WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. v. Danesco Trading Ltd/ Igor Burdukovskij
Case No. D2021-3354
1. The Parties
The Complainant is The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., United States of America (“USA”), represented by Jones Day, USA.
The Respondent is Danesco Trading Ltd, Cyprus / Igor Burdukovskij, Russian Federation.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wikiredia.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Danesco Trading Ltd. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 7, 2021. On October 8, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 11, 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 October 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 amendment to the Complaint on October 11, 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 October 12, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 1, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 8, 2021.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on November 18, 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 the owner of the WIKIPEDIA mark, registered, inter alia, in the USA for on line publications services under trade mark number 3,040,722 since 2006. It is well known.
The Domain Name registered in 2017 pointed to a page not connected with the Complainant but using a large “W” redolent of the Complainant’s logo, also containing links to the Complainant’s own web sites in different languages. At the time of this Decision, the Domain Name does not resolve to an active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is the owner of the WIKIPEDIA mark, registered, inter alia, in the USA for online publications and related services with first use recorded as 2001. It is well known.
The Domain Name registered in 2017 is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark only substituting a letter “r” for the letter “p” and the generic Top Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” which do not prevent the said confusing similarity.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, is not commonly known by it and is not authorised by the Complainant.
The Domain Name pointed to a website with a large “W” redolent of the Complainant’s logo with links to the Complainant’s official sites in different languages to actively create a false association with the Complainant, cause confusion and trade on its goodwill which is not a bona fide offering of goods or services or legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
Registration of a domain name containing a sign confusingly similar to a famous mark to point to a site with links to the Complainant’s own web sites shows actual knowledge of the well known Complainant, its rights and business, and is opportunistic registration and use in bad faith, causing confusion on the Internet for commercial gain and disrupting the Complainant’s business. Typosquatting is registration and use in bad faith per se.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Domain Name consist of a sign confusingly similar to the Complainant's WIKIPEDIA mark (which is registered in the USA for online publication services with first use recorded as 2001), merely substituting a letter “r” for the letter “p” and adding the gTLD “.com”.
The Panel agrees that misspellings by one letter and the addition of a gTLD does not prevent confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the Complainant's trade mark pursuant to the Policy. As such the substitution of a letter “p” with a letter “r” and the addition of the gTLD “.com” does not prevent the Domain Name being confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark under the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has not authorised the use of its mark. There is no evidence or reason to suggest the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name and the WhoIS details suggest the contrary.
The Complainant has submitted evidence that the Respondent redirected Internet users to the Complainant’s websites via a page which is not connected to the Complainant using a large “W” redolent of the Complainant’s logo without the Complainant’s authorisation. This is confusing and competing and is not bona fide use or legitimate non commercial fair use.
The Domain Name appears to be a typosquatting registration. Typosquatting is also an indication of a lack of rights or legitimate interests.
The Respondent has not answered this Complaint or explained why he should be allowed to register a domain name containing a sign confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark which is recognised for online publication services and is highly distinctive for the same and make the above use of the same.
As such the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or a legitimate interest in the Domain Name and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Domain Name seeks to take advantage of the situation where Internet users may make a typographical error. Typosquatting itself is evidence of relevant bad faith registration and use and indicates the Respondent had knowledge of the Complainant and its rights.
Redirecting users of a domain name containing the Complainant’s trade mark to the Complainant’s own website via a page not connected with the Complainant but using a large “W” redolent of the Complainant’s logo is bad faith registration and use, causing confusion on the Internet and disrupting the Complainant’s business. It also shows actual knowledge on the Respondent’s part of the Complainant and the latter’s business, rights and services.
As such, the Panel holds that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb 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 <wikiredia.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 24, 2021