WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Syngenta Participations AG v. Ali Zakeri

Case No. DIR2017-0021

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Syngenta Participations AG of Basel, Switzerland, represented Saba & Co. Intellectual Property s.a.l. (Offshore) Head Office, Lebanon.

The Respondent is Ali Zakeri, of Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <syngenta.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 November 10, 2017. On November 10, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to IRNIC a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On November 12, 2017, 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 13, 2017.

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 28, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 18, 2017. On December 19, 2017, the Center notified the Respondent’s default.

The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on January 9, 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 an agribusiness operating in the crop protection, seeds, lawn and garden markets which has used SYNGENTA in relation to its services since 2000. It owns registered trade marks for SYNGENTA, inter alia, in Switzerland.

The Domain Name, registered in 2013 by the Respondent, has not been used.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant’s contentions can be summarised as follows:

The Complainant is a world leading agribusiness operating in the crop protection, seeds, lawn and garden markets which has used SYNGENTA since 2000. It owns registered trade marks for SYNGENTA, inter alia, in Switzerland.

The Complainant’s trade mark is the only component of the Domain Name other than the country code Top-Level Domain (“ccTLD”) “.ir” and, therefore, the Domain Name is identical to the trade mark for the purposes of the Policy.

There is no evidence that the Respondent has used the Domain Name in relation to a bona fide offering of goods and services, made legitimate and noncommercial fair use of the Domain Name or been commonly known by the Domain Name. The Complainant has not authorised the Respondent to use the Complainant’s mark. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.

SYNGENTA is an invented name and has no meaning other than the Complainant. The Respondent did not reply to a cease-and-desist letter from the Complainant.

B. Respondent

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 SYNGENTA mark (which is registered in Switzerland for agricultural services and has been used since 2000) and the ccTLD “.ir”.

The ccTLD “.ir” does not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the SYNGENTA mark, which is the distinctive component of the Domain Name.

Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Domain Name is identical for the purposes of the Policy to a mark in which the Complainant has rights.

As such the Panel holds that paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has not authorised the use of its mark. The Respondent has not answered this Complaint or a cease-and-desist letter from the Complainant and there is no evidence or reason to suggest the Respondent is, in fact, commonly known by the Domain Name.

There has been no use of the mark and therefore no evidence of any use for a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial fair use.

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 Respondent has not answered the Complaint or explained why it should be allowed to register a domain name containing the Complainant’s mark. SYNGENTA is distinctive and not a descriptive term.

The overriding objective of the irDRP is to curb the abusive registration of domain names in circumstances where the registrant seeks to profit from or exploit the trade mark of another. Passive holding of a domain name containing a mark with a reputation can be bad faith registration and use. See Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003.

As such, the Panel holds that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and is used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb of the Policy.

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 <syngenta.ir> be transferred to the Complainant.

Dawn Osborne
Sole Panelist
Date: January 11, 2018