WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Rakuten, Inc. v. Zheng ZhongXing

Case No. DCO2018-0023

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Rakuten, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan, represented by Greenberg Traurig, LLP, United States of America ("United States").

The Respondent is Zheng ZhongXing of Fuzhou, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <rakuten.co> (the "Domain Name") is registered with Ascio Technologies Inc. (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on July 18, 2018. On July 18, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On July 30, 2018, 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 August 2, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 22, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on August 23, 2018.

The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on August 27, 2018. 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 a Japanese e-commerce and Internet company founded in 1997. Its businesses encompass e-commerce, digital content, communications and fintech. Its e-commerce platform, Rakuten Ichiba, is one of the largest websites in Japan with an active membership of about 83 million. Rakuten's global gross transaction volume was around JPY 12.1 trillion (USD 118 billion) as of December 2017. The Complainant has been active in China since at least 2008 providing global marketplace services and online mail services.

The Complainant operates an online marketplace through its primary website at "www.rakuten.com" that has over 20 million customers. It uses the <rakuten.com> domain name for its email addresses and to conduct its business.

The Complainant is the registered proprietor of around 300 trademark registrations around the world comprising its RAKUTEN mark, covering at least 55 countries, including China trademarks number 4500198 R RAKUTEN (赤文字) stylised word and device registered on October 21, 2008 and number 5927986 stylised word RAKUTEN registered on December 14, 2009.

The Domain Name was registered on September 15, 2010 and resolves to a parking page comprising

pay-per-click links to third party websites including those of competitors of the Complainant.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its RAKUTEN trademarks, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name, and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

For this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:

(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and

(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has uncontested rights in the RAKUTEN trademark, both by virtue of its trademark registrations and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its widespread use of the mark over many years. Ignoring the country code Top-Level Domain ("ccTLD") ".co", the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant's RAKUTEN trademark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent could have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent has not used the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Domain Name resolves to a parking page comprising pay-per-click links resolving to third party websites, including websites of competitors of the Complainant. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

In light of the nature of the Domain Name, the Panel is in no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its rights in the RAKUTEN mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. In the Panel's view, the legitimate inference is that the Respondent registered the Domain Name for commercial gain with a view to taking unfair advantage of the Complainant's rights in the RAKUTEN mark, by confusing Internet users into believing that the Domain Name was being operated by or authorized by the Complainant for legitimate purposes related to the Complainant's activities. The Panel considers that this amounts to paradigm bad faith registration and use for the purposes of the Policy.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the 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 Domain Name <rakuten.co> be transferred to the Complainant.

Ian Lowe
Sole Panelist
Date: September 10, 2018