepaircenters.in> and the content seems to have even been changed in some respects thereby suggesting that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to bait Internet users to its other site but by using the Complainant’s mark to do so.
On the evidence and on the balance of probabilities, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to have been registered and used in bad faith in the terms 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 <delllaptoprepaircenter.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dr. Clive N.A. Trotman
Date: July 20, 2021