WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Klarna AB v. Zhangwei
Case No. DCO2017-0006
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Klarna AB of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Zhangwei of Jiangsu, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <klarna.co> is registered with Ourdomains Limited (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 9, 2017. On February 10, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 13, 2017, 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 February 22, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 14, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 20, 2017.
The Center appointed Gregory N. Albright as the sole panelist in this matter on April 3, 2017. 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 International Trademark No. 1066079 for the service mark KLARNA, registered December 21, 2010 and designating China.
The disputed domain name was registered on September 10, 2016, and resolves to a webpage displaying pay-per-click links,
5. Parties’ Contentions
Klarna, the Complainant, is a Swedish e-commerce company that provides payment services for online storefronts. The company, founded in Stockholm in 2005, is one of Europe’s fastest growing companies, and offers safe and easy-to-use payment solutions to e-stores. At the core of Klarna’s services is the concept of after-delivery payment, which lets buyers receive ordered goods before any payment is due. Klarna Group has more than 1,400 employees and is active in 18 markets. Klarna serves 45 million consumers and works with 65,000 merchants, attracting major international clients such as Spotify, Disney, Samsung, Wish and ASOS. In 2010 Klarna opened in other countries like Germany and Netherlands. In 2015 Klarna launched in the United States. In 2010 Klarna also launched its third smart payment option - Klarna mobile. To further accelerate growth Klarna acquired the German online payment company SOFORT in 2013.
The Complainant has also a significant presence on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.
The Complainant is the owner of registrations for the KLARNA mark in numerous countries all over the world, including China where the Respondent is located.
The Complainant has also registered several domain names under generic Top-Level Domains (“gTLD”) and country-code Top-Level Domains (“ccTLD”) containing the term “KLARNA,” including, for example, <klarna.com> and <klarna.us>. The Complainant is using these domain names to connect to websites through which it informs potential customers about its services.
1. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name was registered on September 10, 2016, and incorporates the Complainant’s registered trademark KLARNA and the ccTLD “.co” for Colombia. The addition of the ccTLD “.co” does not add any distinctiveness to the disputed domain name, which remains confusingly similar to the registered mark KLARNA.
2. Rights or Legitimate Interests
First of all, there is no bona fide offering of goods or services where, as here, the disputed domain name incorporates a trademark not owned by the Respondent. Nor is the Respondent known by the name “klarna”.
The disputed domain name points to a parking page provided by the registrar, which is permissible if the domain name is used for a lawful purpose. But the disputed domain name here resolves to a website that provides links, some of which directly reference the Complainant and the Complainant’s line of business. Respondent presumably receives pay-per-click (PPC) revenue for these links. The Respondent also has made no claim to having any relevant prior rights of its own, or to having become commonly known by the disputed domain name. Nor does the Respondent claim to have made legitimate, noncommercial use of the disputed domain name. Therefore, the use of a parked webpage with related links to the KLARNA mark causes confusion in the public.
The PPC landing page contains links to ads that relate to trademark KLARNA such as “Klarna faktura,” “Payment online” etc. Those who register domain names in large numbers for targeted advertising through automated programs and processes must make reasonable good faith efforts to avoid registering and using domain names that are identical or confusingly similar to marks held by others. Although there is nothing illegitimate per se in using the domain name parking service, it has been previously established that linking a domain name to such service, with a trademark owner’s name in mind, and in the hope and expectation that Internet users searching for information about the business activities of the trademark owner will be directed to that parking service page, is a different matter and does not provide a legitimate interest in that domain name under the Policy. The parking page at issue here displays PPC links that are related to the Complainant’s mark and it is in the direct control of the Respondent to disable the PPC service. Here, the use of PPC landing page leads to the conclusion that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its websites with the intent of commercial gain through misleading consumers and tarnishing the Complainant’s mark.
3. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name was registered in bad faith. The Complainant’s December 2010 registration of the KLARNA mark in China predates the Respondent’s September 2016 registration of the disputed domain name. Further, the Complainant started to use the KLARNA brand in 2005, more than 10 years ago. It is therefore unlikely that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant’s rights in the KLARNA mark at the time the Respondent registered the disputed domain name.
The use of the disputed domain name for a commercial website without the Complainant’s consent cannot be considered as good faith use of the disputed domain name. The Respondent has acquired neither registered nor unregistered rights in the name KLARNA. Searches conducted in trademark databases do not disclose that the Respondent has applied for or is the owner of a corresponding mark. Moreover, when performing a search on Google for “Klarna” all the results retrieved are related to the Complainant.
