WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Klarna Bank AB v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot / lin yanxiao
Case No. D2021-2153
1. The Parties
Complainant is Klarna Bank AB, Sweden, represented by SILKA AB, Sweden.
Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot / lin yanxiao, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <klarnaonline.com> is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 5, 2021. On July 6, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 7, 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 Complainant on July 8, 2021 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on July 9, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 20, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 9, 2021. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on August 11, 2021.
The Center appointed Phillip V. Marano as the sole panelist in this matter on August 22, 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
Founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden, Complainant is currently one of the largest banks in Europe, providing payment solutions and e-commerce payment services for online storefronts. Complainant owns valid and subsisting registrations for the KLARNA trademark in numerous regions and countries, including in the European Union and an international registration designation in China, with the earliest registration dating back to December 21, 2010.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on March 30, 2021. At the time of this Complaint, the disputed domain name resolved to a pay-per-click parking page and was listed for sale on numerous domain name marketplaces.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant asserts ownership of the KLARNA trademark and has adduced evidence of trademark registrations in numerous regions and countries around the world including in the United States of America, the European Union, and an international registration with a designation in China where the registration data for the disputed domain name suggests that Respondent is located. Complainant’s trademarks were registered as early as December 21, 2010. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s KLARNA trademark, according to Complainant, because it incorporates Complainant’s identical KLARNA trademark coupled with the generic term “online”.
Complainant further asserts that Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name based on: the distinctiveness of the KLARNA trademark exclusively associated with Complainant; the lack of any authorization, license, permission, or relationship between Complainant and Respondent; Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to divert Internet users to pay-per-click ads for third party services and websites; and Respondent’s listing of the disputed domain name on the Afternic domain name marketplace.
Complainant argues that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith for numerous reasons, including: Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to divert Internet users to pay-per-click ads for third party services and websites, and thereby generate “click through” revenue; Respondent’s decision to receive offers to sell the disputed domain name as demonstrated by Respondent’s listing it on the Afternic domain name marketplace; and Respondent’s failure to reply to Complainant’s cease and desist correspondence.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed in its Complaint, Complainant must establish in accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy:
i. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights;
ii. 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.
Although Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions, the burden remains with Complainant to establish by a balance of probabilities, or a preponderance of the evidence, all three elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 4.3 (“A respondent’s default would not by itself mean that the complainant is deemed to have prevailed; a respondent’s default is not necessarily an admission that the complainant’s claims are true. UDRP panels have been prepared to draw certain inferences in light of the particular facts and circumstances of the case, e.g. where a particular conclusion is prima facie obvious, where an explanation by the respondent is called for but is not forthcoming, or where no other plausible conclusion is apparent.”); The Vanguard Group, Inc. v. Lorna Kang, WIPO Case No. D2002-1064 (“The Respondent’s default does not automatically result in a decision in favor of the complainant. The Complainant must still prove each of the three elements required by Policy paragraph 4(a)”).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Ownership of a nationally or regionally registered trademark serves as prima facie evidence that Complainant has trademark rights for the purposes of standing to file this Complaint. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.2.1. Complainant submitted evidence that the KLARNA trademark has been registered in numerous regions and countries—including China where registration data for the disputed domain name suggests Respondent is located—as early as December 21, 2010, over a decade before the disputed domain name was registered by Respondent. Thus, the Panel finds that Complainant’s rights in the KLARNA trademark have been established pursuant to the first element of the Policy.
The only remaining question under the first element of the Policy is whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s KLARNA trademark. In this Complaint, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s KLARNA trademark because, disregarding the “.com” generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”), the trademark is contained in its entirety within the disputed domain name. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.7. (“This test typically involves a side-by-side comparison of the domain name and the textual components of the relevant trademark to assess whether the mark is recognizable within the domain name … [I]n cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar...”). gTLDs, such as “.com” in the disputed domain name, are generally viewed as a standard registration requirement and are disregarded under the first element. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.
The confusing similarity is not dispelled by adding the descriptive term “online” to Complainant’s KLARNA trademark. WIPO Overview, section 1.8 (Additional terms “whether descriptive, geographic, pejorative, meaningless, or otherwise” do not prevent a finding of confusing similarity where the relevant trademark is recognizable within the disputed domain name); see also AT&T Corp. v. WorldclassMedia.com, WIPO Case No. D2000-0553 (“Each of the domain names in dispute comprises a portion identical to [the ATT trademark] in which the Complainant has rights, together with a portion comprising a geographic qualifier, which is insufficient to prevent the composite domain name from being confusingly similar to Complainant’s [ATT trademark]”) OSRAM GmbH v. Cong Ty Co Phan Dau Tu Xay Dung Va Cong Nghe Viet Nam, WIPO Case No. D2017-1583 (“[T]he addition of the letters ‘hbg’ to the trademark OSRAM does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the Disputed Domain Name and the said trademark.”).
