WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Inter IKEA Systems BV v. Mostafa Banihasan
Case No. DIR2020-0012
1. The Parties
Complainant is Inter IKEA Systems BV, Netherlands, represented Saba & Co. IP, Lebanon.
Respondent is Mostafa Banihasan, Islamic Republic of Iran.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <iranikea.ir> (“Domain Name”) is registered with IRNIC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 9, 2020. On July 9, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to IRNIC a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On July 11, 2020, IRNIC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 16, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 5, 2020. On August 6, 2020, the Center notified Respondent’s default.
The Center appointed Marina Perraki as the sole panelist in this matter on August 24, 2020. 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
Complainant is a Dutch company, owner of the IKEA Concept and the IKEA Retail System, franchised to IKEA retailers worldwide. Complainant’s franchisees sell ready-to-assemble furniture and related products. Complainant’s franchising network comprises of the world’s largest furniture retail chain, with 361 stores in 45 countries and 821 million visitors between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014. Per Complaint, the IKEA trademark is one of the most well-known trademarks in the world.
Complainant is the owner of numerous domain names comprising of the term “ikea”, including <ikea.com>. Between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014, there were 1.6 billion visits to Complainant’s website under that domain name.
Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations for IKEA and IKEA variants in more than 80 countries, including:
- Iranian trademark registration No. 131437, IRANIKEA (word), registered on May 1, 2006 for goods in international classes 11, 17, and 20, and
- Iranian trademark registration No. 125527, IKEA (logo) registered on October 18, 2005, for goods in international classes 11, 17, and 20.
The Domain Name was registered on April 7, 2019 and leads to a page, where the Domain Name is being offered for sale. It also redirects to a page in Iranian at “https://www.rond.ir/DomainInfo/1/ir/IranIKEA” which appears to contain links to third-party websites.
On May 8, 2020, Complainant sent a warning letter, to which Respondent did not reply.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant asserts that it has established all three elements required under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy for a transfer of the Domain Name.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the irDRP Policy lists the three elements which Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Domain Name:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered or is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has demonstrated rights through registration on the IRANIKEA trademark as well as registration and use on the IKEA trademark.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical to the IRANIKEA trademark of Complainant.
The Domain Name incorporates the trademark of Complainant in its entirety.
The country code Top-Level Domain (“ccTLD”) “.ir” is disregarded, as ccTLDs typically do not form part of the comparison on the grounds that they are required for technical reasons only (Rexel Developpements SAS v. Zhan Yequn, WIPO Case No. D2017-0275 1).
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, Respondent may establish its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, among other circumstances, by showing any of the following elements:
(i) before any notice to you [Respondent] of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you [Respondent] (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you [Respondent] are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
The Panel concludes that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
Respondent has not submitted any response and has not claimed any such rights or legitimate interests with respect to the Domain Name. As per Complainant, Respondent was not authorized to register the Domain Name.
Respondent did not demonstrate prior to the notice of the dispute, any use of the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
On the contrary, as Complainant demonstrated, the Domain Name resolves to a page, where it is being offered for sale, while it also redirects to “www.rond.ir/DomainInfo/1/ir/IranIKEA”, which appears to contain links to third party websites.
Furthermore, the Domain Name consists entirely of Complainant’s trademark IRANIKEA and thus carries a high risk of implied affiliation (WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.5.1).
The Panel finds that these circumstances do not confer upon Respondent any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, “in particular but without limitation”, are evidence of the registration and use of the Domain Name in “bad faith”:
(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registrations to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out of pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or
(ii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding Domain Name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) that by using the Domain Name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other on line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.
The Panel concludes that Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith. The Domain Name includes the IKEA trademark of Complainant which is an invented name, namely it is an acronym comprising the initials of the founder’s name (Ingvar Kamprad), the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his home parish (Agunnaryd). As Complainant demonstrated, Complainant’s IKEA trademark enjoys reputation, whereas the IRANIKEA trademark had been registered by Complainant before the Domain Name registration and the IKEA trademark had been widely used and registered by Complainant before the Domain Name registration. In view of all the above, the Panel finds it more likely than not that Respondent had Complainant’s trademark in mind when registering the Domain Name (Tudor Games, Inc. v. Domain Hostmaster, Customer ID No. 09382953107339 dba Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd / Domain Administrator, Vertical Axis Inc., WIPO Case No. D2014-1754; Parfums Christian Dior v. Javier Garcia Quintas and Christiandior.net, WIPO Case No. D2000-0226).
Respondent should have known about Complainant’s rights, as such knowledge is readily obtainable through a simple browser search (See Caesars World, Inc. v. Forum LLC, WIPO Case No. D2005-0517; Compart AG v. Compart.com / Vertical Axis Inc., WIPO Case No. D2009-0462).
Furthermore, Respondent could have conducted a trademark search and would have found Complainant’s prior registrations in respect of IKEA (Citrix Online LLC v. Ramalinga Reddy Sanikommu Venkata, WIPO Case No. D2012-1338).
Complainant has demonstrated that the Domain Name is being offered for sale. This, in view of the finding that Respondent has no right to or legitimate interest in the Domain Name, constitutes evidence of bad faith use (Aygaz Anonim Sirketi v. Arthur Cain, WIPO Case No. D2014-1206; WIPO Overview 3.0 , section 3.1 ).
Lastly, the Domain Name redirects to a website at “www.rond.ir/DomainInfo/1/ir/IranIKEA” displaying links to third party sites, which suggests that, presumably, Respondent received pay-per-click fees from the linked websites that are listed thereon. It has been recognized that such use of another’s trademark to generate revenue from Internet advertising can constitute registration and use in bad faith (McDonald’s Corporation v. ZusCom, WIPO Case No. D2007-1353; Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft v. Robert Brodi, WIPO Case No. D2015-0299; SAP SE v. Domains by Proxy, LLC / Kamal Karmakar, WIPO Case No. D2016-2497; WIPO Overview 3.0 , section 3.5 ).
Under these circumstances and on this record, the Panel finds that Respondent registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith.
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <iranikea.ir> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: September 9, 2020
1 The Panel follows prior decisions under the irDRP and, given the similarities between the irDRP and UDRP, finds it appropriate to apply UDRP jurisprudence, including reference to the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition. See Inter IKEA Systems BV (IISBV) v. Mohammadreza Mohammadian, WIPO Case No. DIR2018-0003.