WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

STADA Arzneimittel AG v. 马永洪 (Jiao Hei)

Case No. D2021-4076

1. The Parties

The Complainant is STADA Arzneimittel AG, Germany, represented by The GigaLaw Firm, Douglas M. Isenberg, Attorney at Law, LLC, United States of America.

The Respondent is 马永洪 (Jiao Hei), China.

2. The Disputed Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <stada.ink> is registered with Alibaba Cloud Computing Ltd. d/b/a HiChina (www.net.cn) (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint in English was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 6, 2021. On December 6, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 8, 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 December 10, 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 in English on December 13, 2021.

On December 10, 2021, the Center transmitted an email communication to the Parties in English and Chinese regarding the language of the proceeding. On December 13, 2021, the Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding.

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 in English and Chinese of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on December 17, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 6, 2022. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 7, 2022.

The Center appointed Sebastian M.W. Hughes as the sole panelist in this matter on January 17, 2022. 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

A. Complainant

The Complainant is a pharmaceutical company incorporated in Germany.

The Complainant has for 125 years used its trade mark STADA (the “Trade Mark”) in respect of its pharmaceutical business.

The Complainant is the owner of several registrations for the Trade Mark, including German registration No. 656708, with a registration date of April 27, 1954; Chinese registration No. 1124223, with a registration date of November 7, 1997; and International registration No. 562225 (designating China), with a registration date of December 7, 1990.

B. Respondent

The Respondent is apparently an individual resident in China.

C. The Disputed Domain Name

The disputed domain name was registered on November 23, 2021.

D. Use of the Disputed Domain Name

The disputed domain name is resolved to a website that copies the look and feel of the Complainant’s official website, and contains both the word and logo versions of the Trade Mark, as well as a copyright notice using the Complainant’s name, all without the authorisation or approval of the Complainant (the “Website”).

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Trade Mark; the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

6.1. Language of the Proceeding

The language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is Chinese. Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11, in the absence of an agreement between the Parties, or unless specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.

Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules allows the Panel to determine the language of the proceeding having regard to all the circumstances. In particular, it is established practice to take paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules into consideration for the purpose of determining the language of the proceeding, in order to ensure fairness to the Parties and the maintenance of an inexpensive and expeditious avenue for resolving domain name disputes. Language requirements should not lead to undue burden being placed on the Parties and undue delay to the proceeding (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 4.5.1).

The Complainant has requested that the language of the proceeding be English for several reasons, including the fact the Website is an English language website.

The Respondent did not file a response and did not file any submissions with respect to the language of the proceeding.

In exercising its discretion to use a language other than that of the Registration Agreement, the Panel has to exercise such discretion judicially in the spirit of fairness and justice to both Parties, taking into account all relevant circumstances of the case, including matters such as the Parties’ ability to understand and use the proposed language, time, and costs.

The Panel finds (especially noting the composition of the disputed domain name, and the corresponding Website contents) there is sufficient evidence to suggest the likely possibility that the Respondent is conversant in the English language. The Panel is also mindful of the need to ensure the proceeding is conducted in a timely and cost effective manner.

In all the circumstances, the Panel therefore finds it is not foreseeable that the Respondent would be prejudiced, should English be adopted as the language of the proceeding.

Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that the language of the proceeding shall be English.

6.2. Substantive Elements of the Policy

The Complainant must prove each of the three elements in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to prevail.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the Trade Mark acquired through use and registration. Disregarding the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.ink”, the disputed domain name is identical to the Trade Mark.

The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Trade Mark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of non-exhaustive circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that a respondent has rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:

(i) before any notice to the respondent of the dispute, the respondent’s 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) the respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the domain name even if the respondent has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or

(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.

The Complainant has not authorised, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the disputed domain name or to use the Trade Mark. The Panel finds on the record that there is therefore a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the burden is thus on the Respondent to produce evidence to rebut this presumption (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1).

The Respondent has failed to show that he has acquired any trade mark rights in respect of the disputed domain name or that the disputed domain name has been used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. To the contrary, the disputed domain has been used in respect of the Website, in order to falsely pass off the Website as a website of, or otherwise authorised or approved by, the Complainant.

There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name; and there has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.

In addition, the Panel notes the nature of the disputed domain name, which carries a high risk of implied association (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.5.1).

The Panel finds that the Respondent has failed to produce any evidence to rebut the Complainant’s prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

In light of the manner of use of the Website, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

7. Decision

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 <stada.ink> be transferred to the Complainant.

Sebastian M.W. Hughes
Sole Panelist
Dated: January 31, 2022