In view of Complainant’s registration of the KLARNA trademark, and Respondent’s incorporation of that trademark in its entirety in the disputed domain name, the Panel concludes that Complainant has established the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant must make out a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, shifting the burden of production on this element to Respondent to come forward with evidence demonstrating such rights or legitimate interests. Where, as in this Complaint, Respondent fails to come forward with any relevant evidence, Complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element of the Policy. WIPO Overview, section 2.1.
It is evident that Respondent, identified by registration data for the disputed domain name as “lin yanziao”, is not commonly known by the disputed domain name or Complainant’s KLARNA trademark.
Furthermore, Respondent’s service of pay-per-click advertisements through the disputed domain name attempts to trade off the goodwill of Complainant’s KLARNA trademark and accordingly cannot constitute any bona fide offering of goods or services using the disputed domain name. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.9 (Unless “genuinely related to the dictionary meaning” of the disputed domain name, “PPC links do not represent a bona fide offering where such links compete with or capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of Complainant’s mark or otherwise mislead Internet users.”) Complainant submitted screengrab evidence that the disputed domain name resolved to pay-per-click ads geotargeted in Swedish. The Panel confirmed similarly that Respondent has configured the disputed domain name to resolve to pay-per-click ads for third party goods and services such as meal prep services and electric bikes, all geotargeted in English.
In view of Respondent’s attempts to redirect Internet users to third party goods and services with pay-per-click ads that resolve through the disputed domain name, and the lack of any evidence indicating that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, the Panel concludes that Complainant has established the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy proscribes the following non-exhaustive circumstances as evidence of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name:
i. Circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or Respondent has acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the disputed domain name registration to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of Respondent’s documented out of pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or
ii. Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
iii. Respondent has registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
iv. By using the disputed domain name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.
As discussed with respect to the second element of the Policy above, Respondent has configured the disputed domain name to resolve to pay-per-click ads to third party goods and services, thereby generating “click through” traffic and revenue for Respondent. Such ads, whether or not it is generated by third-parties, cannot be disclaimed by Respondent to prevent a finding of bad faith. WIPO Overview, section 3.5 (“A respondent cannot disclaim responsibility for content appearing on the website associated with its domain name” regardless of whether “such links [are] generated by a third party such as a registrar or auction platform (or their affiliate), nor the fact that respondent itself may not have directly profited….”). See SAP SE v. Domains by Proxy, LLC / Kamal Karmakar, WIPO Case No. D2016-2497 (“It is well established that where a domain name is used to generate revenue in respect of ‘click through’ traffic, and that traffic has been attracted because of the name’s association with the Complainant, such use amounts to use in bad faith … Revenue will be generated by such visitors clicking on the provided links and it does not matter whether that revenue accrues to the Respondents or the operator of the parking site”) (internal citations omitted).
In addition, Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name with intent to profit by exploiting Complainant’s trademark and selling the disputed domain name constitutes bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy. As in this case, bad faith is evident where the KLARNA trademark at issue is distinctive and well predates registration of the disputed domain name and Respondent openly offers to sell the disputed domain name to the highest bidder or otherwise to the general public. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.1.1. Specifically, Respondent placed the disputed domain name on the Afternic domain marketplace, prompting Internet users visiting Respondent’s website with a popup page reading, “This domain is available for sale! Get a price in less than 24 hours.” In addition, the Panel has confirmed that Respondent thereafter added a hyperlink to Respondent’s website which reads “USD 1200 buy now Klarnaonline.com at Escrow.com”. That hyperlink forwards Internet users to the Above.com domain marketplace, which advertises, “klarnaonline.com Might Be For Sale Hurry Make An Offer!” The amount quoted on Respondent’s website is for this Panel far in excess of any conceivable or apparent registration costs and it falls well within paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy. Respondent’s multiple open offers, including at the specific inflated price, are also clear evidence of Respondent’s opportunistic bad faith intention to acquire and sell the disputed domain name, which is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s KLARNA trademark.
Finally, the Panel further concludes that Respondent’s failure to answer Complainant’s cease and desist correspondence “suggests that Respondent was aware that it has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.” See America Online, Inc. v. Antonio R. Diaz, WIPO Case No. D2000-1460 (internal citations omitted). See also Spyros Michopoulos S.A. v. John Tolias, ToJo Enterprises, WIPO Case No. D2008-1003. To wit, the failure of Respondent to answer this Complaint or take any part in the present proceedings, in the view of the Panel, is another indication of bad faith on the part of Respondent. See Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. (This Domain is For Sale) Joshuathan Investments, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2002-0787.
In view of Respondent’s open offers to sell the disputed domain name on multiple domain name marketplaces well in excess of Respondent’s conceivable out-of-pocket costs, Respondent’s configuration of the disputed domain name with pay-per-click ads to third party goods and services, and Respondent’s failure to respond to any of Complainant’s cease and desist correspondence, the Panel concludes that Complainant has established the third element 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 <klarnaonline.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Phillip V. Marano
Date: September 7, 2021