In addition, there is a pattern of abusive domain name registrations. Besides the disputed domain name, the Respondent has been involved in several previous UDRP proceedings. See Pierre Balmain S.A. v. Zhang Wei, WIPO Case No. D2016-1815; M.F. H. Fejlesztõ Korlátolt Felelõsségú Társaság v. zhangwei,WIPOCase No. D2016-0573, Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft v. zhangwei, WIPO Case No. D2013-2184. The fact that a respondent displays a pattern of registering well-known trademarks as domain names can be taken into account as an indication of bad faith. See Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., The Sheraton LLC, Sheraton International IP, LLC v. Name Supply, WIPO Case No. D2014-1054 (“[A]san additional circumstance evidencing bad faith, the Respondent’s registration of several domain names identical or confusingly similar to trademarks used by third parties in connection with renown hotels and casinos … suggests that the owner has engaged in a pattern of domain name registrations corresponding to trademarks, likely for profit, by preventing the legitimate trademark owners to reflect their distinctive signs in the corresponding domain names.”).
In sum, KLARNA is a well-known mark in the financial industry. It is highly unlikely that the Respondent was not aware of the rights the Complainant has in the mark and its value when the disputed domain name was registered. The Respondent bears no relationship to the KLARNA mark and the disputed domain name has no other meaning except for referring to Complainant’s name and mark. There is no way the disputed domain name could be used legitimately. Consequently, the Respondent should be considered to have registered and to be using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires the Complainant to prove as to the disputed domain name that: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; (ii) the 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.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy elaborates some circumstances that shall be evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith. Paragraph 4(c) sets out various circumstances which, if found by the Panel to be proved based on the evaluation of all the evidence presented, shall demonstrate that the Respondent has rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has shown that it owns rights in the KLARNA service mark and that it acquired those rights prior to the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name.
The Panel agrees with the Complainant that the addition of “.co” to the mark “KLARNA” in the disputed domain name does not mitigate confusing similarity. See Amazon.com Inc., Amazon Technologies, Inc., Goodreads, Inc. v. Shi Lei aka shilei, WIPO Case No. D2014-1093 (Additions of “pay” and “.com” to the Complainant’s KINDLE trademark were “insufficient to distinguish the [domain name] from the Complainant’s KINDLE trademark.”).
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name, <klarna.co>, is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s KLARNA mark for purposes of the Policy.
The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent selected the disputed domain name to capitalize on the value of the Complainant’s mark, without justification. The Complainant has confirmed that the Respondent is not connected to the Complainant and does not have the Complainant’s permission to use the disputed domain name.
Further, the disputed domain name is connected to a pay-per-click (“PPC”) parking page with links to services like the Complainant’s, and it may be presumed that the Respondent is deriving PPC revenue therefrom. See Opportunity Financial, LLC v. Zhichao Yang, WIPO Case No. D2016-1524. See also Owens Corning v. NA, WIPO Case No. D2007-1143 (“It is common knowledge that the way in which many of these services operate is that the domain parking service operators obtain ‘click through revenue’ when Internet users click on the ‘sponsored links’ on the displayed page. Many of these services will then provide the domain name registrant with part of that ‘click through’ revenue.”), citing Express Scripts, Inc. v. Windgather Investments Limited / Mr Cartwright, WIPO Case No. D2007-0267 (disputed domain name was not being used by the Respondent in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services where the Respondent had apparently “parked” the domain name until it could be sold, the advertisements on the site were generated by the parking company, and the Respondent allowed the parking company free reign over content).
The Respondent also did not come forward with any evidence to rebut the Complainant’s prima facie showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Considering all the circumstances, the Panel finds that when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, the Respondent had the Complainant and its mark in mind, and registered the disputed domain name for the reason of deriving PPC revenue from visitors to the Respondent’s website who were confused about the Respondent’s misleading association with the Complainant.
In addition, as the Complainant has asserted, the Respondent has been involved in several previous UDRP cases. The Respondent’s serial cybersquatting weighs in favor of a finding of bad faith in this case, as well.
The third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is satisfied.
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 <klarna.co> be transferred to the Complainant.
Gregory N. Albright
Date: April 17, 2017