WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

Alternative Dispute Resolution Proceeding

Accelerated Proceeding

Case No. DSE2020-0016

1. Petitioner

The Petitioner is Swedbank AB,Sweden, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.

2. Domain Holder

The Domain Holder is P.I., Bulgaria.

3. Domain Name and Procedural History

This Alternative Dispute Resolution proceeding relates to the domain name <swedbankgroup.se>.

This Petition was filed under the Terms and Conditions of registration (the “.se Policy”) and the Instructions governing Alternative Dispute Resolution proceeding for domain names in the top-level domain .se (the “.se Rules”).

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (“the Center”) verified that the Petition satisfied the formal requirements of the .se Policy and the .se Rules. In accordance with Section 13 of the .se Rules, the Center formally notified the Domain Holder of the Petition on March 31, 2020. The Domain Holder did not submit any response and, accordingly, the Center notified the Domain Holder's default on May 1, 2020.

The Center appointed Petter Rindforth as the sole Arbitrator in this matter on May 4, 2020. The Arbitrator has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with Section 1 of the .se Rules.

4. Factual Background

The Petitioner is a Swedish banking / financial service company and the owner of the SWEDBANK trademark, registered and valid in Sweden through:

Swedish National trademark No. 188 279 SWEDBANK (word), registered September 23, 1983, for services in class 36;

Swedish National trademark No. 383 249 SWEDBANK SINCE 1820 (fig), registered September 8, 2006, for goods and services in classes 9, 16 and 35; and

European Union trade mark (EUTM) No. 004897567 SWEDBANK (word), registered March 5, 2007, for goods and services in classes 9, 16, 35, 36 and 42.

The disputed domain name was created on November 23, 2019, and resolves to a website with links to financial/banking services, including those offered by the Petitioner.

5. Claim

The Petitioner claims that the disputed domain name shall be transferred to the Petitioner.

The Petitioner further requests to have the dispute decided as an Accelerated Proceeding if the Domain Holder does not respond to the Petition.

6. Parties’ Contentions

A. Petitioner

According to the Petitioner, the disputed domain name <swedbankgroup.se> is identical or confusingly similar to a distinguishing service and business feature related to the Petitioner, namely the SWEDBANK trademark, which is registered in the name of the Petitioner in a number of countries around the world. With roots dating back to its founding in 1820, the Petitioner is firmly entrenched in Sweden's savings bank history, the cooperative agricultural bank tradition. Today, the Petitioner is the leading bank in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with 311 branches, as well as global operations across Denmark, China, Finland ,Luxembourg, Norway, South Africa and the United States of America. The services offered by the Petitioner includes deposit and lending products; guarantees; non-life insurance products; brokerage and other securities; real estate brokerage; and asset management, financing, and life insurance and pension services.

The Petitioner has a strong Internet presence through its websites and is the owner of numerous Top-Level Domains (“TLDs”) containing the term “swedbank” including <swedbank.se>, <swedbank.com> and <swedbank.us>.

The disputed domain name <swedbankgroup.se> is preventing the Petitioner from reflecting its trade name and trademark in the corresponding domain name.

The Domain Holder has neither rights nor legitimate interest in the domain name <swedbankgroup.se>. The Domain Holder is not known by that name, does not hold rights in the name, nor is s/he using the name in its linguistic sense.

B. Domain Holder

The Domain Holder did not file any response.

7. Discussion and Findings

A domain name may, in accordance with .SE Terms and Conditions of Registration (.se Policy) from September 30, 2019, paragraph 7.2, be deregistered or transferred to the party requesting dispute resolution proceedings if:

1. The Domain Name is identical or similar to a trademark or business name (or other name rights) which is legally recognized in Sweden and to which the party requesting dispute resolution can prove its rights, and

2. The Domain Name has been registered or used in bad faith, and

3. The Domain Holder has no rights or justified interest in the Domain Name.

All three conditions must be met in order for a Petitioner to succeed in his action.

A. The Domain Name is identical or similar to a name which is legally recognized in Sweden and to which the Petitioner can prove its rights

The Petitioner, a company based in Sweden, is the owner of the trademark SWEDBANK, registered in Sweden and in the European Union (thereby including Sweden). The trademarks are registered long before the disputed domain name <swedbankgroup.se> which is similar to the trademark SWEDBANK – using the full trademark and only adding a descriptive word that may be seen as referring to the Petitioner’s offices in Sweden and/or other countries.

B. The Domain Name has been registered or used in bad faith

Based on the record, the Arbitrator finds that the disputed domain name <swedbankgroup.se> is both registered and used in bad faith. The Petitioner’s registered trademark is distinctive, and well known in Europe, and the Domain Holder is using <swedbankgroup.se> to connect to a web site with commercial links to banking and financial services related to the Petitioner as well as to services offered by competitors to the Petitioner. The said linked website also notes that the disputed domain name is for sale, which – in connection with the said use – is a further indication of bad faith registration or use.

C. The Domain Holder has no rights or justified interest in the Domain Name.

Based on the record, the Arbitrator finds that the Domain Holder has no rights or justified interest in the disputed domain name. The Petitioner has not accepted the Domain Holder to register <swedbankgroup.se>, and there is nothing in the Domain Holder’s name that may indicate any justified interest. Further, the Domain Holder has chosen to not file a response to the Petition.

8. Decision

The disputed domain name <swedbankgroup.se> shall be transferred to the Petitioner.

Petter Rindforth
Date: May 14, 2020