WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
WIPRO Limited v. Batuhan Sarp / Porno
Case No. D2016-2038
1. The Parties
The Complainant is WIPRO Limited of Bangalore, India, represented by K & S Partners, India.
The Respondent is Batuhan Sarp / Porno of Yozgat, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wiproleadingedge.com> is registered with Name.com, Inc. (Name.com LLC) (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 6, 2016. On October 6, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 8, 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.
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, and the proceedings commenced on October 14, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 3, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 4, 2016.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on November 11, 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 following undisputed facts are relevant to the Panel’s determination.
The Complainant is publicly traded company with operations around the world in a number of industries, and has used the mark WIPRO - a coined term - since 1977. The Complainant owns several trademark registrations around the world for the WIPRO mark, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) Registration numbered 2542326, which was registered on February 26, 2002. The Complainant has hosted an annual conference called “Wipro Leading Edge” for approximately the past decade.
The Complainant originally registered the disputed domain name in 2009, but let the registration lapsed inadvertently in 2016. The Respondent obtained the registration of the disputed domain name and used it to establish a website showing adult content.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the disputed domain name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has provided evidence of its registrations of the mark WIPRO in several countries, including registrations which predate the registration of the disputed domain name, such as the USPTO Trademark no. 2542326, registered on February 26, 2002. On the basis of these registrations, and the Complainant’s assertions regarding the well-known status of the Complainant, the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has rights in the WIPRO mark.
The Panel also finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark. “The incorporation of a trademark in its entirety is sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered mark”. See Britannia Building Society v. Britannia Fraud Prevention, WIPO Case No. D2001-0505. In this case, the disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trademark WIPRO in its entirety. The addition of the words “leading edge” does nothing to diminish this confusing similarity. In fact, the inclusion of these words increases the likelihood of confusion because the domain name in its entirety is comprised of the name of the annual conference that the Complainant hosts.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel evaluates this element of the Policy by first looking to see whether the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. If the Complainant makes that showing, the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests shifts to the Respondent. See Canon U.S.A., Inc. v. Miniatures Town, WIPO Case No. D2014-0948, citing WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition, paragraph 2.1 (after the complainant makes a prima facie case, the burden of showing rights or legitimate interests in the domain name shifts to the respondent).
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy instructs respondents on a number of ways they could demonstrate rights or legitimate interests (“you” and “your” in the following refers to the particular respondent):
“(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”
In this case, the Panel credits the Complainant’s assertion that the Respondent is not using and has not used, or made demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Further, the Complainant asserts, and the Panel accepts, that the Respondent is not now, nor has been known in the past by the disputed domain name. Further, based on the record, the Respondent is not making and has never made any legitimate noncommercial use of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. By failing to respond to the Complaint, the Respondent did not overcome its burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests, and no other facts in the record tip the balance in the Respondent’s favor.
Accordingly, the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in regard to the disputed domain name, and the Complainant has prevailed on this element of the UDRP.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent undoubtedly registered the disputed domain name in bad faith with actual knowledge of the Complainant’s rights in its WIPRO mark because the WIPRO mark is internationally recognized and is registered in various jurisdictions throughout the world. The Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name years after the Complainant had first used its mark is sufficient to satisfy the bad faith requirement. See Tumblr, Inc. v. Privacy Protect.org/Jiangchunyuan, WIPO Case No. D2013-0243 (bad faith where panel “finds it difficult to believe that Respondent was unaware of the TUMBLR mark and of the Complainant prior to registering the disputed domain name” and “draws the inference that the disputed domain name must have had its value to the Respondent because of the confusing similarity to the Complainant’s TUMBLR mark and <tumblr.com> domain name.”).
The Respondent’s bad faith use of the disputed domain name is further evidenced by the fact that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to display adult-oriented material. See Victoria Beckham v. Viktor Pavlenko, WIPO Case No. D2015-0840 (“A user who seeks to access the web site(s) to which the disputed domain name resolves would expect to be taken to a web site at which Complainant’s goods are offered for sale. Instead, the user is taken to various web sites at which adult and/or pornographic services are offered. This is a perfect example of registration and use in bad faith as described in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy”).
The Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Accordingly, the Panel finds in favor of the Complainant on this factor.
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 <wiproleadingedge.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: November 25, 2016