WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Syngenta Participations AG v. Simon Laidler / Who Is Agent, WhoIs Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Case No. D2014-1702
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Syngenta Participations AG of Basel, Switzerland, internally represented.
The Respondent is Simon Laidler of Pretoria, South Africa / Who Is Agent, WhoIs Privacy Protection Service, Inc. of Kirkland, Washington, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <uk-syngenta.com> (the "Disputed Domain Name") is registered with eNom (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on September 30, 2014. On September 30, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On September 30, 2014, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification disclosing registrant and contact information for the Disputed Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 13, 2014, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 16, 2014.
The Center verified that the amended 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(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 17, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 6, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 10, 2014.
The Center appointed Michael D. Cover as the sole panelist in this matter on November 20, 2014. 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. The Panel subsequently extended the decision due date to December 16, 2014.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is large and well-known company, whose products include agrochemicals for crop protection and also vegetable and flower seeds. The Complainant has more than 28,000 employees in 90 countries.
The Complainant registered the trademark SYNGENTA in 1999 as an International Trade Mark, designating, amongst other countries, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Complainant has also registered its trademark in numerous countries as a national trademark.
The Complainant is also the owner of many domain names which include its trademark SYNGENTA.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on July 21, 2014. At the time the Complaint was filed, the Disputed Domain Name did not resolve to an active website.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant submits that the Disputed Domain Name contains an exact match to its global trademark SYNGENTA. The Complainant states the Respondent does not have any affiliation with the Complainant nor was the Respondent authorized to use the Complainant's trademark.
The Complainant states that the Disputed Domain Name does not resolve to an active website but was used to send fraudulent emails and produces evidence in that regard.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant is required to demonstrate on the balance of probabilities that the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to its trademark SYNGENTA, in which it has rights, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name and that the Disputed Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark SYNGENTA, in which it has registered rights for the purpose of the Policy. The Complainant has also established common law rights in the trademark SYNGENTA through its extensive use of that trademark. The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the Complainant's, trademark in its entirety with only the addition of the descriptive element "uk-". Such addition does not alter the fact that the Complainant's trademark is the dominant element of the Disputed Domain Name.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel accepts that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. The Respondent has not been authorized or licensed by the Complainant to use the Complainant's trademark SYNGENTA.
There is no evidence to suggest that the Respondent has, before notice of the dispute, made demonstrable preparations to use the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. There is also no evidence to suggest that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name or that the Respondent is or has been making legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the Complainant's trademark. The evidence is to the contrary with regard to the fraudulent emails.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel also accepts that the Respondent has registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith. The Complainant's trademark SYNGENTA is well-known and it is a reasonable inference for the Panel to make that the Respondent must have known of the Complainant's trademark when registering the Disputed Domain Name.
Furthermore, the lack of active use (passive holding) of the Disputed Domain name does not prevent a finding of bad faith. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0') paragraph 3.2. In this connection, the panel also notes that the Complainant provided evidence showing that the Respondent has used the Disputed Domain Name to send fraudulent emails purportedly on behalf of the Complainant.
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, <uk-syngenta.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Michael D. Cover
Date: December 16, 2014