WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Dell Inc. v. Akash Rajhans, Laptop Centre
Case No. D2021-1457
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Dell Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by AZB & Partners, India.
The Respondent is Akash Rajhans, Laptop Centre, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <delllaptopservicescentre.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 May 11, 2021. On May 11, 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 12, 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 13, 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 20, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 9, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 11, 2021.
The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on June 16, 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 company incorporated under the laws of Delaware, United States. It is a supplier of computer hardware and related goods and services.
The Complainant is the proprietor of various trademark registrations for the mark DELL, including India trademark number 575115 for the word mark DELL, registered on June 15, 1992 in International Class 9.
The disputed domain name was registered on May 5, 2020.
The Complainant provides evidence that the disputed domain name has resolved to a website headed “DELL LAPTOP SERVICES CENTRE”, offering repair and maintenance services for the Complainant’s products. The website indicates a business presence in Mumbai and Bangalore, India. The final page of the website states: “Disclaimer – The Brand Name Dell and logo belong to the rightful and respectful owner.”
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant states that it has traded under the name DELL since 1988. It submits that it is the world’s largest direct seller of computer systems and also offers services including maintenance and technical support. It states that it sells over 100,000 systems every day to customers in 180 countries. The Complainant claims to have had a significant commercial presence in India since 1993, including 200 exclusive stores. It states that it operates in India through subsidiary companies and authorized resellers, with no other parties being permitted to use the DELL name and trademark.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its DELL trademark, comprising that mark together with a description of services similar to those which it itself provides.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. It states that it has never authorized the Respondent to use its DELL trademark and that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name solely to obtain a commercial benefit by confusing Internet users into believing its website is related to the Complainant.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith. It contends that the disputed domain name was registered for the purpose of creating “initial interest confusion” and misleadingly attracting Internet users to the Respondent’s website by its use of the Complainant’s DELL name and trademark.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
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 that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it is the owner of an India trademark for the word mark DELL. The disputed domain name <delllaptopservicescentre.com> comprises the Complainant’s trademark DELL together with the dictionary terms “laptop”, “services”, and “centre”, none of which prevent the Complainant’s trademark from being recognizable within the disputed domain name, nor do they prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark. 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. The Panel therefore concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
It is clear from the evidence submitted by the Complainant that the Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name to refer to the Complainant’s DELL trademark and to offer services relating to the Complainant’s products. The Panel finds further, in the absence of any contradiction on the part of the Respondent, that the Respondent has not been authorized to trade by reference to the Complainant’s DELL trademark.
In certain limited circumstances, it may be permissible for an unauthorized supplier of goods or services to use a domain name which incorporates another party’s trademark for the purpose of offering that trademark owner’s goods or services. The criteria accepted by previous UDRP panels for such legitimate use are set out in Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903, and are further discussed in section 2.8.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”). Those criteria include the requirements that the relevant website must accurately and prominently disclose the registrant’s relationship with the trademark holder.
In this case, the Panel finds that the Respondent’s website has failed adequately to disclose the absence of any commercial relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent. On the contrary, the Respondent’s website displays the Complainant’s trademark and gives the overall impression of an official association with the Complainant, which is not dispelled by the limited disclaimer which appears at the very end of the website. That disclaimer does not in any event go so far as to disclaim any commercial association between the parties.
The Panel therefore accepts the Complainant’s submission that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name for the purpose of attracting Internet users to its website under the mistaken impression that that website is operated or authorized by, or otherwise legitimately associated with the Complainant. The Panel finds in particular that, by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or of a product or service on its website (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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, <delllaptopservicescentre.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Steven A. Maier
Date: June 21, 2021