WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.S. v. Hadi Farzad
Case No. DIR2016-0012
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.S. of Korfez, Turkey, represented by June Intellectual Property Services Inc., Turkey.
The Respondent is Hadi Farzad of Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <tupras.ir> (the "Domain Name") is registered with IRNIC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on April 29, 2016. On April 29, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to IRNIC a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 24, 2016, IRNIC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. Hard copies of the Complaint were received by the Center on May 18, 2016.
The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy" or "irDRP"), the Rules for .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules"), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules").
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 26, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 15, 2016. No Response was submitted and the Center accordingly notified the parties of the Respondent's default on June 16, 2016.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on June 24, 2016. 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 has registered trade marks for or containing TUPRAS for its services dating back to 2000 in Turkey and also holds an international registration for TUPRAS plus logo which also designates the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is the only oil refinery company in Turkey.
The Domain Name was registered on January 21, 2016 and is not being used.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant's submissions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is Turkey's only refinery and largest Enterprise with 28.1 million ton crude processing capacity per year. The roots of the Complainant go back to the 1950s, however the company's present organizational structure dates back to 1983. The Complainant has registered trade marks for or containing TUPRAS for its services dating back to 2000 in Turkey and also holds an international registration for TUPRAS plus logo which also designates the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Complainant has been the owner of <tupras.com.tr> back to 1997 and also uses <tupras.com>. The Complainant openly conducts lawful activities in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Domain Name is identical to the Complainant's trade mark. The designation of a country code Top-Level Dominan (ccTLD) such as ".ir" is not sufficient to avoid this. Consumers will believe that the Domain Name is the Complainant's domain name for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Complainant has not licensed the Respondent to use the mark TUPRAS. The Respondent is not using the Domain Name and has not been commonly known by it.
The Respondent has registered the Domain Name to confuse consumers for profit or to sell it to the Complainant or both. TUPRAS is well-known and the Respondent must have known about the Complainant.
Passive holding of a well-known mark as a domain name is evidence of registration and use in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Domain Name consists of the Complainant's well known mark TUPRAS and the ccTLD ".ir". ccTLDs are typically not taken into account for the purposes of determining whether a mark and a domain name are identical or confusing similar under the Policy. As such the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant's TUPRAS registered mark for the purposes of the Policy. As such the Complainant has satisfied the first limb of the Policy with respect to the Domain Name.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent does not appear to have any trade marks associated with the name "Tupras". There is no evidence that he is commonly known by this name and he does not have any consent from the Complainant to use its TUPRAS mark. The Respondent does not appear to have used the Domain Name for any bona fide offering of goods or services. The website at the Domain Name is inactive. Further, the Respondent did not respond to this Complaint and does not explain why he has registered the Domain Name. Given that the Complainant's mark is well-known in the oil-refinery industry it would indicate to most Internet users and members of the public an association with the Complainant. The Respondent does not deny any knowledge of the Complainant and its rights or provide any evidence of intended legitimate use. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.
C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith
Under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy it is sufficient to show either registration or use in bad faith as IRNIC has adopted an amended version of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out various criteria which are evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith which are non-exclusive. However, panels have historically found that there can be a finding of registration and use in bad faith where there is passive use of a well-known trade mark in a domain name where there is no response and no explanation as to why the use could be good faith. See Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. In this case, as noted above the Complainant's mark is well-known and the Respondent has not responded to the Complaint and has not explained why he would be entitled to register a domain name consisting of the Complainant's mark and the ccTLD ".ir". As such the Panel finds on the balance of probability that the Respondent registered and used the 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 Domain Name <tupras.ir> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 27, 2016