WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AB Electrolux v. SEHAWI Trading Co. (LTD)
Case No. DIR2016-0034
1. The Parties
The Complainant is AB Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is SEHAWI Trading Co. (LTD) of Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran ("Iran").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <aeg-ir.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 October 13, 2016. On October 14, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to IRNIC a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 16, 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 November 2, 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 November 4, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 24, 2016. On November 25, 2016, the Center notified the Respondent's default.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on December 2, 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 is one of the leading producers of appliances, kitchen equipment, cleaning and floor care products in business for over 90 years. It owns numerous trade mark registrations worldwide for AEG including in Iran where the Respondent is based.
The Domain Name has been attached to a web site which mimics the official site of the Complainant and uses the Complainant's name and figurative logo as the masthead of the site.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant's contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is one of the leading producers of appliances, kitchen equipment, cleaning and floor care products in business for over 90 years. It owns numerous trade mark registrations worldwide for AEG including in Iran where the Respondent is based. The Complainant operates numerous web sites including "www.aeg.com".
The Domain Name includes the Complainant's distinctive trade mark, a hyphen, the additional letters "ir" and the country code Top-Level Domain ("ccTLD") extension ".ir". The letters "ir" in the second level of the Domain Name cannot distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant's trade mark as it stands for the generic geographical description Iran where the Respondent is based. It is standard practice to ignore the ccTLD suffix where it is a geographical indication. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's AEG trade mark.
The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name. It has not been used for a bona fide offering of goods and services. It has been attached to a web site that uses the Complainant's distinctive red name logo and its figurative logo which strongly suggests the web site is linked to the Complainant and shows the Respondent has actual knowledge of the Complainant and its business. There is no accurate disclaimer to explain any relationship or lack thereof with the Complainant.
The Complainant started to use the AEG brand more than a century ago and registered its AEG mark in Iran in 2002.
The Respondent is depriving the Complainant of the right to reflect its own trade mark in the Domain Name.
The Respondent is intentionally attempting to attract visitors to the Respondent's web site by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent's web site or products thereon.
The Respondent did not respond to a cease-and-desist letter from the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant is a well-known provider of kitchen and cleaning equipment and products and is the owner of the AEG trade mark in many countries worldwide, including in Iran where the Respondent is based since 2002.
The Domain Name includes a name identical to the Complainant's registered mark AEG with the addition of a hyphen, the additional letters "ir" (a common abbreviation to indicate the country Iran) and the ccTLD ".ir" which is disregarded for purposes of comparison under the Policy. The Panel agrees that the use of the letters "ir" in the second level of the Domain Name will be taken to be descriptive geographically. It does not distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant's AEG trade mark which remains highly recognisable in the Domain Name, nor does the punctuation mark, the hyphen. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights for the purpose of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is clear from the content of the site that the Respondent is aware of the significance of the name "AEG" as the site attached to the Domain Name uses the Complainant's name in its logo form, its figurative logo and pictures of the Complainant's products. The usage is not fair as the site uses the Complainant's logos and does not make it clear that there is no commercial connection with the Complainant. The Panel finds this use confusing as it falsely implies sponsorship by, endorsement by or affiliation with the Complainant. As such it cannot amount to the bona fide offering of goods or services. The Respondent has not answered this Complaint and has not provided any legitimate reason why it should be able to use the Complainant's mark in the Domain Name as well as the Complainant's name and logo as the masthead for its web site. As such the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.
C. Registration or Use in Bad Faith
The content of the Respondent's web site makes it clear that it is aware of the Complainant's rights. It seems clear that the use of the Complainant's name and logo for the masthead would cause people to assume the web site attached to the Domain Name is that of the Complainant. Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its web site by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trade marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the web site.
As such, the Panelist believes that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb of the Policy it being sufficient under the .ir Policy to prove either registration or use in bad faith in any event.
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, <aeg-ir.ir>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 14, 2016