WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION RELATED TO THE REQUEST TO CHANGE THE LANGUAGE OF THE ADR PROCEEDING
Industria Española Para el Desarrollo e Investigación 2100, S.A. v. Pascal Degroodt
Case No. DEUL2019-0002
1. The Parties
Complainant is Industria Española Para el Desarrollo e Investigación 2100, S.A., Spain, represented by Campos García, Spain.
Respondent is Pascal Degroodt, Belgium.
2. The Domain Name, Registry and Registrar
The disputed domain name is <graphenstone.eu> (the “Domain Name”).
The Registry of the Domain Name is the European Registry for Internet Domains (“EURid” or the “Registry”). The Registrar of the Domain Name is Combell NV.
3. Procedural History
The Request to Change the Language of the ADR Proceeding (the “Request”) was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) pursuant to the .eu Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules (the “ADR Rules”), Paragraph A(3)(b), on July 4, 2019. On July 5, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registry a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 5, 2019, the Registry 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 Request. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on July 9, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registry, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on July 9, 2019.
In accordance with the ADR Rules, Paragraph A(3)(b)(3), the Center formally notified Respondent of the Request, and the proceedings commenced on July 10, 2019. In accordance with the ADR Rules, Paragraph A(3)(b)(4), the due date for Response was July 22, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on July 23, 2019.
The Center appointed Wolter Wefers Bettink as the sole panelist in this matter on July 31, 2019, in accordance with the ADR Rules, Paragraph A(3)(b)(4). 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 ADR Rules, Paragraph B(5).
4. Factual Background
Complainant is a company registered under the laws of Spain, with corporate address in Sevilla, Spain. Respondent is an individual in Belgium. Respondent is located in the province of Vlaams-Brabant, the Flemish speaking part of Belgium. The language of the registration agreement is Dutch.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant submits that use of the Dutch language in the ADR Proceeding is prejudicial to Complainant, since Complainant would have to translate each relevant email and document it wishes to submit in support of the Complaint. According to Complainant, the language used in correspondence between the parties is English and Complainant therefore believes that conducting the ADR Proceeding in the English language will not be prejudicial to Respondent.
Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with Paragraph A(3)(a) of the ADR Rules, “unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the ADR Proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement for the Domain Name. In the absence of an agreement between the Parties, the Panel may in its sole discretion, having regard to the circumstances of the ADR Proceeding, decide on the written request of a Complainant that the language of the ADR Proceeding will be different than the language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name.”
The wording of this provision makes clear that as to the question of the language of the ADR Proceeding precedence is given to the language of the registration agreement and that it is upon Complainant to submit arguments and supporting evidence for its request to change the language of the proceedings.
Complainant’s first argument supporting its request to change the language of the proceedings is that the use of the Dutch language in the ADR Proceeding is prejudicial to Complainant as it would have to translate each relevant email and document it wishes to submit in support of the Complaint. However, in view of the unequivocal precedence the ADR Rules give to the language of the registration agreement, Complainant has failed to demonstrate that in this case the disadvantage of having to file the Complaint in Dutch, and having to translate documents into the Dutch language is such that this should warrant changing the language of the ADR Proceeding to English.
Furthermore, Complainant has not specified the number, length, or nature of the documents involved nor submitted supporting evidence of the supposedly prejudicial effect of conducting the ADR Proceeding in the Dutch language.
For completeness’ sake, the Panel notes that Complainant has not submitted concluding evidence to support its second argument for changing the language of the proceeding. In line with Formlabs Inc. v. Eduard de Boer, Wezacon, WIPO Case No. DEUL2018-0002, the Panel notes here that Respondent has not consented to the change of language, and finds, on balance, that “the right for the Respondent to properly defend itself outweighs the costs and inconvenience of a translation of the Complaint by the Complainant”.
In view of all of the above, the Panel concludes that the circumstances do not justify a change of the language of the ADR Proceeding.
For the foregoing reasons, the Request is denied.
This Panel’s decision shall be final and not subject to appeal.
Wolter Wefers Bettink
Date: August 16, 2019