WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Klarna Bank AB v. Henrik Pettersson

Case No. DNU2018-0004

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Klarna Bank AB of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Henrik Pettersson of Stenhamra, Sweden.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <klarnabank.nu> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with Loopia AB (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 24, 2018. On September 25, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On September 27, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Disputed Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Registrar also informed the Center that the language of the Registration Agreement for the Disputed Domain Name was Swedish. On September 28, 2018, the Center notified the Parties in both English and Swedish that the language of the Registration Agreement for the Disputed Domain Name was Swedish. On September 28, 2018, the Complainant requested for English to be the language of the proceeding, to which the Respondent did not reply. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on September 28, 2018, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant submitted a request for suspension on September 30, 2018, and the proceeding was subsequently suspended on October 1, 2018, for 14 days. On October 2, 2018, the Complainant requested to reinstitute the proceeding, and the proceeding was reinstituted on the same day. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on October 2, 2018.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Supplemental Rules”).

In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 5, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 25, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 26, 2018.

The Center appointed Anders Janson as the sole panelist in this matter on November 16, 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 asserted, and provided evidence in support of, the following facts, which the Panel finds established.

The Disputed Domain Name <klarnabank.nu> was registered on June 22, 2017. The Disputed Domain Name resolves to a registrar parking page.

The Complainant, founded in 2005, provides online financial services with the aim of making it easier for people to shop online. Its online services include different payment solutions for online stores such as offers of direct payments, pay after delivery options and installment plans in a one-click purchase experience that lets consumers pay when and how they prefer. On May 23, 2017, and onwards the Complainant announced that it has been granted a full banking license by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. Today the Complainant is one of Europe’s largest banks and provides payment solutions for 60 million consumers across 70,000 merchants in 18 countries.

The Complainant is the proprietor of international trademark registrations for KLARNA, registered under No. 1217315 (registered on March 4, 2014), No. 1182130 (registered on August 1, 2013) and No. 1066079 (registered on December 21, 2010), US registration No. 79138646 (registered on August 12, 2014) and No. 79152527 (registered on February 24, 2015), Australian registration No. 1650175 (registered on March 4, 2014), and European Union registration No. 012656658 (registered on July 30, 2014), No 1182130 (registered on August 1, 2013), No. 010844462 (registered on September 24, 2012) and No. 009199803 (registered on December 6, 2010).

The Complainant is also the owner of the domain names <klarnabank.com> and <klarnabank.se>.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant has trademark rights registered with regards to the wording KLARNA. The Complainant’s trademarks were registered prior to the Respondent registering the Disputed Domain Name and has been used by the Complainant for a relatively long time. The Complainant also has a significant presence on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

The Disputed Domain Name <klarnabank.nu> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered rights as the Disputed Domain Name directly incorporates the Complainant’s registered trademark KLARNA and the associated term “bank”. The addition of the country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) “.nu” does not add any distinctiveness to the Disputed Domain Name.

The Respondent does not have any rights to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent has made no claims to neither having any relevant prior rights of its own, or to having become commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name. The word KLARNA and the company name Klarna Bank is unique and it does not exist in any known language, it is an invented word by the Complainant. The word does not exist as a trademark registration other than the Complainant’s own registrations. There is no plausible bona fide use that the Respondent could make of the Disputed Domain Name that would not interfere with the Complainant’s trademark. The use of a parked webpage related to the KLARNA brand causes confusion in the public.

The Complainant’s trademarks predate the registration of the Disputed Domain Name, which was registered only after it was announced that the Complainant had received a banking license. KLARNA is a well-known trademark in the financial industry. It is unlikely that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainants rights in the trademark and the trademarks value. The Respondent bears no relationship to the trademark and the Disputed Domain Name has no other meaning except for referring to the Complainant’s name and trademark. The Disputed Domain Name displays a parked website which may reflect badly on the Complainant’s reputation and potentially its’ business with loss of potential customers. The Respondent uses a privacy shield in a manner that may constitute a factor indicating bad faith since it increases the difficulty for the Complainant to identify the Respondent. The Complainant tried – without receiving an answer – to contact the Respondent on August 18, 2017 through a cease and desist letter in which the Respondent was advised that the unauthorized use of the trademarks violated the Complainant’s trademark rights and there was a request for a voluntary transfer of the Disputed Domain Name.

