WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

AbbVie Inc. v. Yahya Pourali

Case No. DIR2020-0027

1. The Parties

The Complainant is AbbVie Inc., United States of America, represented by Saba & Co. IP, Lebanon.

The Respondent is Yahya Pourali, Iran (Islamic Republic of).

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <abbvie.ir> is registered with IRNIC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 7, 2020. On December 8, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to IRNIC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 9, 2020, IRNIC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 15, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for the Response was January 4, 2021. On January 5, 2021, the Center notified the Respondent’s default.

The Center appointed Tobias Zuberb├╝hler as the sole panelist in this matter on January 18, 2021. 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 a company in the field of biopharmaceuticals with 8 research centers and 14 manufacturing facilities around the world, globally employing over 47,000 employees and selling its products in more than 175 countries.

The Complainant owns trademark registrations in various jurisdictions, including the Iranian trademark ABBVIE (Reg. No. 194970, registered on November 18, 2012), the Tunisian trademark ABBVIE (Reg. No. TN/E/2012/520, registered on February 16, 2013) and the Afghani trademark ABBVIE (Reg. No. 12787, registered on May 12, 2012).

The Complainant further holds the domain name <abbvie.com> under which the official website of the Complainant is available. The Complainant advertises and sells its services through its <abbvie.com> domain name.

The disputed domain name was created on January 16, 2015 and is not linked to an active website.

Before initiating the present proceedings, the Complainant tried to resolve the matter amicably. The Complainant sent a warning letter to the Respondent on June 23, 2020, requesting the Respondent to transfer the disputed domain name to the Complainant. The Respondent did not respond to the Complainant’s warning letter.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that it has satisfied all elements of the Policy, paragraph 4.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

On the basis of the facts and evidence introduced by the Complainant, and with regard to paragraphs 4(a), (b) and (c) of the Policy, the Panel concludes as follows:

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has submitted sufficient evidence to demonstrate its registered rights in the ABBVIE trademark.

The ABBVIE trademark is wholly reproduced in the disputed domain name.

A domain name is “identical or confusingly similar” to a trademark for the purposes of the Policy when the domain name includes the trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of other terms in the domain name (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662 1). It has become a consensus view among panels that the Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) in a domain name is a standard registration requirement and as such may be disregarded when assessing confusing similarity under the first element of the Policy (see WIPO Overview 3.0, sections 1.11.1 and 1.11.2).

Therefore, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s ABBVIE trademark.

The Complainant has thus satisfied the requirements under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends that the Respondent is neither affiliated with the Complainant nor making any bona fide use of the disputed domain name.

Furthermore, the composition of the disputed domain name, wholly incorporating the Complainant’s trademark, cannot constitute fair use in these circumstances as it effectively impersonates or suggests sponsorship or endorsement by the Complainant (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.5.1).

The Panel finds that the Complainant, having made out a prima facie case which remains unrebutted by the Respondent, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith

Panels have found that the non-use of a domain name would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding. The totality of the circumstances in each case will be examined, and factors that have been considered relevant in applying the passive holding doctrine include: (i) the degree of distinctiveness or reputation of the complainant’s mark, (ii) the failure of the respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good-faith use, (iii) the respondent’s concealing of its identity or use of false contact details, and (iv) the implausibility of any good faith use to which the domain name may be put (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.3).

Under the circumstances of this case, including the composition of the disputed domain name and reputation of the Complainant’s trademark, the Panel finds that the Respondent was most likely aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name. The Respondent did not respond to the Complainant’s warning letter and did not submit a response in these proceedings. The Panel sees no plausible good faith use to which the disputed domain name may be put. The Respondent therefore registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith.

Accordingly, the Complainant has also fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 disputed domain name <abbvie.ir> be transferred to the Complainant.

Tobias Zuberb├╝hler
Sole Panelist
Date: January 27, 2021


1 Noting the substantive similarities between the Policy and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”), the Panel has referred to prior UDRP cases and the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), where appropriate.