WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Active Sportswear Int. A/S v. Yang Kyung Won
Case No. D2016-0887
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Active Sportswear Int. A/S of Bronderslev, Denmark, represented by Patrade A/S, Denmark.
The Respondent is Yang Kyung Won of Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <fzforza.com> is registered with Megazone Corp., dba HOSTING.KR (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on May 3, 2016. On May 3, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 4, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
On May 9, 2016, the Center notified the Parties in both English and Korean that the language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is Korean. On the same day, the Complainant requested for English to be the language of the proceeding. On May 11, 2016, the Respondent requested for Korean to be the language of the proceeding.
The Center verified that 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, in both English and Korean, and the proceeding commenced on May 13, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 2, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Parties about the commencement of the panel appointment process on June 3, 2016.
The Center appointed Moonchul Chang as the sole panelist in this matter on June 20, 2016. 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 the owner of the trademark FZ FORZA in numerous countries, including Denmark, where the Complainant owns Registration No. VR 2005 04279, registered on November 2, 2005. The Complainant has sold badminton equipments and other gymnastic and sporting articles under the trademark FZ FORZA.
The disputed domain name <fzforza.com> was registered on April 6, 2011 according to the publicly available WhoIs information.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that:
(1) The disputed domain name incorporates in full the Complainant's FZ FORZA mark. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
(2) The Respondent has no relation to the Complainant and the Respondent has not been authorized to use the Complainant's trademark. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to divert Internet users to other websites that sell competing products by showing sponsored links to these websites. This is not a bona fide offering of goods or services or use of the disputed domain name for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
(3) The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith. Firstly, since the disputed domain name is identical to the trademark FZ FORZA of the Complainant, which is neither generic nor descriptive, it is highly unlikely that the Respondent has not been aware of the Complainant's trademark. Secondly, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users for commercial gain by using a domain name identical to the trademark of the Complainant. Furthermore, the Respondent has been involved in at least eight other similar UDRP cases, all finding that the Respondent had to transfer the registered domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Language of Proceedings
The spirit of paragraph 11 of the Rules is to ensure fairness in the selection of language by giving full consideration, inter alia, to the parties' level of comfort with each language, expenses to be incurred, and possibility of delay in the proceeding in the event translations are required.
In consideration of the above circumstances and in the interest of fairness to both parties, the Panel decides, under paragraph 11 of the Rules, that English shall be the language of the administrative proceeding in this case (see Tumblr, Inc. v. Kenny Kim, WIPO Case No. D2013-0440).
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant's FZ FORZA mark in its entirety. Numerous UDRP panels have held that where a domain name substantially incorporates a complainant's trademark, this is sufficient to find the domain name "confusingly similar" within the meaning of the Policy (see Amazon.com, Inc. v. MCL International Limited, WIPO Case No. D2000-1678). The generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") suffix ".com" or ".net" can be generally disregarded under the confusing similarity test (see DHL Operations B.V. v. zhangyl, WIPO Case No. D2007-1653).
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the first element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests>
Under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, the overall burden of proof is on complainants. However, once a complainant presents a prima facie case that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to show its rights or legitimate interests. If the respondent fails to come forth asserting any right or legitimate interest, the complainant is considered to have satisfied its burden (see Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110; Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455).
Firstly, the Complainant has never licensed or authorized the Respondent to use the FZ FORZA trademark or to register any domain names incorporating the trademark. The Respondent has used the Complainant's registered trademark without permission from the Complainant.
Secondly, the Complainant contends that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. In this present case, the Respondent failed to come forward with any appropriate allegations or evidence that might demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name to rebut the Complainant's prima facie case.
Thirdly, there is no evidence presented to the Panel that the Respondent has used, or has made demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. In addition, there is no evidence to suggest that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has satisfied the second element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in the present case.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires that the disputed domain name "has been registered and is being used in bad faith". As this requirement is conjunctive, a complainant must establish both bad faith registration and bad faith use of the disputed domain name. In addition, the circumstances listed in paragraph 4(b) of the Policy are not exclusive, and other circumstances may likewise lead to a finding of bad faith registration and use.
Firstly, since the disputed domain name entirely incorporates the FZ FORZA mark, in this Panel's view it is highly unlikely that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant's trademark at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name.
Secondly, the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain names for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the FZ FORZA mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent's services. Especially, according to the evidence the Complainant submitted to this Panel the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to divert Internet users to other websites that sell competing products by showing sponsored links to these websites.
Furthermore, the Respondent was previously involved in many other similar UDRP cases in which the panel ordered the domain name at issue to be transferred to the respective complainant. There is also a history of prior bad faith findings in the cases involving the Respondent such as Pfizer Inc v. Yang Kyung Won, WIPO Case No. D2015-1982; Sulon Technologies Inc. v. Yang Kyung Won, WIPO Case No. D2015-1529; Mysuelly v. Yang Kyung Won, WIPO Case No. D2013-1145. Having considered the Respondent's history of registering multiple domain names confusingly similar to third-parties' well-known trademarks, the Panel finds that these registrations constitute a pattern of bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(ii) of the Policy.
Based on the foregoing, the Panel is satisfied that bad faith registration and use have been established with respect to the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has satisfied the third element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in the present case.
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 <fzforza.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 7, 2016