WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Aramex International LLC v. Louis Van Niekerk
Case No. D2021-1505
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Aramex International LLC, United Arab Emirates, represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Louis Van Niekerk, South Africa.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <aramex.mobi> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 14, 2021. On May 14, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 14, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
The Center verified that 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 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. The Center received a communication by email from the billing contact of the Domain Name on May 20, 2021, stating that it “will ensure that the information is relayed to the appropriate party involved”. On July 6, 2021, the Center informed the Parties that it would proceed to panel appointment.
The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on July 9, 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 an international express, mail delivery and logistics company founded in 1982 and based out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Complainant maintains over 600 offices in 65 countries and employs over 17,000 workers. The Complainant offers its services under the coined mark ARAMEX (the “ARAMEX Mark”) including through its website at “www.aramex.com” which it has maintained since 1996.
The Complainant is the owner of trade mark registrations in various jurisdictions for the ARAMEX Mark including United Arab Emirates registration No. 102241, registered on April 22, 2010 for services in class 39.
The Domain Name was registered on March 3, 2021. The Domain Name does not presently resolve to an active webpage. Prior to the commencement of the proceeding the Domain Name appeared to resolve to the log-in page for a URL shortener company with no obvious connection to the Respondent.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant makes the following contentions:
(i) that the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s ARAMEX Mark;
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights nor legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant is the owner of the ARAMEX Mark, being the owner of trade marks registered in various jurisdictions for the ARAMEX Mark. The Domain Name consists the ARAMEX mark with the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.mobi”.
There are no rights or legitimate interests held by the Respondent in respect of the Domain Name. The Complainant has not granted any license or authorization for the Respondent to use the ARAMEX Mark and the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name. The Respondent does not use the Domain Name for a bona fide purpose or legitimate noncommercial purpose as the redirection of the Domain Name to a third party URL shortener company was likely for commercial gain.
The Respondent has registered and uses the Domain Name in bad faith. Given the fame of the ARAMEX Mark and the nature of the Domain Name, being identical to the ARAMEX Mark, there are no plausible circumstances under which the Respondent could legitimately use the Domain Name other than in bad faith. In such circumstances, the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name must have been use of the Domain Name in bad faith for commercial gain.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
To prove this element the Complainant must have trade or service mark rights and the Domain Name must be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade or service mark.
The Complainant is the owner of the ARAMEX Mark, having registrations for the ARAMEX Mark as a trade mark in the United Arab Emirates and other jurisdictions.
Disregarding the “.com” gTLD as a necessary technical requirement of the Domain Name, the Domain Name is identical to the ARAMEX Mark. Consequently, the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
To succeed on this element, a complainant may make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. If such a prima facie case is made out, the respondent then has the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy enumerates several ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name:
“Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii):
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”
The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way. It has not been authorized by the Complainant to register or use the Domain Name or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the ARAMEX Mark or a mark similar to the ARAMEX Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or any similar name.
There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or for a legitimate noncommercial use. The Domain Name is currently unused and there is no basis to find that the Domain Name’s former use, to resolve to a URL shortener website, amounts to a bona fide offering of goods or services or for a legitimate noncommercial use.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint and thus has failed to provide any evidence of rights and legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, 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 the 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 registrations to the Complainant who is the owner of the trade mark or service mark or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its 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 trade mark 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 of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the Domain Name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its 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.
The Panel finds on the balance of probabilities that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its reputation in the ARAMEX Mark at the time the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The ARAMEX Mark is a coined word that had been used for over 35 years at the time of registration of the Domain Name. There is no obvious reason, nor has the Respondent offered an explanation, for the Respondent to register a domain name identical to the ARAMEX Mark unless there was an intention to create a likelihood of confusion between the Domain Name and the Complainant and the ARAMEX Mark.
The Panel is prepared to infer, based on the conduct of the Respondent, including:
- the current lack of use of the Domain Name;
- the previous use to link to a third party website apparently unconnected to the Respondent;
- the nature of the Domain Name itself, being identical to a longstanding and coined trademark;
- the failure by the Respondent to participate in this proceeding or otherwise provide any explanation of its conduct in registering a domain name that is identical to the ARAMEX Mark; and
- that the Domain Name is most likely being held pending further use in a bad faith manner that would take advantage of confusion between the Domain Name and the ARAMEX Mark. As such, the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been used in bad faith.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith under 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 <aramex.mobi> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 22, 2021