The Complainant requests that the Disputed Domain Name <klarnabank.nu> be transferred to the Complainant.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Given the facts in the case file and the Respondent’s failure to file a Response, the Panel accepts as true the contentions of the Complainant. The Respondent’s default does not however automatically lead to a transfer of the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainant must still establish, to the Panel’s satisfaction, that it is entitled to a transfer of the Disputed Domain Name under the Policy.

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy the Complainant must establish each of the following elements:

(i) That the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(ii) That the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name; and

(iii) That the Disputed Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

6.1 Language of the Proceedings

The Language of the Registration Agreement is Swedish.

The Complainant requests that the language of the proceedings shall be English based on the fact that the website does not target a Swedish audience, that the Respondent has not responded to the cease and desist letter, that the Respondent is not likely residing in Sweden and that if the Respondent is located in Sweden English is a secondary language in Sweden.

The Respondent did not respond to the language request.

Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules provides that:

“Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.”

The Center made a preliminary determination to:

1) accept the Complaint filed in English;

2) accept a Response in either English or Swedish;

3) seek to appoint a Panel familiar with both languages mentioned above.

The final determination of the language of the proceedings lies with this Panel. The Respondent did not respond to the Center’s preliminary determination. The Panel decided in Zappos.com, Inc. v. Zufu aka Huahaotrade, WIPO Case No. D2008-1191 that a respondent’s failure to respond to a preliminary determination by the Center as to the language of the proceedings “should, in general, be a strong factor to allow the Panel to decide to proceed in favour of the language of the Complaint”.

As set out below, the Panel considers the merits of the case to be strongly in favour of the Complainant.

As the Respondent was informed by the Center on September 28, 2018, the failure to respond to the Complainant’s request that English should be the language of the proceedings would be perceived as no objection to the request and the proceedings would continue in English. English is a universal language and translating the Complaint would cause unnecessary delays and expense. These factors lead the Panel to determine to follow the Center’s preliminary determination. As the only pleading before the Panel is in English, the Panel will render its Decision in English.

6.2 Substantive Issues

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel has already accepted that the Complainant has rights to the trademark KLARNA.

It has been long established by previous UDRP panels that the Top-Level Domain (“TLD”), such as “.nu”, is not to be taken into account when assessing the issue of identity and confusing similarity. Therefore, the relevant part of the Disputed Domain Name to compare the trademark to is “klarnabank”.

The Disputed Domain Name <klarnabank.nu> consists of the trademark KLARNA with the added word “bank”. The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety and should therefore be considered confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark, see Section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has not responded to the Complaint to assert any rights or legitimate interests. Section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 provides:

“While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of “proving a negative”, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element.”

The Complainant owns numerous trademarks around the world. The Respondent has no connection with the Complainant and has not sought or obtained any trademark registrations for KLARNA. The Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. The Respondent, therefore, has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name unless the Respondent can demonstrate otherwise. The Respondent has presented no such evidence to establish rights or legitimate interests.

The second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Based on the evidence before it, the Panel has no hesitation in finding that the Disputed Domain Name <klarnabank.nu> was registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith. The word “klarna” is an invented word by the Complainant and Klarna Bank is used as the company name. The Respondent clearly knew of the Complainant when it registered the Disputed Domain Name, as it comprises of not only the Complainant’s mark but also the word “bank” that describes the nature of the Complainant’s business. This serves as strong evidence of the Respondent’s knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark. Moreover, the Complainant also has a certain presence on various social media and if performing a search on <google.com> for “Klarna” or “Klarnabank” the search results retrieved are related to the Complainant.

While the Disputed Domain Name has not yet been actively used, except for pointing to a registrar parking website, this does not prevent a finding of bad faith. The Panel notes here that a domain name can also be “used” for example to send emails without website content. The Respondent’s registration of the Disputed Domain Name disrupts the business of the Complainant and also prevents the Complainant from reflecting its mark in a corresponding domain name.

The third part of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.

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 <klarnabank.nu> be transferred to the Complainant.

Anders Janson
Sole Panelist
Date: November 30, 2018