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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Nokia Corporation v. Phonestop
Case No. D2001-1237
1. The Parties
1.1 The Complainant is Nokia Corporation of Keilalahdentie 4, FIN-02150 Espoo, Finland. The Complainant is represented by Lochners Technology Solicitors of Craven House, Station Road, Godalming, Surrey GU 7 1 EX, United Kingdom.
1.2 Respondent is Phonestop of 26 Hinde House Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, SD4 8GY, England. The Respondent is not represented in this proceeding
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
2.1 The domain name at is issue is <nokiaonthe.net>. The Registrar is CORE Internet Council of Registrars.
3. Procedural History
3.1 The Complaint was received by e-mail on October 11, 2001. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center ("The Center") acknowledged the Receipt of the Complaint on October 15, 2001. The Complaint is in compliance with the formal requirements and Complainant arranged for proper payment of the fees.
3.2 On October 24, 2001, the Respondent was officially notified that an administrative proceeding had been commenced against him by email, by fax and by courier with attachments. The complaint was properly notified in accordance with Rules, paragraph 2(a). No response to the Complaint has been filed.
3.3 Notification of Respondent Default was served on November 14, 2001.
3.4 On November 30, 2001, having received the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence from Ms. Madeleine de Cock Buning, the Center transmitted to the parties a Notification of Appointment of Administrative Panel and Projected Decision, in which Ms. Madeleine de Cock Buning was formally appointed as the Sole Panelist.
3.5 The date scheduled for the Panel to render its decision is December 14, 2001.
3.6 The Administrative Panel shall issue its decision based on the Complaint, the evidence presented, the Policy, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.
4. Factual Background
4.1 The Complainant relies on Community Trademarks NOKIA (No. CTM 000 340 836 and CTM 000 871 194), NOKIA+Device (No. CTM 000 323 386), NOKIA CONNECTING PEOPLE+Device (No. CTM 000 323 337) and UK Trademarks NOKIA (No. 1 526 042) and NOKIA CONNECTING PEOPLE (No. 1 525 459).
4.2 The domain name <nokiaonthe.net> is registered in the name of the Respondent since June 14, 2000.
4.3 As not contested, the domain name <nokiaonthe.net> was previously connected to the website <www.easily.co.uk> which had a link to < www.easilymobiles.com>. On this website a company called EasilyMobiles.com offers several mobile phones and accessories for sale (inter alia of Nokia, Sony and Motorola). Presently the domain name <nokiaonthe.net> is connected to the website <www.webfox.co.uk>. On this web site, services with regard to the access to the Internet and the registration of domain names are offered to the general public.
4.4 As not contested, there is no relation between Respondent and Complainant and Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant, nor has he otherwise obtained an authorization to use Complainant's mark.
4.5 It appears from Annexes 7 and 9 to the Complaint that the representative of Complainant sent a cease and desist letter and a reminder to Respondent. Respondent did not provide any answer to these letters.
5. Parties’ Contentions
5.1 The Complainant’s contentions are set out at length in the Complaint but may be summarized as follows. Complainant contends that Respondent has registered the domain name <nokiaonthe.net> which - since its trademark NOKIA appears in whole in the Respondent's domain name - is "identical or confusingly similar" to the Complainant’s trademark. According to Complainant, Respondent has no legitimate interest in respect of the domain name. Complainant states furthermore, that Respondent has registered and used the domain name in bad faith since the domain name is "used solely to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to various web sites, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Nokia Corporation's registered trade mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent's web site".
5.2 Complainant requests the Administrative Panel to issue a decision that the contested domain name be transferred to the Complainant.
5.3 Respondent submitted no Response to this Panel.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1 The Panel has reviewed the Complaint and the documents annexed to the Complaint. In the light of these materials this Panel finds as set out below.
6.2 This Panel does not find there are any exceptional circumstances within paragraph 5(e) of the ICANN Rules applicable to the Policy so as to prevent this Panel determining the Complaint, notwithstanding the failure the Respondent to lodge a Response. Details of these proceedings have been served in accordance with the relevant requirements, namely in compliance with Rule 2(a) of the ICANN Rules.
6.3 The domain name <nokiaonthe.net> is confusingly similar to the registered trademarks of Complainant. As numerous prior ICANN panels have recognized, the incorporation of a trademark in its entirety can be sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the complainant's registered mark. See, e.g., Quixtar Investments, Inc. v. Dennis Hoffman, WIPO Case No. D2000-0253 (May 29, 2000); Nikon, Inc. and Nikon Corporation v. Technilab., Inc, WIPO Case No. D2000-1774 (Feb. 26, 2001); Lancome Parfums et Beaute & Cie v. SL, Protection de Dominios, WIPO Case No. D2001-0910 (September 19, 2001). The addition of other terms in the domain name in itself does not affect a finding that the domain names are identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark.
In the case under consideration, there exists a substantial risk of confusion as to the origin of the domain name presently registered by the Respondent. The domain name <nokiaonthe.net> appears to refer to the presence on the Internet of the Nokia Corporation under its trademark NOKIA, or suggests at least that a legal or economic relationship between Respondent and Complainant exists.
6.4 There is no evidence to show that Respondent has any legitimate reason to register or use the domain name <nokiaonthe.net>. The Respondent has not been commonly known under <nokiaonthe.net>, nor offers goods or services under this name.
6.5 With regard to the question whether the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith, the Panel concludes that the uncontested Complainant is correct. The name is registered and is being maintained with the intention to attract, for commercial reasons, Internet users to (affiliated) web sites - on which inter alia telephones and internet services are offered - that have no connection with Complainant by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainants trademark. As indicated above, a likelihood of confusion is created as to the source, affiliation and endorsement of the web site. This constitutes use in bad faith within the meaning of the policy.
In light of the above findings, the Panel’s decision is as set out below.
7.1 The domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks (see paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy).
7.2 The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name <nokiaonthe.net > (see paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy).
7.3 The domain name <nokiaonthe.net> was registered and is being used in bad faith (see paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy).
7.4 This Panel directs that the domain name <nokiaonthe.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Madeleine de Cock Buning
Dated: December 6, 2001