WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG. v. Tanyeli Tekin
Case No. D2021-3550
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG., Germany, represented by Bardehle Pagenberg Partnerschaft mbB, Germany.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States of America (“USA”) / tanyeli tekin, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sennheiserambeo.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 October 25, 2021. On October 25, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 26, 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 October 27, 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 November 2, 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 November 8, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 28, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 29, 2021.
The Center appointed Pablo A. Palazzi as the sole panelist in this matter on December 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 was founded in 1945 by Mr. Fritz Sennheiser, selling, initially, voltmeters. It has since expanded into an international company with over 2,800 employees and manufacturing plants in Germany, Ireland, and USA, as well as sales subsidiaries and research laboratories worldwide.
The Complainant now specializes in the design and production of a variety of audio products including; microphones, headphones, wireless technology, monitor systems, telephone accessories, aviation and office headsets, and all‑round audio solutions.
The Complainant is the owner of a large trademark portfolio in respect of the mark SENNHEISER particularly in the European Union and USA. Among others, the Complaint owns the International trademark No. 590780, SENNHEISER, registered on August 10, 1992. These marks are registered in classes relating to the Complainant’s commercial activities and in particular audio technology, and in a large number of countries. The Complainant is also the owner of the trademark AMBEO, in particular the International trademark No. 1300401, AMBEO, registered on March 10, 2026.
On September 3, 2021, the Complainant filed the European Union trademark No. 018552935, SENNHEISER AMBEO.
The disputed domain name was registered on March 9, 2021.
At the time of filing the complaint, the disputed domain name was inactive and only contained a notice that the disputed domain name was for sale.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s marks as it fully incorporates the Complainant’s mark SENNHEISER and combines it with another trademark registered in favor of the Complainant, AMBEO. The combination of the main brand of the Complainant – the well-known and established trademark SENNHEISER – with another product mark of the Complainant (AMBEO) is confusingly similar.
The Complainant has not found that the Respondent has registered trademarks or trade names or even personal names corresponding to the designations “sennheiser” or “ambeo” in the disputed domain name. The name of the Respondent is in no way related to the terms “sennheiser” or “ambeo”. In addition, no license or authorization of any other kind has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent to use the trademarks in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant states that when registering the disputed domain name, Respondent was clearly aware of the prior rights of the Complainant in the SENNHEISER and AMBEO mark, not only because the Complainant is operating its business since 1945, but also in view of the trademarks which have been registered long before the registration of the disputed domain name.
The fact that the Respondent has registered and is using a domain name combining two marks of the Complainant is clear evidence that the Respondent is acting in bad faith.
The Complainant states that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling (policy, para.4(b)(i)) the disputed domain name registration to the Complainant, at an exaggerated price, exceeding the Respondent’s out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name. The website under the disputed domain name currently shows no content – except for information that the disputed domain name is for sale and a form to submit offers to buy the domain name at issue is provided. The sales price offered there is EUR 8213.89. Further to that, the disputed domain name is also offered for sale on the platform SEDO. The sales price offered there is USD 17,290. The Respondent is liable also for these offers, even if generated by third parties as indicated by the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDPR Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 3.5, in relation to liability for third party generated content. The fact that the disputed domain name – infringing the Complainant’s rights and trying to exploit the reputation of the Complainant – is offered for sale at an exaggerated price, is clear evidence of the Respondent’s bad faith.
The Complainant request the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant owns trademark rights in the marks SENNHEISER and AMBEO, as evidenced by the mark registrations attached to the complaint, and that these marks predate the registration of the disputed domain name. The Complainant’s pending trademark application for SENNHEISER AMBEO is not by itself sufficient to establish trademark rights within the meaning of the Policy. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.1.4.
The Panel is also satisfied that disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the marks SENNHEISER and AMBEO of the Complainant since both marks are contained in their entirety in the disputed domain name.
Accordingly the Panel finds for the Complainant in respect of this element and finds that the Complainant has trademark rights in the mark SENNHEISER which is confusingly similar to the disputed domain name.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant contends that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Panel agrees with the Complainant, since according to the corresponding WhoIs database, the Respondent is “Tanyeli Tekin”. Thus, Policy paragraph 4(c)(ii) is not applicable.
The Panel finds that there is no evidence that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It accepts the Complainant’s evidence that the Respondent has no marks or trading name corresponding to “sennheiser” or “ambeo” as used in the disputed domain name, nor trades using SENNHEISER or AMBEO marks. It is well established (for example WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.13.1, as cited by the Complainant) that the mere registration of a domain name does not by itself give the owner any right or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. Moreover, considering the circumstances of the Complainant’s marks and the well-known nature thereof, the generalized offer for sale displayed at the disputed domain name illustrates the Respondent’s intent to commercially profit from the resale of the disputed domain name and the lack of a bona fide offer of goods or services. Coupled together with the high risk of implied affiliation caused by the identical reproduction of both of the Complainant’s mark, the nature of the disputed domain name cannot constitute fair use.
The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that certain circumstances, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration or use of a domain name in bad faith. The fourth circumstance is as follows:
“(iv) by using the [disputed] domain name, [the respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [the respondent’s] web site 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] web site or location or of a product or service on [the respondent’s] web site or location.”
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent must have been aware of the trademark when it registered the disputed domain name particularly since the disputed domain name is composed of two marks of the Complainant, SENNHEISER and AMBEO, a fact that shows a clear targeting and reference to the Complainant.
The Panel notes also that the disputed domain name has currently an offer to sell notice for the amount of USD 9,500. Taking into account all the evidence, and in this case the fact that the disputed domain name does not have a possible legitimate use since it is formed by two marks of the Complainant, the Panel also takes this offer to sale in this case as an evidence of bad faith use.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has successfully proved this element and that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name 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 <sennheiserambeo.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Pablo A. Palazzi
Date: December 22, 2021